Electronic Design

Robert Widlar

Widlar (2002)

A legendary figure in analog IC design, Widlar is considered the creator of the IC op amp. His first op-amp design at Fairchild Semiconductor, the µA702 in 1964, used only nine transistors and had relatively low gain and significant limitations on the input common-mode range. A year later, he introduced the first commercially successful analog functional block, the legendary µA709, which provided much larger open-loop gains and had an input common-mode range that included positive voltages. In 1967, he challenged the belief that it was impossible to build a monolithic high-power voltage regulator by designing the 20-W LM109. In 1971 at National Semiconductor, he designed the first bandgap reference, the NM113. Then in 1981, Widlar and Bob Dobkin co-founded Linear Technology Corp.

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