נגַּדָ חישת זרם: תגלית על מפית
המוצר: שיטה למזעור נגדים באמצעות חיתוך בלייזר
המפתח: ד”ר פליקס זנדמן חברה: ווישיי
שנת רישום פטנט: 1997
Product: Minimization of Resistors via Laser Cutting Method
Developer: Dr. Felix Zandman Company: Vishay
Year of Patent: 1997
A Polish born Holocaust survivor may not be the first person we would naturally associate with one of modern electronics’ most significant developments but then Dr. Felix Zandman was not a regular character. Hidden with his uncle for 17 months by a Polish family during WWII, young Felix passed the time learning trigonometry and advanced mathematics, skills he furthered by studying physics and engineering in the Sorbonne after the war.
Developing passive, precise and highly stable components, Dr. Zandman assembled his own measuring instruments for measuring electrical voltages. The precise resistors he developed have almost zero sensitivity to temperature. Resistors are passive two-terminal electrical components used, among others, to reduce current flow, adjust signal levels and divide voltages, and are common elements of electrical networks and electronic circuits. Realizing at an early stage the role electronics was to play in advancing technology, Dr. Zandman founded the company Vishay Intertechnology in 1962.
The goal faced by the industry was how to reduce the electronic components’ size while maintaining or even improving their functionality. It was Vishay’s and Dr. Zandman’s creative thinking that designed a method to further minimize the components by laser cutting, thereby inducing the electrical current to flow a longer distance, and enabling a smaller component to maintain the functionality of a larger one, even improving it.
This product – the Power Metal Strip resistor - was “born” during a lunch break when Dr. Zandman drafted down the idea on a paper napkin, patenting it in 1997. Current sensing Power Metal Strip resistors allow control circuitry to monitor the level of current in a circuit by translating current into a voltage that can be easily measured. The low resistance of Power Metal Strip devices allows this function to be carried out with exceptional accuracy.
The product is used for precision current monitoring of sensitive circuits, such as those in electronic power meters, industrial systems, and automotive electronic controls for engines, transmissions, pollution reduction systems and mobile phones.
Today, the resistor is sold all over the world, in billions of units. Dr. Zandman established Vishay with 4000 dollars and a loan from his cousin of 200 thousand dollars. The company presently has establishments in more than 20 countries around the world, generates about 2.5 billion dollars in annual revenue and employs more than 23 thousand employees worldwide.
Photo: Vishay Power Metal Strip® Resistor - Original Sketch (ballpoint pen on paper napkin) by Dr. Felix Zandman, 1996. Image courtesy of National Museum of American History, Behring Center (Washington, D.C.)