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introduction dates of common transistors and diodes?

Discussion in 'Electronic Components' started by Eric Smith, May 20, 2006.

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  1. Eric Smith

    Eric Smith Guest

    Does anyone have any idea in what years some of the now-common
    transistors and diodes were originally introduced? For instance,



  2. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Eric,

    You'd have to find old data sheets. The ones I have may not be the
    oldest but in case it helps here are some data sheet print dates:

    March 1973
    Dec 1973
    Dec 1973

    Again, there are probably older ones. Maybe one of the data sheet
    archive sites could be of help.

    Come to think of it, I am still using the 2222 in new designs. Same with
    CD4000 logic, more than 30 years in production and still kicking. And cheap.

    Regards, Joerg
  3. Stan Barr

    Stan Barr Guest

    All three are listed in my 1970 data book, but not in my 1964 ARRL handbook.
    Stan Barr stanb .at. dial .dot. pipex .dot. com
    (Remove any digits from the addresses when mailing me.)

    The future was never like this!
  4. Tim Shoppa

    Tim Shoppa Guest

    That's a good question. In principle all the 1N/2N part numbers were
    registered with JEDEC and they ought to have a way of getting to
    registration dates. As a practical matter my attempts to navigate the
    JEDEC website to find this information in general have failed. They do
    say they will sell you the original registration datasheets at 25cents
    a page, $10 minimum.

    Registration date is not necessarily the same as production date but
    shouldn't be too far off.

    Joerg's reply seems (to me!) nonsensical because I know all your named
    non-plastic parts were well into mass production in the 60's. The date
    you read off the top of a data sheet is not necessarily the original
    production date because it is entirely possible the data sheet was

    My guess as to 2N chronologies, based entirely on some 60's-era TI
    "bulletin" dates and done under the assumption that they are at least
    somewhat chronological:

    2N117 is 1958
    2N33x are arealy 1959
    2N11xx are early 1962
    2N22xx are late 1962
    2N30xx are mid 1963
    2N32xx are early 1965
    2N44xx are mid 1966

    Many of those numbers were originally issued by Motorola or Fairchild
    but my 60's era Motorola books aren't nearly as complete. I would guess
    the Moto sheets have slightly earlier dates. I don't think I've ever
    seen much in the way of 60's-era Fairchild databooks.

    By the early 70's TI and some others have most of their new parts
    outside the JEDEC standard 2N series. At that point plastic packaging
    for consumer and non-milspec-non-aerospace stuff really takes off and
    the manufacturers start doing their own numbering (often riffing on the
    original 2N numbers but not always!)

    Just to confuse things even more, the JEDEC web page says they didn't
    exist before 1960, so obviously the 2N11x numbers predate JEDEC, but
    probably have something to do with EIA. I don't know how RETMA figures
    into it.

    And in the case of the 1N series I think any assumptions about
    sequential assignment of numbers are probably pure BS past the early
    60's. Unfortunately my earliest TI diode datasheets mentioning your
    part numbers have dates of early 70's on them and those dates cannot be
    right for the 1N914.

    I did find a 1N4148 TI bulletin dated October 1966, and that might be
    too late by only a couple of years :).

    The JEDEC website says the 1N3091 was registered in May 1960 and the
    1N3595 was 11/5/1962. At that point I'm already very critical of the
    thought of sequential assignment.

  5. Bruce Hoult

    Bruce Hoult Guest

    What about things sucvh as the BC107/108/109 which seemed to be
    ubiquitous in magazine designs in the 80's?
  6. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Stan,

    That's what I thought. Even if the data sheets are original they often
    are revised and most of the time they don't publish a revision history
    with them (they should).

    1964 were the Ge days. Luckily I kept lots of diodes and transistors
    from back then. A couple of weeks ago that saved our bacon when I could
    not buy a new 1.35V mercury battery for our older Minolta. They are now
    banned, for good reason. The old OA91 Ge diode was just the ticket to
    modify it for a 1.55V coin cell and drop those 200mV nicely.

    Regards, Joerg
  7. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Bruce,
    Those are European numbers, mostly German. But it may be even harder to
    find original data sheet dates for those since Siemens (now Infineon)
    and others have that dreaded tendency to drop data sheets soon after
    something went obsolete. Then you can only use data sheet web archives
    and you never know whether the date on there is truly the birthday.

    Regards, Joerg
  8. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Tim,
    Well, I did mention that the dates probably aren't the earliest. Just
    wanted to start it. Short of paying JEDEC the bucks the only way to get
    a clue here is to "peel the onion". IOW people look and post their data
    sheet dates, then if someone else finds an older one he or she posts that.

    I bet that someone like Winfield Hill would know. He must have picked
    these transistors off the conveyor when they were still wet, to try them
    out. I just wasn't old enough, plus I certainly didn't have the
    connections back then.

    Regards, Joerg
  9. Ross Herbert

    Ross Herbert Guest

    My Philips "Miniwatt" [the (then) tube and semiconductor manufacturing
    branch of Philips in Australia] shortform catalogue published in the
    3rd month of 1964 lists both the BC107 and 109 but not the 108 so it
    is probable that these types were introduced in 1963 or thereabouts.
  10. Stan Barr

    Stan Barr Guest

    I've recently done exactly the same thing to keep my Sekonic spot meter
    running! (Altough I've had digital cameras for over 10 years, I still
    have a well-used collection of real film kit - used for black&white
    these days...)
    Stan Barr stanb .at. dial .dot. pipex .dot. com
    (Remove any digits from the addresses when mailing me.)

    The future was never like this!
  11. CBFalconer

    CBFalconer Guest

    Why not use the saturated collector drop of a silicon transistor?

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  12. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    CBFalconer wrote:

    Because typically you only have access to one wire, not both wires of
    the load. Also, a diode is only one part :)

    Regards, Joerg
  13. Stan Barr

    Stan Barr Guest

    Also I happened to have a number of miniature, grain-of-rice size,
    germanium diodes that fitted easily in the limited space available.

    Stan Barr stanb .at. dial .dot. pipex .dot. com
    (Remove any digits from the addresses when mailing me.)

    The future was never like this!
  14. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Stan,
    Nice! My smallest type on hand is the OA91, still about the length of
    two grains of rise. But in the older Minolta SRT series there was a
    surprising amount of space available.

    There really is not much else to adapt a 1.55V cell. Transistor
    saturation voltages are too low at the 100uA range of CdS sensing
    circuits. Unless you keep base current low but then it becomes too
    fickle for my taste. Schottkys are sometimes used but I didn't like them
    this far down the curve, too much variation in my case.

    Regards, Joerg
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