LSI Corporation (NYSE: LSI) today announced that it had donated a replica of the first transistor to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the invention of the transistor.
Invented by Bell Labs scientists John Bardeen, Walter Brattain and William Shockley on December 16, 1947, the transistor is the building block of today’s integrated circuits (ICs), the brains behind computers and cell phones to guided missiles and heart pacemakers. The transistor was first manufactured commercially at the former Western Electric plant (which later became Agere Systems) on Union Boulevard in Allentown, Penn., in 1951. Agere merged with LSI Logic on April 2, 2007 to form LSI Corporation.
“It’s often said that today’s accomplishments are possible because we stand on the shoulders of giants from the previous generation,” said Abhi Talwalkar, president and CEO of LSI. “That statement is especially true today as we celebrate the invention of the transistor, arguably the most important invention of the 20th century. Fortunately, the innovative spirit that created the transistor burns as brightly as ever today."
John Toole, CEO of the Computer History Museum, said, “The Computer History Museum is pleased to add this replica of the first transistor to its collection on the sixtieth anniversary of its invention. The computer could never have evolved as we know it today without this fundamental building block of modern microelectronics.”
The transistor, which replaced the vacuum tube, can be used to both amplify electrical signals and to switch them on and off. The transistor’s smaller size, higher reliability, lower power consumption, and lower cost revolutionized both the form factor and economics of electronic devices. Since its invention, the size of transistors has continued to shrink to the point that today that six billion transistors – about one for every human alive today – could fit in an area the size of a quarter.
The Computer History Museum and LSI will co-host an upcoming reception and public discussion of the transistor and future technologies by a panel of experts in the first calendar quarter of 2008. Details of the event will be forthcoming.
LSI Corporation (NYSE: LSI) is a leading provider of innovative silicon, systems and software technologies that enable products which seamlessly bring people, information and digital content together. The company offers a broad portfolio of capabilities and services including custom and standard product ICs, adapters, systems and software that are trusted by the world’s best known brands to power leading solutions in the Storage and Networking markets. For more information, please visit www.lsi.com.
The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a 25-year history as part of the former Boston Computer Museum. CHM preserves and presents the artifacts and stories of the information age and is dedicated to exploring the social impact of computing. CHM's diverse collection of computing-related artifacts is the largest and most significant in the world. CHM brings computing history to life through an acclaimed speaker series, dynamic website, and onsite tours and exhibits. Current exhibits include "Mastering the Game: A History of Computer Chess," "Innovation in the Valley," and "Visible Storage," featuring 600 key objects from the collection. A signature "Timeline of Computing History" exhibit will open in the fall of 2009. For more information, please visit www.computerhistory.org or call (650)810-1010. Admission is free.