The digital calculator revolutionized the way that people solved math problems.
If you ever took an advanced math course of some sort, you probably had to purchase a bulky and high powered calculator; there’s a good chance it was made by Texas Instruments (TI).
While tiny but powerful mathematical machines may be Texas Instruments’ claim to fame, they’re not all that this tech giant creates.
Behind The Scenes
When the ordinary consumer thinks of a tech company, they usually think of one like Apple or Samsung that produces products sold directly to clients. The vast majority of Texas Instruments’ work goes unnoticed due to the simple fact that they create components of those devices rather than the devices themselves.
Generally, Texas Instruments can be boiled down to a company that creates semiconductors and integrated circuits of different kinds, which it then sells to other tech companies around the world.
Decades of Innovation
The earliest version of Texas Instruments was founded in the 1930s as a company that manufactured geophysical equipment used for seismic detection and defense. As the middle of the 20th century approached, it became an incredibly exciting time for technology.
Texas Instruments invented the first silicon transistor in 1954; it was around the same time that they formally changed their name to Texas Instruments. Just a few years later, they also invented the integrated circuit, and changed the face of electronics forever.
In the 1960s, Texas Instruments created their first calculator, while continuing to focus on manufacturing more efficient electronics components as well. TI kept pace with the tech industry during the digital transition, and hasn’t backed off yet.
Today Texas Instruments holds well over 40,000 patents, creates more than 100,000 products, and employs tens of thousands of people. Tech might feel like a distinctly modern industry, but Texas Instruments brings a level of experience to the game.
An Uphill Climb
It’s no secret that a plethora of companies have jumped on the tech boom. In turn, TI has plenty of competition with which to contend, namely companies like Broadcom and Nvidia. Still, Texas Instruments boasts larger market gains in the last year than any of its close competitors.
This in spite of the fact that 2018 marked a hiccup for the company when the CEO resigned with a great deal of secrecy, citing personal conduct issues. Luckily, this reflects on the CEO rather than the company mostly, and it doesn’t seem to have cut into Texas Instruments’ bottom line.
The company’s ability to bounce back must be due at least in part to the fact that their job is mostly to market themselves to other tech companies rather than consumers.
TI has, however, lost a little bit of ground in recent years. As of 2019 they sit at 199 on the Fortune 500; they ranked at 192 the year before. Profits and revenue both increased during this time, but competition and the need to innovate has never been more fierce.
Texas Instruments isn’t fading away just yet, but they’ll have to make sure to continue forging ahead to remain relevant in the 21st century.