EARLY TRANSISTOR HISTORY AT RCA

H. C. Lin

 

Biographic Note

Dr. Hung Chang Lin has been associated with the semiconductor field for over 50 years, beginning in 1950 with his pioneering  work at the RCA ISL labs with early transistor circuitry. He holds a BS EE from Chiaotung University (1941), an MSEE from the University of Michigan (1948) and a PhD from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (1956).  Dr. Lin is the holder of 57 U.S. patents, and is the author/co-author of 170 technical papers and several respected texts on semiconductors, including “Integrated Electronics,” (Holden Day, 1967), “Selected Semiconductor Circuits Handbook,” (Wiley and Sons, 1960), and “Semiconductor Electronics Education Committee Notes 1,” (Wiley and Sons, 1963).  In the 1950s and 1960s, he worked at several key semiconductor companies, including RCA, CBS/Hytron and Westinghouse.  He was elected an IEEE Fellow “for contributions to semiconductor electronics and circuits and pioneering of integrated circuits”, and served as Chairman of its Linear Integrated Circuits Task Group and was the Associate Editor of the Journal of Solid State Circuits.   He was the recipient of the 1978 J. J. Ebers Award of the IEEE Electron Devices Society.  Since 1969, Dr. Lin has been a Professor at the University of Maryland and is currently Professor Emeritus. 

 

 

Lin Historic Audio Recordings

 

 

 

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Oral History – H. C. Lin

 

This Oral History was taken in the Fall of 2003 and highlights Dr. Lin’s contributions to early germanium transistor circuitry in the 1950s and early IC work in the 1960s. 

 

I think you started in the semiconductor field with RCA.  Is that right?

I started with RCA in 1948.  Bell Labs had just invented the transistor, and RCA tried early to catch up. When I first started, I joined them in their patent department. They had a vacancy there, so when I finished at the University of Michigan, I took the job.  I worked in the RCA patent department for two years before I got into transistors, from 1948 to 1950.

 

 

In the early 1950s, RCA was second only to Bell Labs/Western Electric in the number of transistor related patents.   

Well, that was the golden age of RCA. They had so many patents, that just from the royalties on these patents, they could support that whole lab.  After working in the RCA patent office, I then worked for the RCA ISL (Industry Service Laboratories) group. Originally RCA had been formed by Westinghouse and GE, to pull all their patents together, and the ISL had been formed to teach people how to use the patents.  This work involved writing reports or visiting the licensees to pass out patent information.

 

 

 

Go To Lin Oral History, Page 2

 

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