In the course of researching our commemorative issue, we came across a surplus of wonderful photos that we simply had to share with you. Some are vintage treasures, some depict future developments, and some are just plain fun. At the bottom of these pages, you'll find your choices for the industry's Top 50 Milestones, organized by decade. Not surprisingly, the 1970s is the undisputed champion for the most winners with nearly twice as many major events as any other decade.
1950s: 7 OF THE TOP 50 INDUSTRY MILESTONES
1950 Tektronix brought out the first high-frequency, direct-coupled, general-purpose oscilloscope, Model 514.
1952 Photocircuits introduced the copper-clad epoxy glass laminate.
1954 The first-known SAR 11-bit ADC was built by EPSCO's Bernard Gordon. It was based on vacuum tubes.
1954 Piezoresistivity, the foundation for all MEMS pressure sensors, was observed at Bell Labs.
1958 Jack Kilby created the first IC, a phase-shift oscillator on a germanium substrate, at Texas Instruments.
1958 Robert N. Noyce independently developed the IC on a silicon substrate at Fairchild Semiconductor.
1959 International Rectifier developed the first commercial silicon-controlled rectifier.
1960s: 10 OF THE TOP 50 INDUSTRY MILESTONES
1962 Semiconductor laser was invented.
1962 Textronix unveiled the first sampling oscilloscope, Model 661.
1963 TTL logic was created. Sylvania was the first company to release a commercial family of devices.
1964 Fairchild Semiconductor introduced the industry's first linear IC.
1964 J. Kemeny and T. Kurtz introduced Basic.
1965 Robert Widlar designed the first op-amp IC at Fairchild Semiconductor.
1966 Dave Fullagar developed the first temperature-compensated op amp, the ubiquitous 741, at Fairchild Semiconductor.
1966 IBM introduced the first hard disk drive.
1968 Metal-gate CMOS structures made their first commercial appearance in RCA's CD4000 logic family.
1969 Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie released Unix.
1970s: 19 OF THE TOP 50 INDUSTRY MILESTONES
1970 Intel unveiled the first 1024-bit fully decoded dynamic RAMs.
1971 Dennis Ritchie developed the C language at Bell Labs.
1971 Intel introduced the 4004, which was used in calculators and VCRs.
1971 Bob Dobkin designed the first general-purpose high-speed op amp at National Semiconductor.
1972 SPICE 1, developed by Professor Donald Pederson, was released by UC Berkeley.
1973 Ethernet was developed at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) for use with the Alto Ahloa Network.
1973 Hewlett-Packard (now Agilent) introduced the HP 1601A, the first logic analyzer.
1974 Intel introduced the 8-bit 8080, which was the basis for the PC revolution.
1974 Paul Brokaw invented the Brokaw cell, a bandgap voltage reference.
1974 National Semiconductor introduced biFET op amps.
1975 The first PC, the Altair 8800, was developed by MITS.
1975 Monolithic Memories introduced the first PAL chips.
1976 Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, the cofounders of Apple, began selling the Apple I.
1976 National Semiconductor introduced the first three-terminal adjustable regulator, designed by Bob Dobkin.
1978 Analog Devices introduced the first complete 10-bit monolithic ADC.
1978 Intel introduced the 8086/8088, the core of the IBM PC and PC-compatibles.
1979 Motorola released the 68000. Its design made it an ideal choice for Apple's first Macintosh.
1979 International Rectifier's HexFET structure pushed cell-based power MOSFETs into the mainstream.
1979 Mead and Conway's Introduction to VLSI Design presaged SoC design methodologies.
1980s: 11 OF THE TOP 50 INDUSTRY MILESTONES
1981 The IBM PC, PC DOS, and CP/M-86 all debuted.
1981 IBM introduced the IBM PC and the ISA bus.
1982 SGS, now STMicroelectronics, introduced the first monolithic switching regulator, the L296.
1983 Bjarne Stroustrup of Bell Labs introduced C++.
1984 The first digital oscilloscope, the HP 54100, was released.
1984-86 Verilog HDL was developed at Gateway Design Automation.
1984 >Richard Stallman started the GNU Project.
1984-86 Daisy Systems, Mentor Graphics, and Valid Logic launched workstation-EDA tools.
1985 Xilinx released the first SRAM-based FPGA.
1986 National Instruments introduced LabView, a graphical test development environment that pioneered the concept of "virtual instrumentation."
1989 Tim Berners-Lee created HTTP/HTML and started the World Wide Web at CERN.
1990s: 3 OF THE TOP 50 INDUSTRY MILESTONES
1991 Linus Torvalds released Linux.
1991 The Global Standard for Mobile Communications (GSM) digital TDMA standard was adopted in Europe.
1996 USB was introduced.