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Jimmy Lin
Dr. Jimmy H. C. Lin

Professor Jimmy H.C. Lin (1919-2009)

A dedicated and popular instructor who only missed one class in over 20 years of teaching in College Park, Dr. Jimmy H. C. Lin joined the University of Maryland as Professor of Electrical Engineering in 1969. He retired in 1990, and has since served as Professor Emeritus. Well known to his colleagues for his abundant energy, his career has spanned more than half a century and has been punctuated with many patent rights, honors, and awards.

He received the B. S. in Electrical Engineering in 1941 from Chiaotung University in Shanghai, China. He was an avid tennis player, and made his way through college on a tennis scholarship. Before leaving China in 1947, Dr. Lin was an engineer at the Central Radio Works and Central Broadcasting Administration.

In the United States, he received the M.S. degree in 1948 from the University of Michigan and Doctor of Electrical Engineering in 1956 from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. He was one of the first scientists at RCA Laboratories to work on transistor circuit development. The technology evolved rapidly, and he was the first inventor to incorporate p-n-p or complementary integrated circuits. His industrial experience also included research and development positions at the Hytron Division of Columbia Broadcasting Systems and Westinghouse Electric Corporation.

His most well-known contribution is the invention of the lateral transistor that is used in most linear integrated circuits and digital integrated circuits. His early study of the temperature effects led to the use of diode compensation configuration, which is now widely used in transistor amplifiers. It is a little known fact that the output (or Totem) driver used to control the speakers in every audio system was invented by Professor Lin.

Dr. Lin was inducted into the Clark School of Engineering Innovation Hall of Fame in May 1990 in recognition of his significant inventions and contributions in semiconductor devices and integrated circuits.

The holder of 57 U.S. patents, he is known in particular for the invention of the quasi complementary amplifier used in most commercial audio amplifiers and for the lateral transistor used in most linear integrated circuits. He is the author or co-author of 170 technical papers, author of the book “Integrated Electronics,” and co-author of three other books: “Selected Semiconductor Circuits Handbook,” “Semiconductor Electronics Education Committee Notes 1,” and “Electronics Designers Handbook.” In 1978, IEEE presented him with the J.J. Ebers Award. He was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for contributions to semiconductor electronics and circuits and pioneering of integrated circuits.

In the academic field, he was a part-time Adjunct Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, Visiting Lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley, and since 1969, has been a Professor at the University of Maryland, later Professor Emeritus.