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RCA's (1959) introduction of the Nuvistor vacuum tube, heralded one of the attempts of tube manufacturers to hold onto a major portion of the small–signal amplification market. The Nuvistor is a thimble-sized vacuum tube
(enclosed in miniature metal rather than glass) that promised high-reliability, low-noise, and low-power operation." (All of which it needed to have any hope of competing in the brave new solid-state world emerging when RCA introduced it in the 1959.)

Designed mainly for military and test-equipment applications, the Nuvistor bridged the gap between tubes and transistors. Unfortunately (for tube aficionados), the release of the Nuvistor appeared at the same time as the announcement of the first integrated circuit, and its fate was all but sealed right from the start.

Scott engineers soon replaced Nuvistors in their FM Cascode front-ends with solid-state FET's (field-effect transistors), achieving another ground-breaking, industry-first.

H.H. Scott FM (RF) tuner front-end applications that use these tubes: 


6DS4 - 6CW4


TRIODE (Nuvistor)
Tube Data provided by
Duncan Amplification

Download Duncan's utilities and tube database software.

From (ELECTRONIC DESIGN, April 15, 1959, p. 3)

"Tube manufacturers have unveiled, in recent weeks, drastically new concepts and techniques aimed to keep them in the race with the transistor industry. Smaller than a thimble, more rugged and efficient than present tube designs, and particularly suited for mechanized production, the "Nuvistor" represents a radical departure in the electronic-tube concept. Developed by the RCA Electron Tube Division, triode and tetrode versions have already been demonstrated in TV tuners reduced to one -third the volume of conventional TV tuners."

(From  an RCA press press release):
 "Although transistors are still a "natural" for many low-level applications, the Nuvistor does provide certain significant advantages:

* Nuvistors, being in the tube family, are high-impedance devices -- circuit components are generally less expensive.

* Lower noise figures and higher frequency operation are obtained.

* Tubes can handle momentary overloads while solid state devices generally will burn out.

* Stable operation is possible with Nuvistors over wide temperature ranges (-190 [degrees] C to 350 [degrees] C). 


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