Bernard Reich

Transistor Museum Historic Profile

Recognizing Significant Contributions to 20th Century Semiconductor History and Technology

Notable Contributions, Continued


Clevite 2N297

Germanium PNP Alloy

Power Transistor

Sig C - FY 1954

Sylvania 2N625

Germanium NPN Alloy

Computer Core Driver Transistor

Sig C - FY 1956

Raytheon 2N1657

Silicon NPN Diffused Base

High Power Audio Transistor

Sig C - FY 1956


Beginning in Fiscal Year 1952, the Signal Corps sponsored transistor development contracts with U.S. companies for specific military procurement requirements.  These Sig C programs were initially known as Industrial Preparedness Measures program, and later as Production Engineering Measures (PEM).  Two technical papers co-authored by Bernie in the 1960s (see publication references 6 and 14) provide excellent coverage of this pioneering work, and are illustrative of the important transistor technologies developed during this timeframe.  For example, FY-1954 contracts included the first production germanium power transistors with the inclusion of the Clevite 2N297 shown above.   FY-1956 PEM contracts covered a much expanded list of transistor types including the Sylvania 2N625 computer core driver and the early Raytheon high power 2N1657 silicon audio transistor (see above).  These types of devices found immediate use in military applications, as noted in Bernie’s Sig C technical papers.  Specifically, the Helmet Radio (Army model AN/PRC-34, -36) and the MOBIDIC Mobile Digital Computer (Army model AN/MSQ-20) utilized devices developed under the FY-1956 PEM program.  Shown at right is a section of the Spring 1961 RCA Electronic Age magazine illustrating field tests of this equipment at the Signal Corps Fort Monmouth facility.  The soldier at right is exercising the MOBIDIC computer and the soldier at left is working with the helmet radio technology.  Use the links above for more information on these historic Sig C transistors.




More Notable Contributions, Go To Page 3  


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