Phiilips was founded in 1891 by Gerard Philips in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Early on its products included incandescent bulbs which led it to begin producing vacuum tubes initially under contract in 1917 and then in its own name from 1919. [Tyne 1977] The company quickly became a major European tube and radio receiver manufacturer. Later it branched out into consumer electrical and electronic products.
From 1914 its research and development was carried out at the Eindhoven Natuurkundig Laboratorium usually abbreviated to Natlab. This is where the history of Philips’ semiconductor developments begins.
In the 1950s Natlab was comprised of three sections each with a Director:
Physics (vacuum tubes and microscopy) directed by Casimir
Chemistry (materials, semiconductors and transistors) directed by E Verweij
Engineering (applications) directed by Rinia
Philips had formed a dedicated solid state physics group within NatLab in the 1930s. It worked on the known semiconductors of the time: copper oxide and selenium and developed a selenium diode that went into production at the Electron Tubes product division. But it had no success with its research in solid state amplifiers and field effect devices. However, this group provided an important platform and the focus as Philips positioned itself for the semiconductor era.
Bell Laboratories announced its point-contact transistor in June 1948: “An amazingly simple device, capable of performing efficiently nearly all the functions of an ordinary vacuum tube, was demonstrated for the first time yesterday at Bell Telephone Laboratories where it was invented.” The press release was coupled with three short papers by Bardeen, Brattain, Shockley and Pearson in the letters to the Physical Review for June 1948 of which the first of these set out in the briefest terms the geometry, performance and theory of the device. [Bardeen 1948]
As 2022 starts, let’s take some time to share our goals for CircuitPython in 2022. Just like past years (full summary 2019, 2020, and 2021), we’d like everyone in the CircuitPython community to contribute by posting their thoughts to some public place on the Internet. Here are a few ways to post: a video on YouTub, a post on the CircuitPython forum, a blog post on your site, a series of Tweets, a Gist on GitHub. We want to hear from you. When you post, please add #CircuitPython2022 and email email@example.com to let us know about your post so we can blog it up here.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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