Mark really knew how to keep the
project money flowing, even though the Semiconductor Operation wasn’t
contributing any funds to TI at that early stage. The market in the
hearing aid business was not big enough to support the efforts necessary to
achieve Mr. Haggerty’s dream of volume semiconductor manufacturing and
The power consumption of vacuum
tubes relative to the transistor made the portable radio a natural target
for volume transistor applications. Our challenge was to develop devices
with enough frequency capability to address the AM radio broadcast band.
At that time we never dreamed that anyone could ever get to the FM band,
much less the TV band.
To obtain the necessary device
frequency performance for radio applications with grown junction
structures, it was necessary to produce very thin base layers in the grown
crystal. We did not have many options since the growth rate of the crystal
could not be adjusted very easily. The dopants for the base and for the
emitter of the transistor were added to the liquid germanium within a
fraction of a second of each other. I can still vividly remember Boyd and
I calling signals to each other on the timing of the dropping of the
charges. This was a two man operation, with one watching the crystal to
insure that the charge did not bounce out of the crucible, and the other
man releasing the charge.