On March 25, 1986, Texas Instruments registered the ti.com domain name, making it 14th .com domain ever to be registered.
Texas Instruments was founded by Cecil H. Green, J. Erik Jonsson, Eugene McDermott, and Patrick E. Haggerty in 1951. McDermott was one of the original founders of Geophysical Service Inc. (GSI) in 1930. McDermott, Green, and Jonsson were GSI employees who purchased the company in 1941. In November, 1945, Patrick Haggerty was hired as general manager of the Laboratory and Manufacturing (L&M) division, which focused on electronic equipment. By 1951, the L&M division, with its defense contracts, was growing faster than GSI’s Geophysical division. The company was reorganized and initially renamed General Instruments Inc. Because there already existed a firm named General Instrument, the company was renamed Texas Instruments that same year. From 1956 to 1961, Fred Agnich of Dallas, later a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives, was the Texas Instruments president. Geophysical Service, Inc. became a subsidiary of Texas Instruments. Early in 1988 most of GSI was sold to the Halliburton Company.
Geophysical Service Incorporated
In 1930, J. Clarence Karcher and Eugene McDermott founded Geophysical Service, an early provider of seismic exploration services to the petroleum industry. In 1939, the company reorganized as Coronado Corp., an oil company with Geophysical Service Inc (GSI), now as a subsidiary. On December 6, 1941, McDermott along with three other GSI employees, J. Erik Jonsson, Cecil H. Green, and H.B. Peacock purchased GSI. During World War II, GSI expanded their services to include electronics for the U.S. Army, Signal Corps, and the U.S. Navy. In 1951, the company changed its name to Texas Instruments, GSI becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of the new company. An early success story for TI-GSI came in 1965 when GSI was able (under a Top Secret government contract) to monitor the Soviet Union’s underground nuclear weapons testing under the ocean in Vela Uniform, a subset of Project Vela, to verify compliance of the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Texas Instruments also continued to manufacture equipment for use in the seismic industry, and GSI continued to provide seismic services. After selling (and repurchasing) GSI, TI finally sold the company to Halliburton in 1988, at which point GSI ceased to exist as a separate entity.
Texas Instruments entered the defense electronics market in 1942 with submarine detection equipment, based on the seismic exploration technology previously developed for the oil industry. The division responsible for these products was known at different points in time as the Laboratory & Manufacturing Division, the Apparatus Division, the Equipment Group and the Defense Systems & Electronics Group (DSEG). During the early 1980s, Texas Instruments instituted a quality program which included Juran training, as well as promoting statistical process control, Taguchi methods and Design for Six Sigma. In the late ’80s, the company, along with Eastman Kodak and Allied Signal, began involvement with Motorola institutionalizing Motorola’s Six Sigma methodology. Motorola, who originally developed the Six Sigma methodology, began this work in 1982. In 1992, the DSEG division of Texas Instruments’ quality improvement efforts were rewarded by winning the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for manufacturing.
The following are some of the major programs of the former TI defense group.
Infrared and radar systems
TI developed the AAA-4 infra-red search and track (IRST) in the late 50’s and early 60’s for the F-4B Phantom for passive scanning of jet engine emissions but possessed limited capabilities and was eliminated on F-4D’s and later models. In 1956, TI began research on infrared technology that led to several line scanner contracts and with the addition of a second scan mirror the invention of the first forward looking infrared (FLIR) in 1963 with production beginning in 1966. In 1972 TI invented the Common Module FLIR concept, greatly reducing cost and allowing reuse of common components. TI went on to produce side-looking radar systems, the first terrain following radar and surveillance radar systems for both the military and FAA. TI demonstrated the first solid-state radar called Molecular Electronics for Radar Applications (MERA). In 1976 TI developed a microwave landing system prototype. In 1984 TI developed the first inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR). The first single-chip gallium arsenide radar module was developed. In 1991 the Military Microwave Integrated Circuit (MIMIC) program was initiated – a joint effort with Raytheon.
Missiles and laser-guided bombs
In 1961, TI won the guidance and control system contract for the defense suppression AGM-45 Shrike anti-radiation missile. This led later to the prime on the High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (AGM-88 HARM) development contract in 1974 and production in 1981. In 1964, TI began development of the first laser guidance system for precision-guided munitions (PGM) leading to the Paveway series of laser-guided bombs (LGBs). The first LGB was the BOLT-117. In 1969, TI won the Harpoon (missile) Seeker contract. In 1986 TI won the Army FGM-148 Javelin fire-and-forget man portable anti-tank guided missile in a joint venture with Martin Marietta. In 1991 TI was awarded the contract for the AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW).
Because of TI’s research and development of military temperature range silicon transistors and integrated circuits (ICs), TI won contracts for the first IC-based computer for the U.S. Air Force in 1961 and for ICs for the Minuteman Missile the following year. In 1968, TI developed the data systems for Mariner Program. In 1991 TI won the F-22 Radar and Computer development contract.
Divestiture to Raytheon
As the defense industry consolidated, TI sold its defense business to Raytheon in 1997 for $2.95 billion. The Department of Justice required that Raytheon divest the TI Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC) operations after closing the transaction. The TI MMIC business accounted for less than $40 million in 1996 revenues, or roughly two percent of the $1.8 billion in total TI defense revenues was sold to TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. Raytheon retained its own existing MMIC capabilities and has the right to license TI’s MMIC technology for use in future product applications from TriQuint. Shortly after Raytheon acquired TI DSEG, Raytheon then acquired Hughes Aircraft from General Motors. Raytheon then owned TI’s mercury cadmium telluride detector business and Infrared (IR) systems group. In California, it also had Hughes infrared detector and an IR systems business. When again the US government forced Raytheon to divest itself of a duplicate capability, the company kept the TI IR systems business and the Hughes detector business. As a result of these acquisitions these former arch rivals of TI systems and Hughes detectors work together. Immediately after acquisition, DSEG was known as Raytheon TI Systems (RTIS). It is now fully integrated into Raytheon and this designation no longer exists.
In early 1952, Texas Instruments purchased a patent license to produce germanium transistors from Western Electric Co., the manufacturing arm of AT&T, for $25,000, beginning production by the end of the year. On January 1, 1953, Haggerty brought Gordon Teal to the company as a research director. Gordon brought with him his expertise in growing semiconductor crystals. Teal’s first assignment was to organize what became TI’s Central Research Laboratories (CRL), which Teal based on his prior experience at Bell Labs. Among his new hires was Willis Adcock who joined TI early in 1953. Adcock, who like Teal was a physical chemist, began leading a small research group focused on the task of fabricating “grown-junction silicon single-crystal small-signal transistors. Adcock later became the first TI Principal Fellow.
First silicon transistor and integrated circuits
On January 26, 1954, M Tanenbaum et al. at Bell Labs created the first workable silicon transistor. This work was reported in the spring of 1954 at the IRE off-the-record conference on Solid State Devices and later published in the Journal of Applied Physics, 26, 686–691(1955). Working independently in April 1954, Gordon Teal at TI created the first commercial silicon transistor and tested it on April 14, 1954. On May 10, 1954 at the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) National Conference on Airborne Electronics, in Dayton, Ohio. Teal also presented a paper, “Some Recent Developments in Silicon and Germanium Materials and Devices,” at this conference.
In 1954, Texas Instruments designed and manufactured the first transistor radio. The Regency TR-1 used germanium transistors, as silicon transistors were much more expensive at the time. This was an effort by Haggerty to increase market demand for transistors. Jack Kilby, an employee at TI’s Central Research Labs, invented the integrated circuit in 1958. Kilby recorded his initial ideas concerning the integrated circuit in July 1958 and successfully demonstrated the world’s first working integrated circuit on September 12, 1958. Six months later Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor (who went on to co-found Intel) independently developed the integrated circuit with integrated interconnect, and is also considered an inventor of the integrated circuit. In 1969, Kilby was awarded the National Medal of Science, and in 1982 he was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame. Kilby also won the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physics for his part of the invention of the integrated circuit. Noyce’s chip, made at Fairchild, was made of silicon, while Kilby’s chip was made of germanium. In 2008, TI named its new development laboratory “Kilby Labs” after Jack Kilby. In 2011, Intel, Samsung, LG, ST-Ericsson, Huawei’s HiSilicon Technologies subsidiary, Via Telecom and three other undisclosed chipmakers licensed the C2C link specification developed by Arteris Inc. and Texas Instruments.