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JEDEC History

1874- It all started with the birth of Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of the radio and wireless telegraphy. By the time he was 50 years old, there were 50 radio manufacturers in the Chicago area alone. Mass confusion and proliferation brought on by the lack of STANDARDS for radio motivated them to form a trade association in three stages or eras.

1924- Fifty radio manufacturers in the Chicago area formed an organization called the Associated Radio Manufacturers (ARM), so that they could develop radio standards, lobby effectively, and agree on "terms of sale" (a now-illegal activity currently referred to as "price fixing"). A few weeks later, this association was renamed the Radio Manufacturers Association (RMA), the forerunner of EIA. In those days, members were asked to pay a $100 initiation fee and $100 dues, and a General Counsel was retained at $50/month.

1926- A second trade association was formed in the electrical industry: the National Association of Electrical Manufacturers (NEMA).

1927- NEMA proposed a merger with the RMA. This failed when NEMA demanded that the RMA become the Radio Section of NEMA.

1928- TV was coming of age and was viewed as a threat by the RMA. A Television Committee was formed. The new committee recommended that any publicity about the upcoming age of TV be soft-pedaled because it would hurt radio sales, but General Sarnoff successfully objected to the industry's "trying to stifle R&D." The committee then undertook another protective measure: They recommended that TV programs be restricted to the period of 1:00 a.m. to 7 a.m. This recommendation was finally dropped.

1932- RMA formed the Tube Division, and six years later the Engineering Department.

1944- 17 years after the merger between NEMA and RMA fizzled, the two associations jointly formed the Joint Electron Tube Engineering Council (JETEC), the forerunner of JEDEC. JETEC accomplished extensive standardization, set up the type registration system for tubes and provided marketing statistics. NEMA eventually abandoned all tube activities to RMA.

The Semiconductor Era

1950- RMA enlarged its scope to embrace TV manufacturers and took the new name Radio Television Manufacturers Association (RTMA).

1953- RTMA, previously ARM and RMA, underwent a fourth christening: the Radio Electronics Television Manufacturers Association (RETMA), in recognition of the growth of solid-state electronics outside the communications industry.

1956- The Tube Division formed a distinct Semiconductor Section.

1957- With the continuing burgeoning of the electronics industry, RETMA chose to rename itself the Electronic Industries Association (EIA), to emphasize its all-inclusive scope.

1958- JETEC, until this time devoted solely to electron tubes, split up into two Councils, giving rise to the new name Joint Electron Devices Engineering Councils (JEDEC). The two JEDEC Councils were termed the JEDEC Tube Council and the JEDEC Semiconductor Council. With the formation of JEDEC, JETEC ceased to exist.

1960- The Semiconductor Section's activities had grown to the point that EIA's Tube Division expanded to become the Tube and Semiconductor Division.

1963- In recognition of the momentous growth of semiconductor electronics and the extensive standardizing activities in that area, the Tube and Semiconductor Division was split into two separate Divisions: the Tube Division and the Semiconductor Division.

The Integrated Circuit Era

1965- The Semiconductor Division added the Microelectronic Subdivision. The Microelectronic Engineering Council was then formed, leaving the JEDEC Semiconductor Device Council to manufacturers of discrete devices.

1970- The Semiconductor Division and the Microelectronic Subdivision reorganized to form the Solid State Products Division (SSPD).

Also, both the JEDEC Semiconductor Device Council and the Microelectronic Engineering Council terminated, pooled their assets, and combined to form the new JEDEC Solid State Products Engineering Council (JEDEC Council). The Council now has 20 or so members, compared to the 5 or 6 members of 20 years ago.

1977- The JEDEC Tube Council disbanded and formed the Tube Electron Panel Advisory Council (TEPAC).

With the cessation of the Tube Council, only one JEDEC Council remained. It was nonetheless still Joint, in that it was sponsored by both EIA and NEMA; but the acronym JEDEC was now redefined as Joint Electron Device Engineering Council ("Councils" having been changed to to the singular form.).

When NEMA subsequently withdrew its financial support from JEDEC Council, JEDEC became solely sponsored by EIA.

The New Era

1997/98-With the rapid growth of JEDEC, a major step was taken to become the forerunners in electronic distribution, in doing so a JEDEC website was created on the Internet at Since then JEDEC has taken a position of industry leadership by distributing its standards and publications free of charge via the Internet.

1998- March, The Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) announces that the EIA Executive Committee has approved the elevation of JEDEC to full division status within the Alliance. The new division to be known as 'JEDEC Solid State Technology Division'.

The JEDEC Council will continue to be the governing body and Council members will now have a seat on the EIA Board of Governors and the Executive Committee.

1998- November, ElA once again announces the elevation of JEDEC. The JEDEC Solid State Technology Division (JEDEC) has been elevated to full Association status within the Alliance. The new Association will be called JEDEC Solid State Technology Association. JEDEC also announces that the 'JEDEC Council' will now be known as the 'JEDEC Board of Directors'

JEDEC will continue to have a seat on the EIA Board of Governors and the Finance Committee.

1999- The JEDEC Solid State Technology Association now takes its place alongside EIA Sectors and Divisions such as: the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the Electronic Components and Assemblies, Equipment and Supplies Association (ECA), and the Government Division and the Electronic Information Group (GEIA)

2002- JEDECholds its first Trade Event, JEDEX, in San Jose, CA in March. Based on the success of this event, the first JEDEX China event was held in October.