555 timerThe cornerstone of many electronics designs is featured here – the magnificent 555 timer. From Wikipedia:

The IC design was proposed in 1970 by Hans R. Camenzind and Jim Ball. After prototyping, the design was ported to the Monochip analogue array, incorporating detailed design by Wayne Foletta and others from Qualidyne Semiconductors. Signetics (later acquired by Philips) took over the design and production, and released the first 555s in 1971. The full part numbers were NE555 (commercial temperature range, 0 °C to +70 °C) and SE555 (military temperature range, −55 °C to +125 °C). As with most parts of the era, these were available in both high-reliability metal can (T package) and inexpensive epoxy plastic (V package) packages. Thus the full part numbers were NE555V, NE555T, SE555V, and SE555T. It has been hypothesized that the 555 got its name from the three 5 kΩ resistors used within, but Hans Camenzind has stated that the number was arbitrary. Actually, it just happened to be in Signetics’ 5xx linear devices family. The part is still in widespread use, thanks to its ease of use, low price and good stability. As of 2003, it is estimated that 1 billion units are manufactured every year.

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About ohmart

A cartoonist, tinkerer, electronic-er, designer. And left-handed. Right on.

One response »

  1. Jeroen waning says:

    The 555 timer is definitely a fundamental ic to many electronics. I have used it in some of my projects including inverters, counters, timers, and automation circuits. It is great for pulse-width modulation. Thanks for getting the word out!

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