EARLY SEMICONDUCTOR DEVELOPMENT AT SHOCKLEY TRANSISTOR CORPORATION 

Gene Weckler

 

Oral History – Gene Weckler

(Continued)

 

I made all kinds of different product application demos for various shows like WESCON and IEEE.  Most of these were laid out on Plexiglas, so the 4-layer diode was the visible part of the circuit, and the demo would flash lights or generate sounds, noise.  (very dynamic).  I have a picture of a one-megawatt pulse generator, that was made for the 1961 IEEE in New York.   It was the first time that anyone purposely switched a megawatt with solid state switches. They made me turn it off at the convention because it was wiping out everyone’s instrumentation.

 

This must have been a very interesting job – working on new applications for the Shockley diode.

I had good guidance.  At the time Jim Gibbons was a consultant to Shockley Transistor.  He and I would sit down every Tuesday and Thursday mornings with a stack on inquiries,  write replies to the easy questions and set up experiments to develop answers for the more difficult ones.   I would then design and build the circuits, take data and the next time Jim and I got together we’d write up the answers to those questions.  We just had an absolute ball there for a couple of years trying out new circuit ideas and generating application notes.   

 

 

Go To Weckler Oral History, Page 4

 

 

Oral History – Gene Weckler (Continued)

 

 

 

 

The top photo is a section of the cover of the Jan/Feb 1953 Semiconductor Products magazine, which featured an article by William Shockley and Jim Gibbons entitled,  “Introduction to the 4-Layer Diode”. The metal case style shown represents the first Shockley Transistor Corporation commercial case style and was used in all the initial low power 4-layer diodes, such as the 4N20, 30, 40 and 50 series.  The lower photo was provided by Gene Weckler and shows an example of the high voltage, high power 4-layer diodes.  This unit is designated as 4G200, and was designed to operate at 200V in applications such as pulse modulators.

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