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Issue No.01 - Jan.-March (2012 vol.34)
pp: 7-19
David C. Brock , Chemical Heritage Foundation
David A. Laws , Computer History Museum
ABSTRACT
<p>From the 1940s into the early 1960s, hundreds of scientists and engineers worldwide pursued efforts in microcircuitry&#x2014;miniaturized, integrated electronic circuits. By tracing the diverse activities and alternatives they explored&#x2014;from early printed wiring to semiconductor integrated circuit efforts&#x2014;this article provides the first comprehensive overview of the early history of microcircuitry.</p>
INDEX TERMS
history of computing, hardware, integrated circuits, microcircuit, microcircuitry, microelectronics
CITATION
David C. Brock, David A. Laws, "The Early History of Microcircuitry: An Overview", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.34, no. 1, pp. 7-19, Jan.-March 2012, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2011.85
REFERENCES
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3. See C. Lécuyer and D.C. Brock, Makers of the Microchip: A Documentary History of Fairchild Semiconductor, MIT Press, 2010; D.C. Brock ed., , Understanding Moore's Law: Four Decades of Innovation, Chemical Heritage Press, 2006.
4. Our review centers on printed circuit developments in the US and UK that were directly linked to microcircuitry efforts. This is by no means the full story of printed circuitry and wiring. Indeed, as M. Mills has identified in "Hearing Aids and the History of Electronics Miniaturization," IEEE Annals for the History of Computing, vol. 33, no. 2, 2011, pp. 24–44, the history of printed circuitry, printed wiring, and indeed photoetching can be traced to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. See, for example, K. Petherbridge, P. Evans, and D. Harrison, "The Origins and Evolution of the PCB: A Review," Circuit World, vol. 31, no. 1, 2005, pp. 41–45. We also thank one of the reviews of this article for drawing our attention to German efforts in printed wiring during the 1930s and 1940s. The company Hescho created a successful line of radio and other electronic components based on a proprietary ceramic and its ability to form fired printed or painted coils on it. It does not appear, however, that Hescho pursued microcircuitry. See Alfred O. Baurer, "The Significance of German Electronic Engineering in the 1930s," Foundation: Centre for German Communication and Related Technology 1920–1945, 2004.
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9. Brunetti and Curtis, "Printed Circuit Techniques," pp. 5–20.
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14. "Automatic Factory," Time.
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27. Y. Tauri Japanese patent 34–5175, Japan Patent Office, filed 26 Mar. 1957, issued 20 June 1959; C. Sah, "Surface-Potential Controlled Semiconductor Device," US Patent 3,204,160, Patent and Trademark Office, filed 12 Apr. 1961, issued 31 Aug. 1965; G. Rostky, "30 Who Made a Difference," Electronic Eng. Times, supplement, Sept. 1988, p. 55.
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32. R. Dill to R. Garner3 Sept. 2008, http://www.ibm-1401.infoGermaniumAlloy.html#IBM-Pictures .
33. I. Ross, "Transcript of Oral History of Ian Ross," 19 Aug. 2009, Computer History Museum, pp. 13–14.
34. L.A. D'Asaro, "A Stepping Transistor Element," Wescon Convention Record, part 3, 1959, pp. 37–42; L.A. D'Asaro, "Transcript of Oral History," Computer History Museum, 2009.
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36. C. Lécuyer and D.C. Brock, Makers of the Microchip, MIT Press, 2010, pp. 12–13; W. Shockley, "The Four-Layer Transistor Diode: An Example of Solid State Circuit Molecular Engineering," Wave Guide, vol. 10, no. 7, 1959, p. 7; W. Shockley, "Transistor-Diodes," Proc. IEE, part B, vol. 106, no. 15, 1960, pp. 270–272.
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39. Kilby, "Invention of the Integrated Circuit," IEEE Trans. Electron Devices, pp. 648–654.
40. Lécuyer and Brock, Makers of the Microchip.
41. W. Morgan, "Bibliography of Digital Magnetic Circuits and Materials," IEEE Trans. Electronic Computers, June 1959, pp. 148–158.
42. See, for example, D. Buck and K. Shoulders, "An Approach to Microminiature Printed Systems," Proc. Eastern Joint Computer Conf., AIEE-ACM-IRE, 1958, pp. 55–59; R. Fruin, A. Oka, and J. Bremer, "A Hybrid Cryotron Technology," IEEE Trans. Magnetics, vol. MAG-2, no. 3, 1966, pp. 381–385.
43. See, for example, Buck and Shoulders, "An Approach to Microminiature Printed Systems," pp. 55–59.
44. E.W. Pugh, L.R. Johnson, and J.H. Palmer, IBM's 360 and Early 370 Systems, MIT Press, 1991, p. 60–61; R.F. Stewart, "Integrated Semiconductor Circuit Device," US patent 3,138,747, filed 12 Feb. 1959, issued 23 June 1964.
45. See, for example, J. Allegretti and J. Shombert, "Laminar Junction Layers—New Concept in Microcircuits," Electronics,2 Dec. 1960, pp. 9, 55–57.
46. Calculations based in part on Pugh, Johnson, and Palmer, IBM's 360, p. 103.
47. W. James, "Characteristics of Modular Electronics Components," IRE Trans. Component Parts, vol. 2, no. 2, 1956, pp. 69–72; G. Shapiro, "Oral History," IEEE History Center, 19 Oct. 1999; Danko, "Printed Circuits and Microelectronics," pp. 937–945; L.J.D. Rouge, "Army Electronics Research: Theory to Reality," IRE Trans. Component Parts, vol. 6, no. 3, 1959, pp. 193–200; S.F. Danko, W.L. Doxey, J.P. McNaul, "The Micro-Module: A Logical Approach to Microminiaturization," Proc. IRE, May 1959, pp. 894–903; E. Braun, and S. Macdonald, Revolution in Miniature: The History and Impact of Semiconductor Electronics, 2nd ed., Cambridge Univ. Press, 1982, p. 93.
48. J. Goldey, "Oral History," Chemical Heritage Foundation, 18 Feb. 2005; F. Smits ed., , A History of Engineering and Science in the Bell System: Electronics Technology (1925–1975), AT&T Bell Labs, 1985, pp. 101–131.
49. See, for example, E. Davis et al., "Solid Logic Technology: Versatile, High-Performance Microelectronics," IBM J., vol. 8, no. 2, 1964, pp. 102–114.
50. J. Lathrop, "Transcript of Oral History," Computer History Museum, 7 May 2009, p. 11.
51. See D.C. Brock ed, Understanding Moore's Law: Four Decades of Innovation, Chemical Heritage Press, 2006; Lécuyer and Brock, Makers of the Microchip; C. Lécuyer, Making Silicon Valley, MIT Press, 2006.
52. On the writing analogy, see C. Lécuyer and D.C. Brock, "From Nuclear Physics to Semiconductor Manufacturing: The Making of Ion Implantation," History and Technology, vol. 25, no. 3, 2009, pp. 193–217.
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