Texas Instruments Launches Epitaxial Transistors.


‘The introduction on of the first commercially available epitaxial transistor was announced last week by Texas Instruments.’

So, 50 years ago, starts a story in the May 24th 1961 edition of Electronics Weekly.

The story continues:


‘The price is will be £5 10 shillings each and is expected to drop to £3 in less than six months.


The epitaxial transistors are the first of a full range of devices including power types.


Major price reductions in the entire range of their products were announced by Texas Instruments last week.


Mr A.N. Provost, managing director of the company, said that the new plant at

Manton Lane, Bedford

, has exceeded their expectations in improvements in the yields and reliability of devices.


The improvements were being passed on to the customer in the form of price reductions of up to 35v per cent.


“The rapidly increasing depth of knowledge in the UK in design, production and use of transistors is creating an ever-widening demand,” said Mr Provost.


He went on to prophesy that greater demand will result in further price decreases and that germanium mesa type transistors at 3 shillings to 4 shillings each and similar silicon devices at 8-10 shillings are within the foreseeable future.”


The company expects to have a solid state circuit available commercially in the UK market in about 18 months.’



  1. That’s as far as the story goes, Peter, but the Smithsonian Chip Collection gives the date of March 1960 for the first TI IC – the SN502, and its successors, the SN510 and SN514, were in the US IMP satellite launched in November 1963. Pretty well all of these ICs are thought to have gone to military and space applications. So 1963 seems a little early for commercial production. However that, of course, never stopped semiconductor guys from stoking expectations.

  2. ‘…a solid state circuit available commercially in the UK market in about 18 months.’
    Is this an IC? Date, and company, are about right!

  3. I wonder how much an OC71 was at the time.

  4. georgegrimes-ti-com.myopenid.com

    “£5 10 shillings each” for epitaxial transistor? We really have come a long way in the last 50 years, haven’t we?

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