The Fairchild 2N1613 - The First Planar Transistor


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About this Artwork

This artwork is a mixed media display celebrating the first planar transistor. The planar transistor is not a type of transistor in terms of function but refers to the manufacturing process. At Fairchild Semiconductor, Jean Hoerni invented the planar transistor in 1959. The Fairchild 2N1613 planar junction transistor was introduced in 1960. Prior to the planar transistor, transistors were created in crystal formations that were somewhat three-dimensional. The planar transistor was created in a more two-dimensional, or planar, fashion that was easier to manufacture and had a much longer lifetime. The transistor was built with layers of doped silicon and aluminum. Layers of silicon dioxide were used as insulators and guides for etching. The invention of the planar transistor was the quantum jump in technology needed to create the silicon integrated circuit. It was a natural extension when Robert Noyce used Hoerni's method to connect multiple transistors together to create an integrated circuit on a single piece of silicon. Planar technology can be used to implement most types of transistors, including Bipolar and MOSFET.

This artwork includes 3 major items. It has an image of the internals (inside the can) of the transistor. On the back are the artist’s signature and a narrative describing the artwork and the Bipolar Junction Transistor. Also, the artwork includes a Fairchild 2N1613 Transistor.

This particular 2N1613 was developed for the military and bears the JAN (Joint Army-Navy specification) marking. The 2N1613 was specifically developed as a high-speed switch. Later planar transistors would be developed for other applications; the geometry of the transistor dictated its electrical and switching characteristics. The 2N1613 is designed as concentric circles in a teardrop shape.


    The artwork is framed in an 11"x14" black shadow box frame, with glass. All framing materials are acid-free. A narrative about the artwork that includes the artist’s signature is placed on the back of the artwork.

    Please note:  The look of the artifacts in the artworks may vary, each piece is unique. The game title in the photographs is on the one you will receive.