Fairchild Company History

William Shockley founds Shockley Semiconductor

William Shockley, co-inventor of the transistor seven years earlier, founds Shockley Semiconductor Laboratories in Santa Clara Valley. He recruits 12 young scientists dedicated to the use of germanium and silicon for transistors -- his "Ph.D. production line." Shockley wins the Nobel Prize¨ for Physics in 1956, but his management style and disenchantment with pure research causes the eight young scientists to leave company.

The "Traitorous Eight" develop a method of mass producing silicon transistors

Gordon E. Moore, C. Sheldon Roberts, Eugene Kleiner, Robert N. Noyce, Victor H. Grinich, Julius Blank, Jean A. Hoerni and Jay T. Last -- the "Traitorous Eight" from Shockley Semiconductor -- use $3500 of their own money to develop a method of mass-producing silicon transistors using a double diffusion technique and a chemical-etching system. The silicon and germanium mesa allows manufacturers to produce multiple transistors on a single wafer. (Previously, transistors could only be manufactured one at a time.) The potential for the new "mesa process" is enormous, but the inventors need financial backing.

Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation invests $1.5 million in return for an option to buy the company within eight years. On October 1, 1957, Fairchild Semiconductor is born. Its goal: the development and production of silicon diffused transistors and other semiconductor devices. The new company is profitable in six months with the help of its first sale: an order from IBM™ for 100 transistors at $150 a piece. The order is shipped in a Brillo® carton picked up at a local supermarket by Jay Last.

Robert Noyce develops the monolithic integrated circuit

...A miniaturized electrical circuit on a fingernail-size wafer of silicon. Noyce's Fairchild colleague, Jean Hoerni, takes the idea a step further and puts a collector, base and emitter all on one plane. The planar transistor is born, and so is a new industry. Today, nearly fifty years later, the planar process is the primary method for producing transistors.

Monolithic Integrated Circuit Patented

On July 30, 1959 Robert Noyce, co-founder and general manager of Fairchild Semiconductor, filed for a patent for a monolithic integrated circuit.

The patent was granted on April 25, 1961 and it started the dawn of the integrated circuit era. The resistor-transistor logic (RTL) product – a set/reset flip/flop – was the industry’s first integrated circuit available as a monolithic chip.

Related articles:

This Day in History, April 25, 1961, Noyce Awarded Patent for "Integrated Circuit"

The Integrated Circuit of Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce

Fairchild opens facility

In 1962, Fairchild opens a facility in South Portland, Maine for the manufacture, test and assembly of transistors for use in radios, oscilloscopes and other instrumentation.

Dual-Gate Device

A second-generation RTL product, the dual-gate device was the first to incorporate buried-layer isolation technology.

The NPN planar power transistor

The first in the industry to incorporate a thin-film emitter resistor process.

The first OpAmp (operational amplifier)

Fairchild develops the first OpAmp (operational amplifier) generally used throughout the industry--a milestone in the linear integrated circuit field.

First standard TTL product

Fairchild launches the first standard TTL product, a quad two-input NAND gate. TTL logic, still a workhorse of the industry, offers speed and power advantages over earlier types of circuitry.

32-gate custom DTL logic array

The industry's first two-layer metal process, a 32-gate custom DTL logic array, is put into production.

Fairchild introduces a new OpAmp

Fairchild introduces an OpAmp (operational amplifier) that is one of the earliest linear integrated circuits to include temperature compensation and MOS capacitors.

Fairchild introduces the industry's first functional device with dielectric isolation of both emitter-base and base-collector junctions.

Incorporated Isoplanar II, permits reduction in the size of integrated circuit transistors by 70 percent over Fairchild's original Isoplanar technique. The performance of Isoplanar II devices is improved by a factor of two over the performance of comparable devices made with conventional processes.

FAST (Fairchild Advanced Schottky TTL) logic is launched

FAST (Fairchild Advanced Schottky TTL) logic is launched, offering a 20 to 30 percent performance improvement over standard Schottky (74S) with a 75 to 80 percent reduction in power.

Fairchild Camera and Instrumentation Company becomes a subsidiary of Schlumberger Limited

Fairchild Semiconductor's parent company, Fairchild Camera and Instrumentation Company, becomes a subsidiary of Schlumberger Limited, a global oilfield services and electronics company.

FACT™ logic attains superior speed while retaining the low power consumption of CMOS.

In 1985, FACT™ (Fairchild Advanced CMOS Technology) logic attains superior speed while retaining the low power consumption of CMOS. It offers system designers superior line driving characteristics, as well as excellent ESD and latch-up immunity. The FACT AC and ACT series offer standard logic functions with CMOS compatible inputs and TTL and MOS compatible outputs. FACT is the first high-performance CMOS logic family on the market and the only one to survive aggressive market competition.

The first CMOS non-volatile electrically erasable memory is introduced

Using Fairchild's floating-gate CMOS process for high endurance and low energy consumption, the first CMOS non-volatile electrically erasable memory is introduced for applications requiring a small footprint and high reliability.

Fairchild Semiconductor is purchased by National Semiconductor Corporation.

FACT Quiet Series

FACT Quiet Series (FACT QS™) uses proprietary Quiet Series technology to control output overshoot, undershoot and EMI, and offers the lowest noise characteristics of any CMOS process while providing speed that is faster than FACT. The FACT Quiet Series ACQ products offer CMOS compatible inputs and MOS compatible outputs. It is the first CMOS family to incorporate circuitry to control noise generated by CMOS circuits.

FACT Quiet Series

FACT Quiet Series (FACT QS™) uses proprietary Quiet Series technology to control output overshoot, undershoot and EMI, and offers the lowest noise characteristics of any CMOS process while providing speed that is faster than FACT. The FACT Quiet Series ACQ products offer CMOS compatible inputs and MOS compatible outputs. It is the first CMOS family to incorporate circuitry to control noise generated by CMOS circuits.

EPROM built on AMG™ architecture

In 1990, an EPROM built on AMG™ (Alternate Metal Ground) architecture is introduced. This architecture requires only one contact for every 64 rows compared to one contact for every two rows on a conventional T cell. The result is the smallest die size in the industry.

300 Series ECL, the easiest to use ECL logic family available, is launched.

The fast gate speeds, full voltage and temperature compensation, and the ability to drive low impedance transmission lines make 300 series the logic of choice for ECL-based systems, as well as those that mix ECL with TTL and/or CMOS. It is one of the first families to incorporate temperature and voltage compensation in temperature/voltage ECL circuits.

First HC-replacement, low noise, high-speed CMOS logic device.

CROSSVOLT™ LCX low voltage logic series is the leading performer in 3.3 optimized logic.

It is the first to incorporate overvoltage tolerance to facilitate industry conversion to a 3.3V operation.

The Plug & Play controller

Provides a complete, single chip solution for implementing Plug and Play capabilities on ISA-Bus Adapter cards.

TinyLogic®

TinyLogic™ provides single-gate functions in some of the smallest packages available. The Tiny High Speed Series offers performance similar to HC/VHC and is available with both CMOS (HS) and TTL (HST) compatible inputs.

Fairchild Semiconductor is reborn as an independent company

Fairchild Semiconductor is reborn as an independent company, heralding the return of a company steeped in the history of innovation and infused with the design talent and manufacturing capabilities to reshape the technology of the twenty-first century.

• GTLP Backplane Transceivers are designed specifically for medium to high performance backplane applications. An open drain output structure and edge rate control allow backplane designers to optimize designs to match the unique characteristics of a backplane while utilizing Incident Wave Switching to maximize that data throughput of a backplane.

• PowerTrench® technology for MOSFETs

    10 million cells per square inch represents the pinnacle of Fairchild’s closed cell PLANAR 30V power MOSFET product portfolio. This power MOSFET technology marked the turning point in the technology as low gate charge and even faster switching requirements pushed PowerTrench™ into the spotlight.

• VCX™ , the industry’s first 2.5V logic family

    Fairchild’s CROSSVOLT™ VCX low voltage logic is the industry’s first low voltage family optimized for 2.5V performance. VCX offers extremely high speed and is specified at 3.3V, 2.5V, and 1.5V. Manufactured on a high-performance CMOS process, VCX provides input and output over-voltage tolerance, low CMOS power consumption, and balanced high drive.

Arithmetic Controller Engine (ACEx™)

The first-of-its-kind Arithmetic Controller Engine (ACEx™) is a flexible 8-bit microcontroller optimized for low power and high performance. First to be packaged in an 8-lead TSSOP, the ACEx is ideal for low power and battery operated applications.

Fairchild's Analog product line pioneers the use of switches for DC-DC conversion in PCs with its RC5051.

Fairchild enters the LVT market

Fairchild enters the LVT market to meet customer demand for a stable supply of bushold and non-bushold LVT products, dramatically expanding Fairchild's access to the total available market for off-board driving applications such as backplanes, memory arrays, networks and telecom switches.







Fairchild acquires Samsung's Power Device Division

Fairchild successfully completes the acquisition of Samsung's Power Device Division, giving the company a complete line of Power Discrete devices and a broad line of industry-standard analog components. Fairchild's multi-market portfolio now include the top 100 highest volume analog products, as well as the most comprehensive portfolio of Discrete power products.

Fairchild’s open cell planar MOSFETs technology supports best-in-industry performance when used in power system design. The QFET technology features improved on-resistance, minimized gate charge and very high dv/dt capability resulting in improved ruggedness.

Fairchild’s Power Switch Technology (SPS) combines a pulse width modulation (PWM) IC and a SenseFET in one package for off-line power switching. The Power Switch solutions provide protection functions resulting in increased reliability while minimizing costs due to reduced part count.

Fairchild’s IGBTs are power translators using a combination of both bipolar and MOSFET technology resulting in a device with low on-state losses that is easy to drive. IGBTs are specifically suited to higher power applications where the conduction losses of a MOSFET begin to become prohibitive.

BGA packaging for power products Fairchild Semiconductor becomes a publicly traded company. The company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FCS.

Fairchild's open cell planar MOSFET technology supports best-in-industry performance when used in power system design. The QFET technology features improved on-resistance, minimized gate charge and very high dv/dt capability resulting in improved ruggedness.

Fairchild launches the Interface and Logic Group

In 2000, Fairchild launches the Interface and Logic Group to tap into the rapidly growing areas of Internet hardware and wireless. It is a critical step in the company's plan to achieve internal growth through new product development and strategic acquisitions that will culminate in being in the leading position in selected markets.

Fairchild completes the acquisition of QT Optoelectronics

Fairchild completes the acquisition of QT Optoelectronics, the world's largest independent company focused solely on optoelectronics., to expand the company's product portfolio to all multi-market segments.

Fairchild acquires Kota Microcircuits and Micro Linear's Power Management business.

Fairchild boosts its global analog business by acquiring Kota Microcircuits and Micro Linear's Power Management business. The transactions help the company grow its annual revenue in the analog business from zero to $400 million in just 28 months.

Fairchild releases the first of its kind MOSFET BGA package

Fairchild releases the first of its kind MOSFET BGA package, FDZ204P enabled high current density load switching for mobile phone power management applications. The innovative patented packaging allows a wide range of footprints from 2.25 (shown) to 27.5mm2 with current ratings in excess of 30 amps.

Fairchild introduces the industry's first 20-bit configurable bus switches.

Fairchild introduces the industry's first 20-bit configurable bus switches. The FST16450 is a 20-bit configurable bus switch with selectable level shifting, and the FSTUD16450 is a 20-bit configurable bus switch with undershoot protection and selectable level shifting. Both 20-bit devices can be configured as 4, 5, 8, 10, 16 or 20-bit switches. These devices offer designers significant space savings, design flexibility and part count reduction.

Fairchild completes acquisition of Intersil Corporation's Discrete Power business and becomes the second largest power MOSFET supplier in the world.

Fairchild advances to the top position for discrete semiconductors in the Asia Pacific region

Fairchild advances to the top position for discrete semiconductors in the Asia Pacific region, a revenue increase in this market area of almost 31%. Fairchild made the leap to number one by excelling in the following market segments: computer (including desktop, notebook, servers, HDD), communications (including cellular, networking), automotive, power supply (AC/DC, DC/DC), motor control, consumer, lighting ballasts, CRT monitor and emerging markets (games systems, DSC, PDA, MP3).

FDS6670AS represents Fairchild’s patented SyncFET(tm) technology applied to the third generation PowerTrench® process core.

Fairchild develops surface mount blue LEDs™

Fairchild develops surface mount blue LEDs™. Also, the latest in a long line of products designed for synchronous rectification in the Buck converter application for CPU core voltage power supply, FDS6670AS represents Fairchild’s patented SyncFETTM technology applied to the third generation PowerTrench® process core.

Fairchild introduces the FSBB20CH60

The FSBB20CH60 is the smallest Smart Power Module for three phase inverter in the industry and contains 16 chips in one package.

Fairchild introduces the µSerDes™

Fairchild introduces the µSerDes™ Low Power 24-bit bi-directional serializer/deserializer, which was the smallest, lowest power, lowest EMI SerDes device ever. It enabled rapid adoption in the emerging handset market for signal line reduction. The flexible architecture allowed use across a wide platform of complexity without software changes. Also, Dr. Mark Thompson is named as President and CEO.

FDMC7570S

The FDMC7570S, a 25V MOSFET, delivers the lowest RDS(ON) in a 3mm x 3mm MLP package in the industry– providing unmatched efficiency and junction temperature improvements.

FDZ192NZ and FDZ372NZ

FDZ192NZ and FDZ372NZ are the smallest and thinnest wafer-level chip-scale (WL-CSP) N-Channel devices in the industry.

 

 

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