Vishay - 50-Year Timeline


1962: Siliconix is founded

The same year that Vishay is founded and opens for business in Malvern, Pennsylvania, Siliconix is founded and opens for business in Sunnyvale, California. The founders are Frances and Bill Hugle, research scientists at a Westinghouse semiconductor facility. The Electronic Engineering Company of California and the Baldwin Piano Company (one of the first companies to license Western Electric's transistor technology) are the initial investors. The first products manufactured by Siliconix are junction field-effect transistors (JFETs), devices used to switch and sense analog signals.

1963: Siliconix introduces its first integrated circuit (IC) product

The first Siliconix IC is a diode-transistor-logic (DTL) device.

1967: Siliconix introduces analog switches

Siliconix is the first company to produce and market analog switches, components that behave like a relay, but have no moving parts. The switching element is normally a MOSFET. Today, applications for analog switches include USB, audio, medical and healthcare, and portable meters.

1968: Siliconix introduces multiplexers

Siliconix is the first company to produce and market analog multiplexers. These components convert multiple inputs to a single output. They make it possible for several signals to share one device or resource. Today, applications include medical and healthcare, instrumentation, and automatic test equipment (ATE).

1969: Siliconix moves to its present location in Santa Clara, California

The current facility is located just off Highway 101 in the heart of Silicon Valley. Today, neighbors include Intel, Nvidia, Yahoo, McAfee, and Cisco.

1975: Siliconix introduces the first commercially viable power MOSFET

Metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) function as solid-state switches to control power. As an example of usage in current end products, they turn off specific functions of notebook computers and mobile phones when these functions are not in use, thereby extending battery life. They also help convert power into levels required by other components. Today, Vishay Intertechnology offers low- and high-voltage Vishay Siliconix TrenchFET® and planar MOSFETs in innovative package formats to switch and manage power very efficiently. Vishay Siliconix MOSFET innovations have included the first power MOSFETs offered in small-outline, surface-mount packages (LITTLE FOOT®), new package options for better thermal performance (PowerPAK®) and smaller footprints (ChipFET®, MICRO FOOT®). Recent innovations include PolarPAK®, which uses double-sided cooling to create a more efficient, faster switching MOSFET; the PowerPAIR™ package, which combines a low-side and high-side MOSFET in one compact device; the SkyFET®, which combines a MOSFET and Schottky diode; and TrenchFET Gen III p-channel technology, which packs a billion transistor cells into each square inch of silicon.

1982: Siliconix introduces the industry's first power integrated circuits

Power integrated circuits (ICs) combine the functions of multiple semiconductors and passive components on a single chip. Today, Vishay Siliconix IC products are focused on analog signal switching and routing, power conversion, and power management. They are used in end products such as tablet, netbook, notebook, and desktop computers; mobile phones; and fixed telecommunications systems.

1991: Siliconix introduces LITTLE FOOT®

LITTLE FOOT, a trade name for power MOSFETs in small-outline packages, saves space in portable designs compared to through-hole MOSFETs.

1993: Siliconix introduces industry-first power MOSFETs based on Trench technology

Trench technology allows a smaller area of silicon to efficiently handle a larger amount of current. A patent is subsequently awarded in 1996. The first TrenchFET® MOSFETs had 8 million transistor cells per square inch. Each new generation of these components has raised the density level, which is currently a billion cells per square inch.

1998: Vishay acquires Semiconductor Business Group of TEMIC

This acquisition of Telefunken (Germany) and an 80.4% interest in Siliconix (U.S.) gives Vishay a significant presence in the discrete semiconductor market. It adds new products to the Vishay portfolio, including MOSFETs, diodes, optoelectronic components, and power and analog switching integrated circuits.

2005: Vishay acquires remaining 19.6% interest in Siliconix

With this move, Siliconix becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Vishay.

Top to bottom: The Vishay Siliconix facility in Santa
Clara, California; an illustration of the Vishay Siliconix
PolarPAK® package with double-sided cooling to
dissipate heat more efficiently; the cover of a 1983
Siliconix product catalog.