EARLY TRANSISTOR HISTORY AT

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS 

Mary Anne Potter

 

Oral History – Mary Anne Potter

(Continued)

 

production people during shift change and report to the rest of the engineers and the task force leader at about 8. By about 10 AM, I'd go to my apartment, take a short swim, and sleep till about 1. I'd be back at work by 2:30 PM for the 1st shift to 2nd shift transition and would work with the QC inspector on 1st shift's work until about 8 PM. Then I'd go to the nurse's station, just below the production area, and nap till about 10:30 PM, get up for the shift change meetings and the early part of 3rd shift, go downstairs and nap, to be back for the shift change meeting and then the engineering meeting. Frequently I'd be called from my naps in the health center to go upstairs to look at anomalies or to resolve process related questions. This schedule lasted several months.

 

 My understanding of the processes, the problems, and the use of problem solving techniques involving inputs from the people who were directly involved significantly influenced the way in which I successfully managed efforts for the rest of my career.

 

 

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Oral History – Mary Anne Potter

(Continued)

 

Technical Observations Regarding the Manufacture of Early TI

 Integrated Circuits.

 

Sometimes I now inter-mix the TI language and the west coast IC language because I worked both places. As I recall, however, at TI the silicon substrates that were used as the semiconductor starting point were called slices even when they were completely through all the processing steps. On the west coast they were called “wafers.” The production areas where all processing took place prior to the IC’s being separated into individual units were called “front ends” at TI. They were called “wafer fabs” on the west coast. The first slices I worked with at TI were ¾ inch in diameter. Today 8-inch is very common and 12-inch is in some production areas. For the quadruple-diffused Minuteman designs, there were four separate deposition/diffusion processes to dope the silicon in such a way that both NPN and PNP transistors were formed along with various types of capacitors, resistors, and diodes. This required an intricate set of steps going back and forth from the diffusion area to the photoresist area and finally to the metalization area back to the photoresist area. It also required achieving more precise doping levels than the processes were capable of delivering routinely. When I first started, the initial  oxidation was done in an oxygen-rich environment where steam was introduced from boiling water in quartz  bubblers.

 

  Potter Oral History, Page 5

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