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555 Timer IC designer SKHans Camenzind, designer of the 555 timer IC passed away on August 8 at the age of 78
Electronic Weekly says:
It was at Signetics where he invented the 555 timer IC. which was first sold in 1972 and is one of the all-time IC best-sellers. It is still in widespread use today. In 2003 it was said that 1bn 555s are manufactured every year.
Signetics never patented the 555, believing that once companies started patenting ICs and technologies they would all be at each others' throats in the law courts.
Read the Electronics Weekly story at