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Bringing breakthroughs - Cover story

A subjective look through 40 years of New Electronics issues. By Graham Pitcher.

Look at the cross section of a tree trunk and the rings you see tell you how old that tree was. But the rings also give an indication of the weather – thinner rings imply the weather wasn’t so good that year.
New Electronics’ archive gives similar information on the state of the electronics industry through the last 40 years. There are some very thick volumes, particularly those from the late 1970s, and some very thin volumes, such as 2001.
It’s always interesting to dip into any archive – you never know what you’ll find. Government investment is a continuing theme. In our 9 January 1973 issue, we reported that Christopher Chataway – then minister for industrial development – had announced the Government was to invest £10million into the UK’s semiconductor industry over six or seven years to ‘encourage the development of integrated circuits specially design for particular applications by British semiconductor manufacturers’. The move, we believed, reflected a view that Britain would do best containing its semiconductor activities to custom design and specialisation. Today, the UK is home to the majority of European design houses.

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Graham Pitcher

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