Western Electric 2N559  
Written by Accutron on 2010-02-10  

The Western Electric 2N559 diffused-junction germanium PNP transistor is perhaps the first military-rated computer transistor. Released in 1957, the 2N559 is a rugged, highly reliable, high speed switching transistor, capable of operation in excess of 400MHz. The 2N559 features a diffused-junction mesa construction, is highly miniaturized, and is a distinctly mature device for its time.

The 2N559's numerous high-performance features, as well as Western Electric's ability to produce them in large quantities, resulted in their use in the Remington Rand UNIVAC Target Intercept Computer (TIC), whose logic circuitry employed 20,000 2N559 transistors.

Mechanization of Semiconductor Devices: 2N559 & 2N1094 - Quarterly Progress Report 17 (PDF)
Mechanization of Semiconductor Devices: 2N559 & 2N1094 - Quarterly Progress Report 22 (PDF)
Obsolete Lower Power & Switching Transistors Datasheet (PDF)


Western Electric 2N559 germanium junction transistor.


Western Electric 2N559 keychain, manufactured at the Laureldale plant in 1962.


Western Electric 2N559-style transistor, part number unknown.

This article is part of the [Discrete Semiconductors] exhibit.

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