East German (DDR) Vintage Semiconductors

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2023-05-21 22:30:13

East Germany is the colloquial name for the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), or in German, the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR). This was the socialist state established in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany and in East Berlin. Early semiconductor research in this country was dominated by one organisation, the Werk für Bauelemente der Nachrichtentechnik (WBN), or in English the "Works for components of telecommunications". WBN appears to have operated in two locations:

Early WBN transistors bear the identifying letters WBN. Later ones are marked HWF, and some IHT, to reflect changes in the names of the above facilities. Even later examples have no manufacturer name but instead just bear the logo shown on the right.

WBN appears to be related to another DDR semiconductor factory, the "Werk für Fernmeldewesen" (WF), again a "works for telecommunications", located in Berlin-Köpenick, Ostend Street 1-5. This opened in 1948, became a VEB in 1953/4, and changed its name in 1960 to "VEB Werk für Fernsehelektronik" the "Publicly Owned Operation works for television electronics", although the logo WF was retained. WF specialised in manufacturing diodes, whereas WBN made transistors.

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