EARLY SEMICONDUCTOR DEVELOPMENT AT HUGHES -  PACIFIC SEMI - TRW

Sandy Barnes

 

Oral History – Sandy Barnes (Continued)

 

1958-1965:  Government Funded High Power High Frequency Transistor Contracts.

In 1965, PSI was de-incorporated by it’s parent company, TRW. During the years 1958 to 1965, the focus at PSI (later TRW Semiconductors) was primarily to advance the transistor power-frequency curve.  Military contracts funded essentially all of this effort, with the resulting devices going into various satellite applications and weapons systems.  Here are some examples:

 

1958-1961:

One watt – 70 MHZ, Three Watt – 70 MHZ, Five Watt – 30 MHZ.  First use of Beryllium-Oxide (BeO) packages for high thermal conductance.  First use of a molded epoxy plastic package.

 

1962-1965:

Five watt – 70 MHZ,  Ten Watt – 500 MHZ, 50 –150 Watt transistors. Production contract for Five Watt – 500 MHZ transistors.  MinuteMan missile contract for Five Watt – 70 HHZ transistors.  During this period,  TRW high frequency high power transistors were designed into a number of military and space programs:

 

Missiles: Courier, MinuteMan, Poseiden, Trident, Tomahawk, Phoenix, SRAM, Sparrow, Standard, Sidewinder, Stinger.

 

Space Systems:  GPS Satellites, MILSTAR Satellite, Nasa Space Shuttle.

 

 

      

 

Oral History – Sandy Barnes (Continued)

 

1964: Insulated Gate Field Effect Transistor.  I co-authored a paper for the Dec 1964 Electronics Magazine explaining the wide variety of circuit applications for these devices – “Designing with low-noise MOS FETs: a little different but no harder”.

 

1965: I co-presented a paper on Nov 3, 1965 at the Semiconductor Device Research Conference for the Signal Corps.  The paper was:” High Power, High Frequency Transistor Design and Performance”. 

 

1969:  At this time, I headed the TRW Electronics Group R&D Lab.  There was expansive work taking place in a variety of semiconductor related areas.  The staff consisted of 23 professionals (including 9 PhDs) and 20 technicians.

 

Sandy, what concluding remarks would you care to make?

 

This material has focused on activities taking place at Hughes Aircraft Co., pacific Semiconductors Inc., and TRW Semiconductors during the first 20 years of transistor development.  Since these companies played a key role in many of the innovative developments during this early period, it represents a slice of transistor history, which I had the fortune to participate in.  I continued my career in the semiconductor field for the following 28 years and concluded 50 years in the industry with retirement in Feb 2000.

 

Go To Barnes Oral History, Page 7

 

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