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On 26 January 1954 Morris Tanenbaum of Bell Labs first achieved amplification in an NPN silicon transistor; this may have been the first silicon transistor ever fabricated, but Bell Labs kept the achievement secret and decided not to patent it. This first type of transistor is known as a Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT), and required a DC bias arrangement to make it operate. This was an added complexity over equivalent vacuum tube circuits of that era.
Later the Field Effect Transistor (FET) was invented, which had almost the same DC circuit properties as a vacuum tube, and there were indeed some high voltage FET's produced as direct replacements for vacuum tubes (Triodes).
The development of the transistor variants progressed along two paths:
- Power Devices
The types of transistor in this category were around applications for power circuits, motor controls, electrical distribution, heating and switching. They include:
- High Frequency Devices
The types of transistor in this category were around applications low noise receivers, high power RF tranmistters, Cellular Networks, Broadcasting. They include:
- GaAs FET