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October 2016 – How Semiconductors Have Shaped Today’s Technology

Published on: 06/10/2016

Discover the milestones achieved throughout the semiconductors industry in the last 115 years


Semiconductor devices form the backbone of industrial power control applications.

Solid state semiconductor technology has shaped our modern world to the point where even our everyday white goods and automobile products are now controlled through the switching and regulation of power devices.



The History of Semiconductors and the Iconic Milestones Over the Last 115 Years

1901: Jagadis Chandra Bose created a rectifier by utilising semiconductors that enabled him to detect radio waves.

1926: Julius Lillienfeld developed an amplification device that utilised semiconductors.

1931: Alan Wilson published a book, “The Theory of Electronic Semi-Conductors”. This book detailed the first explanation of semiconductor properties utilising the principles of quantum mechanics.

1947: Bell Labs invented the transistor in 1947, without knowing, this was the start of the Information Age.

1952: Bell Labs allowed licensing of the transistor technology which helped lead innovation and utilise semiconductors.

1961: Silicon transistors became famous for exceeding other semiconductor materials for speed.

1970: The first 8-bit transistor microprocessor was born and the doors of new technology were opening.

1980: Sophisticated manufacturing processes for semiconductor materials built the first ever 32-bit processor – a computer!

2000: By 2000, manufacturers were able to get over 500 million transistors onto a microprocessor.



Most electronic devices today require a semiconductor. Semiconductors are usually very small, complex components that are found in thousands of computerised products from small devices including: mobile phones, radios, clocks and CD players to large devices such as computers, microwaves, video games, fridges, ATM machines, trains and advanced medical machinery. All of these devices would not have been developed if semiconductors hadn’t been invented, they are the main reason why technology is able to evolve year after year.

In addition to these common components, GD Rectifiers stock heavy industrial power semiconductors used for motor drives, battery chargers and telecommunication applications.


GD Rectifiers designs and manufactures Selenium and Silicon Rectifiers, Suppressors, Converters, Inverters, Regulators and all other power products for Industrial power control applications. They also offer a repair and replacement service for faulty or ageing Semiconductor Rectifiers, Converters, Inverters and Regulators.

The company distributes state of the art Diodes, Thyristors, IGBTs and MOSFETs from the world’s leading manufacturers including: IXYS, IXYS UK Westcode, SEMIKRON and EDI.

GD Rectifiers manufacture an extensive range of power components and assemblies. The company also supplies a wide range of Heat Sinks suitable for Power Semiconductors, LED Lighting and similar applications.

Find out more about the latest GD Rectifiers product range here.

For further information on all semiconductor products please call our friendly sales team for a quote today on: 01444 243 452 or email your enquiry to:





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