SAF logo

Another early German manufacturer of semiconductor diodes and transistors was the Süddeutsche Apparate Fabrik (SAF), or "South German Apparatus Factory", based in Nürnberg (Nuremberg in English) in Bavaria. Founded in 1930 it initially manufactured passive components and assemblies for telecommunications, such as resistors, electrolytic capacitors, selenium rectifiers, as well as complete power supplies. There is a rather chatty booklet (in German) that they published in July 1938 about ten years of selenium rectifier production. Unfortunately it does not give any part numbers or data. However the data site does give data for one, type 9017E2, but no image.

It is hard to find any information about the history of this company. Apart from the brief radiomuseum page, I have not found any. If you know where more detailed company information can be found, please

DS180u diode

According to radiomuseum, SAF started semiconductor research and manufacture around 1950, initially producing germanium diodes.

The contemporary electronics magazine 'Funkschau' issue 21 for 1953, published in November, contains a table of German point-contact germanium diodes from an exhibition at Düsseldorf. Several manufacturers are included; the following are the SAF types listed, with a translation of their (sometimes puzzling) descriptions:

These all use a typical axial glass body with a paper label around it. The image shows a DS180u comprising two individual diodes. Uniquely, as far as I am aware, SAF printed 1/2 on each of the diodes making up a pair.

The Hungarian data book "1000 tranzisztor és dióda adatai I" published in 1960 by István Házman and Lásló Hrabál, lists a good number of SAF diodes, all germanium point-contact (I think... a few may be gold-bonded, please contact me if you can help with Hungarian translation!). In addition to the above it includes:

DS55 diode

The book "Kristalloden Technik" published in 1954 by Rudolf Rost, himself a German semiconductor manufacturer, lists the following SAF diodes:

The above are all germanium point-contact general-purpose high-voltage types except DS606 which is a video demodulator. However, there are other early types that are not included in Rost: my image shows a microwave diode DS55. Radiomuseum lists types DS601, DS602, DS603, DS611, DS1601 and DS1602 with reference "Kristalldioden- und Transistoren- Taschen-Tabelle" 1969. If you know of older references for these SAF devices or have any for sale or exchange, please


'Funkschau' issue 8 for 1954, published in April, has an article on the first German germanium junction rectifier diodes, made by SAF. It has tables of data for the types DF451 to DF454, but shows an image of DF450. I am seeking examples of any of these. If you know where I might get any, please

VS2OO transistor

Radiomuseum states that SAF's firt transistor was this type VS200 released in December 1952, and apparently it was the first production point-contact transistor in Germany. It is typical of early point-contact transistors in having one lead (the base lead) at one end. Its case looks quite similar to that of the point-contact diodes, although the base lead end is flattened.


'Funkschau' issue 21 for 1953, published in November, lists the VS200 plus two more SAF point-contact transistors: the types VS220 and VS221. I am seeking examples of these. If you know where I might get any, please


SAF went on to make three junction types OC110, OC120, and OC130. They apparently used a tall oval can, but I have not seen an image of the actual transistors, just diagrams. I am seeking examples of these. If you know where I might get any, please

Those appear to be all the semiconductors that SAF made. Radiomuseum simply states "transistor production ceased at the end of the 1950s" without giving a reason.