This sketch, by engineer Mort Jones, is of a grown junction silicon transistor. (The name refers to the fact that the silicon that serves as the on-off transistor is grown from a crystal.) TI had recruited Gordon Teal from Bell Labs in the 1950s to serve as its semiconductor research director. The want ad for the job was placed in the New York Times to target Bell Labs employees. In 1954, TI released the first commercial silicon transistor. Earlier, some had believed germanium might become the primary material for making transistors.
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Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.