The Texas Instruments Alumni Association celebrated the TI 75th anniversary at its sixth annual membership meeting May 25. A 75th anniversary banner and a TI history of innovation timeline set the theme for TIAA members who gathered in the Hall of State at Fair Park in Dallas.
TIAA elected officers and heard Phil Ritter tell about the anniversary commemoration and talk about TI innovation - past and present. Phil is TI senior vice president and manager of public affairs.
Officers elected are Ed Hassler, president; Francisco Escobar, executive vice president; Janelle Richards, secretary; and Ruth Lee, treasurer. They will take office July 1 and serve one-year terms. Ed and Ruth will serve a second term in their capacities. Jerry Brandenburg presented the nominating committee report, and the slate was elected by acclamation.
TIAA vice presidents, who serve by appointment, are: Dot Adler, communications; Jerry Brandenburg, activities; John Byers, membership and Webmaster; and Jerry Pierce, ongoing education.
Ed praised TIAA volunteers for their work, including the Retiree Advisory Council working on the TI 75th anniversary history project and the TI Health Benefits Interest Group.
Phil Ritter said he was happy to celebrate TI's impact on the world with members of TIAA. “You are the people who built TI,” he said. “We stand on your shoulders.” Retirees have been deeply involved in researching TI's history for the history book, the full page ads that ran in the Dallas Morning News in May and other celebration elements. “Thank you for helping TI tell the story,” he said.
Phil referred TIAA members which is rich with detail about the company's founding as a geophysical exploration contractor and the many markets TI has served through the decades. “I want you to know that the voices from our past still resonate throughout the halls of TI in the form of this company's legacy and culture,” Phil said. “We're lucky to have it.”
Phil recounted the changes in TI's business, starting in the oil patch in the 1930s, building on those skills to manufacture submarine detection systems in the 1940s, and evolving into a major player in the electronics industry. “TI's innovations along the way have had a tremendous impact on our world and the people in it,” he said.
The company was the first to produce commercial silicon transistors, which helped spark the Information Age. A few years later, the invention of the integrated circuit truly launched the modern electronics industry. TI created the world's first handheld electronic calculator, and today TI calculators are educational rites of passage for students around the world.
“We're proud of those accomplishments, but innovation is still alive and well at TI today,” Phil said. Recent examples include:
- The world's first single-chip cell phone, which ultimately could reduce the cost to build a basic cell phone to $40 or less;
- The world's first 1- gigahertz digital signal processor - a DSP that can process several billion operations per second;
- Digital Light Processing technology that can actually recreate 35 trillion different colors for movie theaters; and
- TI's OMAP 2 processors, which will bring extreme multimedia applications to cell phones.
During TI's history, the company has reinvented itself as the electronics industry has evolved. TI's recent focus on real-time signal processing puts TI in the driver's seat of a major shift occurring early in the 21st century - from the personal computer era driven by microprocessors to the digital communications and entertainment era utilizing real-time signal processing. The cell phone is the world's best-selling electronics device. TI believes wireless will become even more important as cell phones incorporate multimedia applications and become the world's primary means of Internet access. In entertainment, all content is going digital. Radio broadcasting is going digital, and a huge change is in the works as television moves from analog to the digital domain. Virtually all the communications and entertainment applications taking hold in the world are built around real-time signal processing. TI is the world's leading supplier of both DSPs and analog semiconductors.
Phil said TI sees outstanding opportunities to revolutionize many other aspects of daily life. Future real-time signal processing opportunities range from cars that run more efficiently to advanced medical equipment “that we can make portable and far more effective and affordable to the benefit of billions of people around the world.”