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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Why "Q" for Transistors?

Steve Silverman provides a possible answer:

"There are claims that, after initial chaos, eventually the letter Q was chosen because of the popular TO18/TO39 case styles."

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  1. I never knew that, that is very interesting, I will have to bring it up in my next class with my students.

  2. Just because someone says it's true doesn't make it true.

    Early transistors had different packages, I once did have a CK722. So one has to look and see if there was a change to "Q" after that style of case arrived.

    One could go back and see at what point "Q" came into being. "TR" wasn't uncommon at some point, but without looking, I have no idea when that started, and when it ended. "T" has also been used, I think. Digging woudl probably turn up some others.

    Even if "Q" came after that style of package arrived, there might be other some other reasoning. Early naming probably was off the cuff, later someone might have tried to impose a more logical symbol.



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