Founded 30 years ago, Linear Technology Corporation today commemorated three decades of innovation in analog integrated circuits. Founded in September 1981, at the dawn of the digital revolution, some questioned the wisdom of founding a company focused purely on analog technology. Over these 30 years, the worldwide analog market has grown from $2 billion to over $40 billion today, and Linear has prospered with that growth.

Linear has been at the leading edge of new electronic markets as they have emerged. These include the PC revolution, laptop and tablet computers, industrial control and robotics, network infrastructure, cellular communications, automotive electronics including advanced displays, electronic braking and steering and now the growth of the hybrid/electric automotive segment. Add to these Power over Ethernet communications systems, advanced satellite communications and sophisticated industrial instrumentation, to name just a few.

Linear’s strategy of delivering a diverse and large portfolio of high performance analog building blocks for a broad range of applications to a worldwide customer base has been a proven strategy for 30 years.

Bob Swanson, Executive Chairman and Co-founder, stated, “Our steadfast commitment to product innovation over three decades has enabled Linear to grow and prosper, independent of which end-markets were driving demand at any given time.”

Bob Dobkin, Vice President, Engineering, Chief Technical Officer and Co-Founder added, “Thirty years of innovative products from an innovative engineering team has been validated by the acceptance of Linear Technology in the marketplace.”

Lothar Maier, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “It’s fitting that this is Linear’s 30th anniversary as well as the company’s best year yet.”

Linear Technology Innovations

Fueled by new markets and applications, Linear has brought key innovations to a broad range of markets and applications, and has provided the enabling technology for many. A select list of these innovations follows:

1982 Industry standard precision op amps

1986 Highest stability precision voltage reference

1986 LT1070 – First 5A single chip easy-to-use switching regulator

1989 First CMOS low power RS485 chip (LTC485)

1992 Hot Swap family

1993 Burst Mode DC/DC converters

1999 High efficiency, multiphase synchronous switching regulators

2001 Power over Ethernet (PoE) controllers

2002 First buck-boost regulators

2005 High linearity active mixers with on-chip transformer

2005 First high speed 16-Bit ADC with 100dB SFDR

2006 µModule DC/DC converters

2007 LT3080 – First single resistor adjustable linear regulator

2008 First precision battery monitor device for hybrid/electric vehicles

2009 Digital power management monitors & controllers

2010 Energy harvesting 20mV input boost/power manager

2011 First 18-Bit, 1Msps SAR ADC with 102dB SNR

Video Interview

A video interview with Linear Technology Co-founders Bob Swanson (Executive Chairman) and Bob Dobkin (Vice President, Engineering & CTO) and CEO Lothar Maier can be found at