The L293NE is an extremely popular Motor Driver IC(H-Bridge) for controlling DC and bipolar stepper motors.
You can use this IC to control 2 DC motors with individual directional and speed control or just switch on and off 4 DC motors. This IC can be used to control DC motors with microcontrollers and also other analog circuits.
The L293NE can control motors which consume upto 1 A of current. For lower current requirements go for the L293D, which is pin compatible with the L293NE and can deliver upto 600 mA of current on each channel.