Texas Instruments

Template:Infobox Company

Texas Instruments Template:Nyse, better known in the electronics industry as TI, is a company based in Dallas, Texas, renowned for developing and commercializing semiconductor and computer technology.


History of Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments was founded by Cecil H. Green, J. Erik Jonsson, Eugene McDermott and Patrick E. Haggerty, three of whom would live to see their ninetieth birthdays. On December 6, 1941, the four men purchased Geophysical Service Incorporated (GSI), a pioneering provider of seismic exploration services to the petroleum industry. During World War II, GSI built electronics for the U.S. Army Signal Corps and the U.S. Navy. After the war, GSI continued to produce electronics, and in 1951 the company changed its name to Texas Instruments; GSI became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the new company. An early success story for TI-GSI came in the 1950's when GSI was able (under a Top Secret government contract) to monitor the Soviet Union's underground nuclear weapons testing from outcrop bedrock found in Oklahoma. It is said that the US government knew the results of underground testing days before the Soviet Union could figure thier own test results. In 1954, TI designed the first transistor radio. Also in the 1950s, the integrated circuit was developed independently by Jack Kilby of TI and Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor. Kilby's patent for a "solid circuit" was filed in 1958. The 7400 series of transistor-transistor logic (TTL) chips, developed by TI in the 1960s, popularized the use of integrated circuits in computer logic, and is in widespread use to this day. TI also invented the hand-held calculator in 1967, the single-chip microcomputer in 1971 and was assigned the first patent on a single-chip microprocessor (invented by Gary Boone) in 1973. (Note: TI is usually given credit with Intel for the almost-simultaneous invention of the microprocessor.)

TI 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.

TI had two interesting problems with engineering and product developement after the introduction of the semiconductor and the microprocessor. 1) Most of the chemicals, machinery and technologies needed to create semiconductors did not exist so TI had to "Invent" these. 2) The market was small for TI electronic components in the early days so TI had to "Invent" uses. For example, TI created the first wall mounted, computer controlled, home set-back thermostat in the late '70s but nobody would buy it mostly because of its cost. TI started an Industrial Controls division which built automated process control computers used in the paint and soup industry and was very successful. This business was eventually sold to Siemens AG. TI turned to military and government uses and had many electro-mechnical devices used in the Apollo rocket and Moon Lander.

TI continued to be active in the consumer electronics market through the 1970s and 1980s. In 1978, Texas Instruments introduced the first single chip speech synthesizer and incorporated it in a product called the Speak & Spell, which was later immortalized in the movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Several spinoffs, such as the Speak & Read and Speak & Math, were introduced soon thereafter. In June 1979, they entered into the home computer market with the TI99/4, a competitor to such computers as the TRS-80 and the later Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore 64.

TI Today

Today, TI has four major lines of businesses: Semiconductors, DLP Products, Sensors & Controls, and Educational & Productivity Solutions.


Semiconductor products account for approximately 85 percent of TI's revenues. TI has a market leading position in many different product areas, including digital signal processors, high speed digital-to-analog and anlog-to-digital converters, power management solutions, and high performance analog circuits. Wireless communications has been a primary focus for TI, with around 50 percent of all cellular phones sold world-wide containing TI chips. TI also manufactures other semiconductor products, ranging from application-specific integrated circuits to microcontrollers.

There is a division inside of TI Semiconductors, called Application Specific Products (ASP), which develops specific products that cater to a broad range of DSP applications such as Digital Still Camera, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Modems, Cable Modems, Voice over IP (VOIP), Streaming Media, Speech Compression and Recognition, Wireless LAN and Residential Gateway products, RFID, etc.

DLP Products

TI is the sole source for Digital Light Processing (DLP) micro mirror components, a technology used in video projectors and televisions.

Sensors & Controls

Texas Instruments is an major OEM of sensor, control, protection, and RFID products for businesses.

Educational & Productivity Solutions

Texas Instruments is also notable for its calculator range, the TI-30 being one of the most popular early calculators. TI has also developed a line of graphing calculators, the first being the TI-81, and most popular being the TI-83+. TI is often seen as the competitor to Hewlett Packard in this regard, with fierce loyalties often arising.

TI Calculator Community

In the late '90s, with the advent of TI's graphing calculator series, programming became popular among some students. The TI-8x series of calculators (beginning with the TI-81) came with a built-in BASIC interpreter, through which simple programs could be created. The TI-85 was the first TI calculator to allow assembly programming (via a shell called "ZShell"), and the TI-83 was the first in the series to achieve native assembly. While the earlier BASIC programs were relatively simple applications or small games, the modern assembly-based programs rival what one might find on a Game Boy or PDA.

Around the same time that these programs were first being written, personal webpages (example) (http://www.angelfire.com/mi/TI83PAGEMASTER) were becoming popular (through services such as Angelfire and Geocities), and programmers began creating websites to host their work, along with tutorials and other calculator-relevant information. This led to "web rings", groups of calculator-related websites that linked to each other, and eventually a few large communities, including the (now defunct) TI-Files, and (the still relevant) ticalc.org (http://www.ticalc.org). Ticalc.org is now the authoritative source for programming for TI-calculators, and at the site, one can find thousands of applications (including games, educational programs, and even simple operating environments), programming tutorials, calculator news, and discussion forums, among other things.

TI Graphing Calculators fall into two distinct groups. The "Z80" and the "68K" each named for the processor family that powers them. Although a derivative of the Z80 was in the original Game Boy, the Motorola 68000 (or 68K for short) is far more powerful, and therefore the better suited processor intensive applications, such as gaming. The 68K calculators, which include the TI-92, TI-92+, TI-89, TI-V200, and most recently the TI-89Ti (or titanium), are generally thought of more highly among TI community members than the Z80s. However, the newest of the z80s, the TI-84+ and TI-84+SE, are becoming very popular with students new to the product line.


Texas Instruments was named one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers in 2004 by Working Mothers magazine.

See also

External links

it:Texas Instruments Incorporated fi:Texas Instruments fr:Texas Instruments pl:Texas Instruments ja:テキサス・インスツルメンツ zh:德州仪器


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