Texas Instruments SN514 Integrated Circuit  
Written by AnubisTTP on 2008-11-16  


TI's SN51x series of RCTL logic chips, released in 1961, is widely recognized to be the world's first commercially available line of integrated circuits. 'SN' stands for 'Semiconductor Network', TI's nod towards the then-radical idea of combining multiple solid state devices into a single package. The SN51x series chips were manufactured from multiple transistor and diode dies, which were hand-wired together with thread-like interconnect leads inside the package. Constructing chips in this manner was both labor-intensive and expensive: early SN51x series chips sold for over $400 when first released.

These early ICs were primarily targeted towards the military and aerospace industry, and the SN514 (along with the SN510) were the first integrated circuits to orbit the earth. The earliest SN51x series chips were packaged in gold plated flat-packs. This example, a SN514 NOR/NAND gate made in November 1962, abandons the military gold package in favor of a more primitive looking 'block of carbon'-style enclosure.


Texas Instruments SN514 NOR/NAND gate, date code 1962.

This variant of the SN514 comes in a perspex box instead of the plastic carrier used for most TI flat-packs.

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