Electronic Design

Special Report: Design In The 60's

Electronic progress in the next 10 years will revolve around the solid-state art. Packaging, computers, communications, production, navigation and guidance will be affected. Every area of electronics will owe to the researchers in solid state a good share of credit for their own advances.

In components, microresistors and capacitors are being developed because of the pressure exerted by the advent of transistors. An average-size resistor was usually the smallest component on a chassis. But now that vacuum tubes are a thing of the past in many applications, designers have had to concentrate on miniaturizing or even eliminating some of the other components. Otherwise the size advantage gained by using transistors is lost.

Computers will also undergo many changes because of semiconductors. Transistorized computer circuits already have eliminated the banks of vacuum tubes and their huge power and cooling requirements. Already, many lightweight versions of computers have been developed for aircraft and missile use.

Molecular electronics, or sol-id circuits, are an exciting new development growing out of semiconductor physics. To date these units are still in the laboratory. Work is in progress—and will continue at a good rate—to convert solid circuits into production items (Electronic Design, Jan. 6, 1960, p. 22).

It was clear that semiconductors would influence the industry, but few people grasped how quickly and drastically. In March 1960, Texas Instruments put its first IC on the market, and Fairchild followed in October. By the end of the decade, there were DRAMs, CMOS technology, and calculator chips.

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