Easy automated method to find chronological age of an integrated circuit design? Answered
This is not a question related to a homework or career assignment.
This question is an existential question.
Specifically, the thing that I am wondering if it exists, or not, is an easy and automated method for finding the chronological date, e.g. a year, Anno Domini (AD) or Common Era (CE), when a named integrated circuit (IC) was introduced. Preferably this method exists in the form of a free resource on the Web.
As an example, the well known 555 timer IC was introduced in the year 1971, and I am reasonably confident that was the year, because the Wikipedia article titled "555 timer IC",
contains the words:
"Introduced in 1971 by American company Signetics, the 555 is still in widespread use..."
And I assume that statement is totally true, because if I can't trust the people who edit Wikipedia, I mean, who can I trust?
Unfortunately, Wikipedia does not have a fact-filled article for almost every IC every sold. In contrast, a place like www.alldatasheet.com has data sheets for almost every IC ever sold, but, it turns out, the data sheet does not always reveal the year the IC was introduced.
To clarify this further, the thing I really want to exist, would be like a web site, with a name like:
(Please note that none of those URLs point to actual existing web sites, at the time of this writing.)
Moreover, I am fantasizing this web site would contain a form, for to enter the name of the IC to look up, and then after hitting the "Submit" button, it would magically tell me what year that IC was introduced to the world, and maybe also which semiconductor company gave birth to it.
As some example input and output, the query
NE555 would return: NE555, 1971, Signetics(r)
As an additional twist to this fantasy, the query, LM555, would return the same thing, and this magical web page would like, know, that LM555 was a later version of the same IC, except produced by a different manufacturer, namely National(r); i.e LM555 was National's version of the 555 timer .
If you have read this far, I congratulate you! And I appreciate your eyeball time!
If you are wondering about my motivation for this question, it is just that think the year an IC was introduced would be a very useful metric, like for answering more specific questions, like:
The SG3524 and LTC3780 are ICs used for making switchmode power supplies. Which of these ICs is more modern? I.e which IC was introduced latest?
It turns out, the answer to this question is: The SG3524 is older (introduced first). The LTC3780 is younger (introduced second).
The SG3524 was introduced (I am guessing) in 1977, and that guess is based on some cryptic scribbles in a data sheet for the SG3524, published by Texas Instruments(r). The exact characters were:
"SLVS077D – APRIL 1977 – REVISED FEBRUARY 2003"
and I am just naively interpreting that blurb to mean the SG3524 was introduced in 1977.
Regarding the LTC3780, I think it was introduced some time in the 1990s. Looking at its datasheet, from Linear Technology(r), I could not find an obvious description of what year it was first introduced, but the first page mentions some US Patent numbers, and looking up those patent numbers, gives dates circa the early 1990s.
So the LTC3780 is the younger than the SG3524.
However to find that answer, I kind of had to do a bunch of reading of datasheets, and US Patent numbers, and that method took a little bit of work.
My question: Is there an easier way to find out how old (or young) an IC is? More specifically is there an existing resource on the Web, like a free database, or a IC history site, or something where I can essentially "look up" the year an IC was introduced.
By the way there is no absolutely zero urgency attached to this question. So please answer if you feel like it, and don't if you don't.
I thank you for reading this. My name is Jack A Lopez, and I approve of this message.