The company was founded in 1941 as the electronics manufacturing division of the seismic exploration company Geophysical Service Incorporated (GSI). Benefiting from government contracts for submarine detection during World War II, the electronic equipment division outgrew its parent and performed a reverse take-over of GSI in 1951, whereupon it adopted the name of Texas Instruments and GSI became its subsidiary.
TI was the first company to commercialize the transistor which had been developed at Bell Laboratories. In 1954 TI designed the first transistor radio and in 1958 filed a patent for the first integrated circuit.
TI invented the hand-held calculator in 1967, the single-chip microcomputer in 1971, and in 1973 obtained the first patent on a single-chip microprocessor. As a pioneering company TI frequently had to develop products that made use of its electronics. Unfortunately, competitors often fared better in marketing consumer products and in the 1990s TI largely withdrew from the consumer electronics market with the notable exception of its hand-held calculator business.
Until GSI was sold to Halliburton in 1988, TI continued to manufacture geophysical equipment. TI's main focus is on semiconductor manufacturing and is a major player in making chips for Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and Digital Light Processors (micro-mirrors on a chip for projectors and televisions).
Notes & References
- It ranks third in the world behind Intel and Samsung and ahead of Toshiba (http://www.allbusiness.com/electronics/computer-electronics-manufacturing/11604659-1.html).