Texas Instruments

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Fast facts on Texas Instruments
Founded: 1930 (as GSI), 1947 (as TI)
Headquarters: Dallas, Texas, United States

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


Texas Instruments was founded by Cecil H. Green, Erik Jonsson, Eugene McDermott and Henry Bates Peacock, 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. 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 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.



Notable TI Products

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