The Unbelievable Evolution of an Industry


Electronics permeate almost every aspect of our lives today. The coffee machine that woke you up with a perfect blend this morning. The smartphone that delivered today’s news, reminded you of that important meeting and then helped you to navigate your way there. The PC that forms the central hub of your daily work routine. The sensing and control systems in your car. The smart television that entertains you. The smartwatch that measures your sports performance and even the quality of your sleep. It’s hard to believe that the roots of this all-pervasive industry were formed just a little over one-hundred years ago. Let’s take a whistle-stop tour.

1869: Johann Hittorf and William Crookes investigate cathode rays.

1883: Thomas Edison observes conduction in a vacuum tube.

1897: Sir Joseph Thomson identifies the electron.

1904: John Ambrose Fleming invents the first vacuum diode.

1906: Lee de Forest invents the vacuum triode.

1912: Edwin Armstrong invents an oscillator circuit which is used in the first vacuum tube radio transmitters.

1929: Vladimir Zworykin invents the cathode ray picture tube enabling the development of television.

1947: William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain invent the solid state transistor.

1958: Jack Kilbey of Texas Instruments develops productionable integrated circuits.

1971: Marcian Edward Hoff develops the first single-chip computer.

1973: Robert Metcalfe develops Ethernet.

1973: Martin Cooper of Motorola makes the first ever mobile phone call.

1976: Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs launch the Apple 1 home computer.

1977: Corintech Ltd is established.

1981: IBM launches its first personal computer.

1989: Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web.

1997: Electronics companies agree to make WiFi a worldwide standard.

2007: Apple introduces the iPhone.

2009: Google builds a self-driving car.

We started working in the electronics industry over forty years ago and are continually amazed by the technology advancements, enabled by electronics, that we’ve seen in that time. We’ve moved from the first bulky personal computers to the multi-billion dollar smartphone industry. In 1977 we could hardly have imagined a world where people pocket a device enabling constant untethered communication and instant access to the vast breadth of human knowledge.

What will electronics enable in the next forty years? What will our designers and engineers develop? What will we be manufacturing? We’re seeing forecasts of growth in various sectors including advances with IoT connected devices and infrastructure, robotics, autonomous transportation and energy infrastructure to support electric vehicles. These visible advancements give us confidence for the future of our industry, but wouldn’t you like to know what’s over the horizon? What will we look back from in 2060 and say ‘we could hardly have imagined that’?

At Corintech we recognise that electronics underpins technology advancement in almost every sector. We love working with our customers to take ideas and turn them into reality. We love to design and we love to produce. We’re excited about the future.

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