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The 2N3055: a case history

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2 Author(s)
Ellis, J.N. ; Zarlink Semiconductor, UK ; Osadchy, V.S.

The 2N3055 power transistor was introduced by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in the early 1960s. It was one of the first silicon power transistors, offered unrivalled second breakdown immunity and found many applications particularly in audio power amplifiers and linear power supplies. Other companies tried to copy it with varying degrees of success: one company acknowledges it now by naming a power MOSFET after it. We trace its history, manufacture and eventual decline against pressure from competing technologies. Modern simulation tools have been used to investigate the operation of the device which illustrate its good, and not so good, features. We also relate its geometry to a SPICE model. Neither of these tools would have been available to the original developers. We propose that this transistor be given a place in the archives of history, ranked alongside other famous devices of the 20th century such as the 300B tube

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Electron Devices, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 11 )