World’s First Integrated-circuit Color Television

World's First Largely Integrated-circuit Color Television

A color TV incorporating the latest electronic technologies attracted attention by offering infrequent breakdowns, low energy consumption, and stable television images.

The integrated circuit (IC) was invented in 1959 by Texas Instruments’ Jack Kilby in the US. The key point in Kilby’s patent was the building of electronic components such as transistors, resistors, and condensers inside silicon crystals so that the crystal itself functioned as a circuit. At the root of this technology was the planar transistor developed by Fairchild Semiconductor of the US. The technological innovations that made this planar (flat) structure possible — silicon-oxide film molding and diffusion processing of impurities — enabled the development of the small, highspeed, highly reliable IC devices essential to today’s electronics.

This IC television did not use IC circuits entirely. Rather, it used both IC circuitry and transistors. The IC circuit was used for the tuner, output, power supply, horizontal oscillation, and amplifier, as well as most of the video amplifier components. All ICs used were bipolar semiconductors. Not only did this television use a large amount of IC technology, it also included a Brighton picture tube to ensure that the image on the CRT tube would not fade even under direct light, and a Uni-Auto system that made automatic fine-tuning possible using a single switch. In addition, the newly developed 2SC1172 transistor combined horizontal output and high-voltage generation.

Toshiba was quick to develop the first transistor television set built in Japan, which was completed in 1959. It also took the lead over its competitors in adopting IC technology to color televisions, starting with automatic fine-tuning (AFT) circuitry in 1969. This was followed by the development of audio and color signal demodulation circuitry, as Toshiba aggressively worked to apply IC technologies to the television. In 1971, it introduced the world’s first largely IC color television, the 20C60, which used 11 IC circuits.

Applying the strong points of IC technology made it possible to develop high-performance television circuitry that was not possible using previous individual components. In addition, it massively reduced the number of circuitry parts used, as well as the number of soldered points, thus improving reliability. The space required for circuitry was reduced, and printed-circuit boards were modularized by function, making it possible to attach them using connectors. Additionally, the use of a smaller chassis reduced the cabinet depth by 40 millimeters. This development also made it possible to reduce the labor required in assembly processes by standardizing circuitry between different television models and by reducing the need for manual assembly.

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