RIP Hans Camenzind

We were saddened to learn last week that Swiss-born electrical engineer, Hans Camenzind, had died on August 8th. Over the years, Hans worked for such companies as Signetics (now Philips) and his own Interdesign, and most recently, Array Design. In the course of his career, he designed over 150 different ICs. Camenzind is most famous, and geek-beloved, for his design, in 1971 of the 555 timer chip, the muscle behind many electronics enthusiasts’ projects ever since. The 555 was the first IC I ever held in my hand, experimented on, and I have a feeling that’s the case for many folks reading this. Infinite oscillations to you, Hans. RIP.

Here’s a piece by Charles Platt, author of Make: Electronics, about his unexpected encounter with the 555 man.

In honor of the life and work of Hans Camenzind, we’re declaring this 555 Week. Look for more articles, projects, and interviews about this ubiquitous little IC throughout the week.

In the meantime, we’d love to hear stories about your experiments and projects using the 555. Leave them in the comments below.


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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