Electronic Design

Photo Finish: Picture Treasure Trove

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.

Click here for several examples of the special photos in this picture album.

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.

Click here for several examples of the special photos in this picture album.

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