Much of the historical research on the development of the semiconductor industry has focused on the USA. However, semiconductor research was also well established in Europe and elsewhere, and companies outside the USA made many early types of integrated circuit. This page concentrates on those made in the UK. Information is scarce about this period, when in fact the UK semiconductor industry was already struggling.

The big three of UK transistor manufacture were Mullard (part of Philips), the General Electric Company of England (GEC, no connection with General Electric in the USA), and Standard Telephones and Cables (STC, owned at the time by ITT). Of these only Mullard was destined to become a significant manufacturer of integrated circuits, but other UK companies did, specifically Ferranti and Plessey.

Most of the material below is derived from the book 'ANGLO-AMERICAN MICROELECTRONICS DATA 1968-69' edited by Dummer and Mackenzie Robertson. This used to be downloadable from the Web in two volumes: 'Manufacturers A-P' and 'Manufacturers R-Z'. It has chapters for the following UK firms:

I concentrate on companies with monolithic IC products, although I list some hybrids that they also produced. If you know more about early UK ICs or their manufacturers please

EA D946 integrated circuit

Elliot Automation

Dummer lists 4 series of monolithic ICs sold by Elliot Automation:


A major UK manufacturer of ICs was Ferranti, an electrical engineering company with a long history of working on government and military contracts. They manufactured a large number of silicon transistors and diodes for use in such projects, and successfully moved on to integrated circuits.

Like others, their first foray into ICs was via hybrid circuits. Their LCE devices are described as
hybrid digital logic circuit elements made up of thin-film passive elements and discrete planar semiconductor devices. The passive components are deposited on the surface of a glass substrate, hermetically sealed with one or more fused glass superstrates and interconnected with superimposed, photo-etched silver and gold plated copper patterns. The passive components are terminated along the long edges of the substrate by means of lands to which the leads of a 13-lead header are soldered. The header, substrate and leads are bonded with epoxy resin so that electrical connection between the passive chip and the leads is unaffected by thermally or mechanically induced stresses. The header securely holds the various packaged transistors, providing a modest heat sink for the semiconductors, and a suitable structural form for the finished microcircuit. The completed micro-circuit can be affixed to printed circuit or multilayer boards by conventional manufacturing methods.

Dummer and Mackenzie Robertson includes the following ranges:

FF1201A hybrid integrated circuit

They also made linear circuits in three 'Multilin' ranges, in large metal packaging, described as
Multilin is a system of hybrid micro-electronics combining thin film passive components with integrated circuits and transistors. A particular feature of the construction is that the integrated circuits are mounted so as to ensure good heat transfer to the base of the can which is important where appreciable power has to be dissipated. Each Multilin comprises a gold plated nilo-K can into which are hermetically sealed the silicon integrated active elements and thin film passive components. Connection to the external circuit is by gold plated nickel leads brought out through glass-to-metal seals. The integrated circuits are usually functional elements from the Ferranti Microlin and Micronor ranges and are formed in an epitaxially grown layer of silicon on a silicon substrate by double diffusion of impurities using the well proved planar process which ensures protection of the active surface at all stages. Careful layout of the integrated circuit pattern, coupled with accurate control of diffusion, gives excellent matching and tracking of the constituent components. Interconnections are made by metal deposition under high vacuum. Each functional element is mounted on a ceramic substrate of special composition to give the correct thermal characteristics. Gold pads on the substrate facilitate connection to the passive component substrates.

FSS125 hybrid integrated circuit

Dummer and Mackenzie Robertson includes the following ranges:

ZST2 integrated circuit

The book 'The Semiconductor Business: The Economics of Rapid Growth and Decline' by Franco Malerba' states that
In 1962 Ferranti developed the Microlin and Micronor I devices for small computers and in 1965 it developed the high-speed Micronor II DTL (based on RCA technology) for Ferranti's process-control computers.

Micronor I contains some quite bizarre circuits, and a correspondent who worked on Micronor II told me that it was designed to remedy the failings of the first family. Micronor I is hard to find, but my image shows type ZST2, which is a 'dual lamp/relay power driver'.

Ferranti Argus 400

Micronor II was used in some early Ferranti Argus computers, such as this Argus 400.

ZN244E integrated circuit

Ferranti went on to make many ICs in standard plastic DIL packaging, such as this ZN244E. It is a DTL dual 4-input NOR power gate.

If you know more about early Ferranti ICs please

Marconi (GEC)

316-04 integrated circuit

Dummer lists a lot of Ferranti Micronor II under Marconi. This is because, in order to sell to the military, ICs need to have a second licensed manufacturer and Marconi was chosen as the second-source of Micronor II.

Dummer also describes:

The image shows a 316-04 for which I have no data. It is the only Marconi-branded chip that I have ever come across. If you know where I might find examples of, or data for, any of these types, or know anything at all about Marconi ICs, please


Mullard Limited became a successful UK manufacturer of ICs, albeit that they were wholly owned by Philips of The Netherlands. Mullard produced several ranges of ICs; Dummer lists:

TAA300 integrated circuit

A rather idiosyncratic Mullard/Philips IC product range containing analogue circuits. These use round metal cans and possibly flatpacks. They usually are unbranded. The part numbers originally had the numeric part before the alpha part, e.g., 101TAB but they seem to have exchanged the parts later.

Puzzlingly, other manufacturers also issued devices in the TAA and TBA series: Siemens, SGS, Telefunken and others.

FCH211 integrated circuit

The FC series of diode-transistor-logic (DTL) ICs in plastic dual-inline outline, and extended-temperature versions in flatpacks. however they are usually unbranded, and so may have been also made by Philips, and possibly also by Valvo. They come in groups:

OMY integrated circuit OMY124 integrated circuit

Dummer omits a rather obscure earlier range that Mullard manufactured:

The diode-transistor-logic (DTL) OMY series. These are listed in the Mullard 'Manual of integrated logic circuit applications' dated September 1966. They come in modified TO-5 metal 10-pin cans and use a dual +6V and -6V supply. There are two groupings: OMY100-OMY106 have a wider temperature range than OMY120-OMY126 and are intended for military application.


SL201B integrated circuit

Another major UK IC manufacturer was the Plessey company. Their subsidiary, Semiconductors Limited, made a number of ranges of germanium and silicon transistors but they reverted to Plessey branding even before ICs came in. Dummer and Mackenzie Robertson lists some of their earliest ICs:

These come in either round metal cans or flatpacks. The image shows SL201B. If you know where I might find any of the SL20 series please

wanted integrated circuit

Standard Telephones and Cables

STC was a leading UK manufacturer of discrete semiconductors. When it came to ICs, they were slow to move to monolithic types. Dummer only lists thick- and thin- film hybrid circuits. However, I have an STC data book from 1962 that lists a small number of 'integrated circuits' containing germanium tunnel diodes in a CK series.

If you know where I might find any of them please (Beware that ICs marked STC may have been made by the US company Silicon Transistor Corporation).

NKT integrated circuit

Newmarket Semiconductors

NKT also was a leading UK manufacturer of discrete semiconductors, and also dabbled in custom hybrid microcircuits. However I have no documentation that they made monolithic ICs. However I do have the IC shown, type LIC709C5. I believe that this must be a version of the µA709 operational amplifier, arguably the second monolithic op-amp ever created, by Fairchild in 1965. Who made this one and why it is branded NKT is unknown to me.

If you know anything about this, please

wanted integrated circuit

There may well be other early UK ICs that I have missed.

If you know of any, please