50 Years of the 555 Timer IC

By de:User:Stefan506 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=351550

2022 marks 50 years since the release to market of the iconic 555 timer integrated circuit. The little 8-pin device was designed in 1971 by Swiss engineer Hans Camenzind for Signetics. Released in 1972, it became an instant success and has remained in production ever since. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, it was a rite of passage for any new budding electronics enthusiast to build a 555 circuit. The part was a staple of every enthusiast’s parts bin. Every electronics magazine carried 555 circuits and projects. There were even whole books of 555 projects. 50 years on, it is said that the 555 is possibly the most popular IC ever made, with production numbers in the billions. It can be bought for pennies. Among electronics makers, “Could have done it with a 555” is a common wisecrack in response to a fancy micro-controller project 🙂

We couldn’t let 2022 pass without celebrating the 50th birthday of this amazing little IC. Drop into TOG on Saturday 19th November from 3PM and build yourself a 555 circuit on breadboard. If you have no idea how to do this, don’t worry….. we’ll show you how. You can make something flash or buzz. You can even take away a souvenir 555 for free on us. This is a free workshop. Donations in support of TOG will be most welcome.

This event is part of Science Week which runs from the 13th to the 20th of November. Visit http://www.scienceweek.ie/ for more events.