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TO-3 Case Style

Date Code 8 52 (1958 Week 52)

Early 1960s Motorola Automobile Radio

Uses 2N176 Audio Output Transistor

 

MOTOROLA

2N176

 

TYPE

Germanium PNP Alloy Junction

Power Transistor

 

USAGE

Automobile Radio Audio Output (2 Watts)

 

DATE INTRODUCED

1956

 

CASE STYLES

Gold Plated TO-3

 

AVAILABILITY

Common (High Volume Production)

HISTORIC NOTES

Motorola established a transistor research operation in Phoenix in 1949, only one year after the first public announcement of the transistor by Bell Labs.  At that time, Motorola was a major manufacturer of communications, military and consumer electronics, and the intent was to develop in-house expertise in this promising new technology.  Large scale transistor production began in 1956, when the 2N176 germanium power transistor was introduced.  By January 1957, over 1,000,000 of these devices had been manufactured by Motorola – this represented 50% of all power transistors that had been made by all other companies at that time.  The primary market for the 2N176 was in automobile radios. These first “transistor-powered” radios were really hybrid technology, meaning that both vacuum tubes and transistors were used.  Initial cost for the 2N176 was as much as $26 per unit, but Motorola’s high volume and manufacturing prowess dropped the cost to $2 each by 1960.  The huge sales success of the 2N176 established Motorola as a major semiconductor manufacturer, and this historic transistor was still in production well into the 1960s, when silicon technology began to supercede germanium for most applications.  As shown above, the 2N176 used the now standard TO-3 case style, pioneered by Motorola in 1955.    

 

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