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What you might have seen is actually the IC Package. The IC itself (the silicon) is usually much smaller in size and is present inside the IC Package. The purpose of this ceramic package is
1. to provide mechanical support to the IC
2. provide PINS that go into sockets...
The pins on the IC package and connected to the die(fabricated silicon, the actual IC) using BONDING WIRES.....the metallization(connection) on the die that these BONDING WIRES are connected to, is called PAD or a BONDING PAD.