Historic Transistor Photo
Shockley Semiconductor Labs (later known as Shockley Transistor Corporation) was established in the mid 1950s by William Shockley after he left Bell Labs, and is often cited as the first Silicon Valley semiconductor “hi tech” company. Although STC was not profitable, the R&D organization initially developed by Shockley was staffed with highly talented scientists and engineers, all of whom were key contributors in later semiconductor ventures which were very successful, such as Fairchild and Intel. The primary STC product was the four layer diode, sometimes referred to as the “Shockley diode”. This PNPN device was developed by Shockley as a potential replacement for the billions of mechanical cross-point switches used by the telephone equipment of the time. Although the Shockley diode proved difficult to manufacture, and high production volume was never reached, samples of the product were manufactured by STC, and later by Clevite, a established semiconductor company that bought STC in 1960. Prices for the low current devices, such as the 4E30 shown above, were approximately $8 each in the 1959 STC price list. Higher power types, such as the 4G200 metal stud case device, sold for $40.
© 2004-2005 by Jack Ward