A Transistor Museum Interview with Jack Haenichen

The Development of the 2N2222 – The Most Successful and Widely Used Transistor Ever Developed.


Oral History – Jack Haenichen



We came across a patent (an abandoned case) that Texas Instruments had, by an inventor named Gerald Broussard.  It turned out the structure he had looked very similar, but it wasn’t aimed at the same purpose.  We got into a very protracted and expensive litigation with Texas Instruments, and we prevailed.  A patent becomes extremely valuable, when it withstands litigation. 


The real value in patents is in cross-licensing.  For example, everybody in the early days was paying to AT&T, because they had the basic transistor patent.  What you tried to do was get a portfolio of your own that your competitors, including AT&T, had to use.  You tried to get a portfolio that had a value and then you went and “horse-traded” with other companies.  At the end of the day, depending on the strength of your portfolio compared to the other guy’s, either you’ll end up paying royalties to him or he’ll end up paying royalties to you.  We had a very important set of patents.  It was more than one patent, because we had methods patents and structure patents in Motorola’s portfolio.   



 11) I’ve seen references to the Motorola “STAR” geometry applied to transistors.  What is that?


That was also an idea of mine.  I realized that the current in the emitter came from the metalization on the structure.



Oral History – Jack Haenichen



The idea behind the STAR transistor (you’ll notice that it is tapered) is that it allows you to have a more compact geometry and not suffer any significant loss in power handling capability.  We employed this with the annular technology, but it was a stand-alone idea.           



12) As you know, it was the STAR technology, (defined as annular, epitaxial, planar transistors with the STAR geometry) that was announced by Motorola at the 1962 IRE Convention.  This technology, especially the 2N2222 transistor, has continued to be a major sales success, even today. 


That makes me proud.  Although the patents have long ago run out, everybody is still using that idea – it doesn’t cost anything to do.  Motorola was extremely kind to me about that idea.  I have the greatest respect for Motorola.  They treated me very, very fairly, with stock options and other “perks”. 






Go To Haenichen Oral History, Page 12

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