ICs Rocket to Success
ICs Rocket to Success
Early integrated circuits were expensive. So engineers used them sparingly, where small size and low power consumption were paramount. Aerospace fit that description.
The Apollo Guidance Computer used Fairchild ICs and inspired new manufacturers such as Philco. Westinghouse joined Texas Instruments to build custom circuits for the Minuteman II missile.
Requiring 200,000 Fairchild Micrologic circuits, the Apollo Guidance Computer project was the largest user of ICs through 1965.View Artifact Detail
The AC MAGIC and Martin MARTAC 420 military computers used Fairchild Micrologic ICs in this TO-5 style metal can package.
This brochure for military contractors was prepared by TI to accompany a “solid circuit” demonstration computer.View Artifact Detail
Minuteman missiles, named for the American Revolutionary War militia, were a key part of America’s Cold War defense arsenal. Minuteman II was the first in the series to use ICs.View Artifact Detail
These Minuteman II ICs were developed by Texas Instruments.View Artifact Detail
Early Variations on the IC Theme
Successive generations of integrated circuits steadily improved in speed, cost, density, power consumption, and ease-of-use. These advances stimulated diverse new applications. Expanding applications, in turn, unleashed aggressive market competition.
In 1962, Signetics introduced a popular Diode Transistor Logic (DTL) family of ICs. Fairchild quickly responded with an improved version. Transistor-Transistor Logic (TTL) was patented by TRW, commercialized by Sylvania, and popularized by TI. It attracted multiple vendors, which helped make it the standard logic family for small computers and peripherals—and the primary source of industry revenue through the early 1970s.
Mainframe computer maker IBM and its competitors ordered custom circuits tailored to specific needs. Fairchild and Motorola offered Emitter-Coupled Logic (ECL) families for high-speed supercomputer applications.
By the late 1970s, large scale integration (LSI) circuits such as gate arrays and programmable logic devices let users incorporate many functions from these early families into fewer packages, reducing system size and cost.
TI built this experimental “wafer-scale” integrated circuit for an IBM project funded by the U.S. Air Force.View Artifact Detail
TI’s plastic package 7400 Series TTL found wide application in computer peripherals such as this floppy disk controller board.View Artifact Detail
To reduce system size, the functions of many TTL logic chips could be packed into a single custom gate array.View Artifact Detail
ECL circuits in closely-spaced, small flat packs offered very high speed logic to supercomputer manufacturers such as CDC and Cray.View Artifact Detail
Advertisements for early ICs typically contained a logic or circuit diagram, as well as a chip photo to show that it was real.View Artifact Detail
Fairchild’s easy to use Dual-in-Line Package (DIP) made the 930 Series DTL a popular choice of computer designers.View Artifact Detail
Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs) allowed users to create specialized chips without having to design custom circuits.View Artifact Detail