ECG semiconductors were originally intended for the replacement, hobbyist, and experimental markets and in time found applications in industrial repair and maintenance departments. Sylvania was an early manufacturer of semiconductors and they evolved the ECG series concept. Other manufacturers using the same idea were Motorola, G.E., and Raytheon. The ECG line of semiconductors was intended to minimize replacement parts inventory for repair and maintenance departments. An ECG replacement directory, which cross referenced as many as 200,000 JEDEC and manufacturer’s semiconductor part numbers was developed and they all crossed to ECG types which would replace them.

The various types of these semiconductor replacements is quite comprehensive and addition to transistors, diodes, and ICs, the list also includes triacs, SCRs, unijunction transistors (UJT); programmable unijunction transistors (PUT), silicon bilateral switches (SBS), silicon unilateral switches (SUS), silicon assymetrical switches (SAS), and bilateral trigger diodes (DIACS).

Subsequentially, JFETS, MOSFETS, IGBT, and other semiconductor devices were added including high voltage devices, i.e. multipliers, rectifiers, dividers, modules, etc. ECG diodes range from general purpose, (both silicon and germanium) to various microwave devices, pin diodes and varistors. In addition, transient voltage suppressors, quartz crystals, linear and digital integrated circuits have been added as well as opto-devices to the ECG line.

Microprocessors, memories, and IC interfaces have also been added to the line recently as well as surface mounted components. The list is quite complete and it appears a continuing effort is made to supply state of the art parts. Most of these components are readily available at the many ECG electronic distributors. As the saying goes, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” and so there have been and continue to be many ECG imitators. Some of these are NTE, SK originally RCA and now Thomson Products, General Electric with their “GE” series, and Motorola and their “HEP” line of products. All these manufacturers supply comprehensive cross references to other manufacturers part numbers as well as J.E.D.E.C. part numbers. Needless to say they cross- referenced to each others part numbers also.

There are many suppliers in this genre, including lesser known suppliers such as Raytheon, Mallory, Sprague, and Workman. Some are no longer in the business. For example, there is no indication that the Motorola “HEP” series or the “GE” series is still maintained, however it is reassuring to know the American Microsemiconductor maintains and plans to continue to maintain a market in this entire area of over 200,000 semiconductor parts, and over 800,000 manufacturers part numbers. Ours is the largest supplier semiconductor database in the world and we can cross reference parts supplied by all the above manufacturers and suppliers. We plan to continue to do so far into the 21st Century.

Many of these suppliers have fallen by the wayside, for example there is no indication that GE and Motorola have continued their respective GE and HEP replacement lines. If you are having trouble obtaining ECG, NTE, SK(RCA), HEP, and/or WORKMAN replacement parts, consider American Microsemiconductor and their extensive database of equivalents.