Bob Widlar designed the first commercial bandgap voltage reference and introduced it with an elaborate ruse in 1969. But the National Semiconductor LM109 was more than a simple reference, it was a feature-packed integrated circuit that jump-started the category of three-terminal voltage regulators. Over the next few years, the LM109 was followed up by the National LM113 current shunt, the LM199 temperature-controlled buried zener, and ground-breaking products from Analog Devices, Precision Monolithics, Linear Technology, and others. This talk discusses the history and design of voltage regulators, references, and current sources from the 1960s to present day.
Kent H. Lundberg is Visiting Professor of Engineering at Olin College, where he teaches courses in controls, circuits, instrumentation, prototyping, and electronic music. In Spring 2014, he was Consulting Associate Professor at Stanford University, where he taught a new graduate laboratory subject in analog systems design. Also, he was recently Senior Lecturer at M.I.T., teaching circuits and feedback systems in 2013 and early 2014.
Dr. Lundberg attended M.I.T., eventually earning a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 2002. Then, unable to escape the gravity well, he taught there for a while before finally leaving and starting a consulting practice. He was Associate Editor for History of IEEE Control Systems Magazine for eight years. Lately, he has been writing the "Reading Jim Williams" blog. He is a registered Professional Engineer. He owns 58 vintage Tektronix oscilloscopes, and he obsessive-compulsively collects analog synthesizers, technology artifacts, and classic textbooks on radar, nuclear energy, analog computing, and control.