The H-bridge motor driver with a bridge to a wonderful heritage
Since the 1950s the semiconductor industry has grown from almost nothing into a mature and essential part of society. Today, the industry contributes more than $481 billion in revenue itself, while also enabling consumer electronics, power electronics, the tech industry as a whole, and e-commerce. Trying to imagine our world without semiconductors is similar to attempting a world without plastics, the convenience of supermarkets, or air travel.
The industry is also now mature enough to have established products that can be considered defining: chips that most engineers will have interacted with either during their training, education, or career. The NE555, an 8-pin integrated circuit that simplified the construction of, amongst other things, monostable, bistable, and astable circuits, has formed the basis not only of chapters in books, but entire books as well2. The µA741 is considered the most popular operational-amplifier (op-amp) of all time, designed by the big names of the fledgeling 1960s semiconductor industry. And there cannot be a single engineer that hasn’t built a 5 V power supply without turning to the 7805 in its, by today’s standards, chunky TO-220 package.