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The Silicon Genesis interviews listed below are available in two formats:

*As VHS videotapes housed in the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries. These copies are non-circulating and must be viewed in the Special Collections Reading Room in the Cecil H. Green Library. Archival beta-format copies are also available for broadcast or other special purposes. The Reading Room is open 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. For more information about the collections and access policies, please contact Special Collections by telephone at (650) 725-1022, by electronic mail at speccoll@sulmail.stanford.edu, via the Department's Electronic Reference Form, or by regular mail: Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94305-6004.

* As streamed video files using the RealMedia format. You may need to download the free Real Player, available here: http://www.real.com/player/index.html. If you have the Real Player installed on your computer, click on the links below to view the Silicon Genesis videotapes in this format.

Stanford and the Silicon Valley Project

Fairchild Semiconductor Documentary

Interviews from the SEMI Oral History Projecthere

Silicon Genesis Europe

Steve Allen, Lawrence Bender, Richard Steinheimer

These three men directed Fairchild's pioneering work in chip photography and art. They have donated 35mm slides of their photographs to the Stanford Libraries' Silicon Valley Archives. A transcript of this interview is available here.

Gil Amelio

Gil Amelio started his semiconductor career at Bell Labs after receiving his Ph.D.. He developed CCD manufacturing techniques which made them commercially practical. He was recruited to Fairchild where he headed up the MOS division. Then he took over the Rockwell semiconductor operation, successfully transitioning the operation to profitability. He then became CEO of National Semiconductor when Charlie Sporck retired. He was recruited to Apple Computer as CEO, ultimately being forced out of the position. A transcript is available here.

Jack Balleto

Jack Balletto, a 37-year Silicon Valley veteran, is a respected venture investor and entrepreneur. Balletto received master's and bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Santa Clara, and in 2002 was honored by the University as one of its distinguished engineering graduates. His career began at Lockheed where he worked in the microwave/ECM (electronic countermeasure) field. He then joined Fairchild Semiconductor in 1969. After Fairchild and a short stint at Ricoh Electronics, Balletto co-founded his first semiconductor company – Synertek – with two associates from Fairchild Semiconductor. Synertek became a major factor in the advent of both the video game and the PC industries. The company was successfully acquired by Honeywell in 1978. At his second startup, VLSI Technology, Balletto was a founder and its first CEO. In 1983, 26 months after its first and only venture round, VLSI had an IPO which raised over $60 million. VLSI was largely responsible for launching the EDA, foundry, and ASIC industries. After a 20-year existence as one of the Valley's most innovative companies, VLSI was acquired by Philips Semiconductor in 1999. After co-founding two vertically integrated semiconductor companies and spending twenty years in a variety of operating roles in the semiconductor and microwave industries, Balletto launched his career in venture capital. He worked in Hambrecht & Quist's (H&Q) venture capital group where he was involved with joint ventures in Japan, London, and Australia. He also sourced the first financing round for Xilinx to H&Q and later sponsored a capital equipment company, ATEQ, whose scanning laser lithography machines are now responsible for producing a significant percentage of the reticles printed in the United States. Eventually the company was acquired by Applied Materials. In 1996 he formed the first of three Sunrise Capital funds. Mr. Balletto earned his Master's ('67) and Bachelor's ('62) degrees in Electrical Engineering from Santa Clara University. A transcript is available here.

Robert Blair

Robert Blair was LSI Logic's eleventh employee and headed up the first product marketing and international activities. In this 2011 interview, 30 years to the month after joining LSI, he discusses establishing LSI's European operations immediately following LSI's successful US IPO. Starting with sales offices and design centers in the major markets of the UK, Germany, France and Italy, LSI Europe successfully cloned the ASIC design business previously established in the USA, and ultimately manufacturing operations were established in Germany and later the UK. At it's height LSI Europe was delivering leading edge ASICs to OEMs such as Nixdorf Computer, Norsk Data, International Computers Limited, Telettra, GTE, as well as others in France, Sweden, Israel and Switzerland. A transcript is available here.

Paul Brokaw

Paul Brokaw has held a variety of positions at Analog Devices, and is presently an analog fellow.  He has designed a variety of products, including A/D and D/A converters, sensors, voltage references and amplifiers.  He holds over one hundred patents.  In this 2006 interview, he describes the attributes of a successful engineer.  A transcript is available here.

Don Brooks

Don spent many years at Texas Instruments in variety of positions. He was recruited to Fairchild and became the last CEO of the California company. He recounts his efforts to save Fairchild that ultimately resulted in its sale to National. He then took over the reins at Taiwan Semiconductor and made it the first profitable semiconductor foundry. A transcript is available here.

Dennis Carter

Dennis Carter was Vice President and Director of Marketing at Intel in the 1990s, when it grew from a component supplier to one of the world's most widely recognized consumer brands in the world. In this 2004 interview, he recounts his four years as Technical assistant to Andy Grove, and what he learned about Grove's management style and drive. He then initiated and managed Intel's successful Graffiti Program to encourage upgrades from the 286 to 386 and the 486, increasing both the company's margin and segment share of the microprocessor market. He went on to create and manage the Intel Inside Program that made Intel a household name alongside BMW and Coke. A transcript is available here.

Wilf Corrigan

Wilf Corrigan has been a major player in the semiconductor industry since 1960. In this 1998 interview he reviews his 38-year career at Transitron, Motorola, Fairchild, and LSI Logic and discusses advances in semiconductor technology since the invention of the integrated circuit in 1958. A transcript is available here.

Aart de Geus

Aart de Geus is the founder and now chairman and CEO of Synopsys, the industry-leading electronics design automation (EDA) company. He arrived in the US with an engineering degree from the Swiss Federal Polytechnic Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, then completed his PhD at Southern Methodist University in Texas. He then founded Synopsys in California in 1986, raising both industrial and venture funding in the booming electronics industry of the 1980s. Synopsys has been focused on logic synthesis, an IC design technique that would become a fundamental requirement as the size of the chips grew exponentially under Moore’s Law. A transcript is available here.

Bob Dobkin and Jim Williams

Bob Dobkin and Jim Williams are world famous analog IC designers. Bob has over 30 years experience in design and developed many advanced products at National Semiconductor and Linear Technology, including the first 3 terminal adjustable voltage regulator. Jim Williams is well known for his writing and lectures on analog circuits and instrumentation. A transcript is available here.

James Downey

James Downey directed Fairchild's work in MOS technology and ASIC, inventing "standard cell" technology. He later went on to head Advanced Micro Devices MOS operations. A transcript is available here.

John East

John East has been in the semiconductor industry for over forty years. Beginning with his high school years as a ham radio enthusiast, he always wanted to be an electrical engineer. Graduating from the University of California with BSEE, and MBA degrees, he began his career at Fairchild Semiconductor. He gained experience at a variety of manufacturing, product engineering, design engineering and marketing positions. He eventually left to move to AMD, where he supervised both bipolar and MOS design. In 1998, he became CEO of Actel Corp, a provider of field programmable gate arrays. A transcript is available here.

Federico Faggin

Federico Faggin developed Fairchild's original silicon gate technology in the late 1960's, then joined Intel in 1970, where he designed the 4004 microprocessor. In 1974, he struck out on his own to found Zilog, which produced the Z80 and Z8000 microprocessors. A transcript of this interview is available.

Irwin Federman

Irwin Federman was trained as an economist at Brooklyn College and later earned his CPA in California. After working as an accountant in New York and California, he served as CFO for three startups, including Monolithic Memories. He became CEO of MMI and succesfully turned the company around. After MMI's merger with Advanced Micro Devices, he became Vice Chairman of AMD. In 1990, he joined the venture capital firm U.S. Venture Partners as a general partner. A transcript of this oral history will soon be available on this site..

Jack Gifford

Jack Gifford went to Fairchild in 1965 and became the semiconductor industry's first linear integrated circuit product manager. After leaving Fairchild, Jack co-founded Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and recruited Jerry Sanders. Always passionate about analog integrated circuits, he became president of Intersil and then founded Maxim Integrated Products. In this 2002 interview, Jack tells of his tempestuous relationships with industry legends Bob Widlar, Jean Hoerni, Jerry Sanders, Jack Welch, and others. A transcript is available here.

Paul Gray

Paul Gray, Engineering Dean of the University of California at Berkeley, has made fundamental contributions in the fields of mixed signal MOS integrated circuits. In this 1998 interview he discusses Fairchild, early pioneers of the industry, and aspects of engineering education. A transcript is available here.

Arlene Harris and Martin Cooper

The husband and wife team of Arlene Harris and Martin Cooper have defined the wireless age. Arlene, as a child of five, worked in her parents' radio mobile telephone company, MetroCal , later ICS, in Los Angeles . She has been a Wireless Entrepreneur for thirty-five years and is the founder and CEO of GreatCall, who launched the Jitterbug, easy to use cell phone, with partner Samsung in 2006. Martin Cooper is a pioneer and inventor in the wireless communications industry. He introduced the first portable cell phone in 1973 during his twenty-nine year career with Motorola. He is a co-founder of GreatCall and is Chairman of ArrayComm, today, a leader in cellular antenna development. A transcript is available here.

John Hennessy

John Hennessy is a pioneer in the fields of computer architecture, microprocessor design and microprogramming. In this 2005 interview, Professor Hennessy describes his development of a tic-tac toe player in high school, which set him on the road to computer design, beginning with his university studies leading to a PhD at Stanford University. Through his many VLSI projects at Stanford he gained an appreciation of microprocessor design that led to a leave of absence to co-found RISC computer maker MIPS. He describes the RISC-CISC wars and how, with the benefits of Moore's law and Intel's marketing and production clout, they were able to prevail in the desktop and server markets with the aging X86 architecture. He tells of his rise through Stanford University from professor to Dean to Provost and most recently to President, explaining why Stanford is the most entrepreneurial university in the world. A transcript is available here.

Shawn and Kim Hailey

Shawn and Kim Hailey discuss the history of the SPICE circuit simulator and their company, Meta Software. A transcript is available here.

Brian Halla

Brian Halla served in a number of positions at Control Data and Intel before joining LSI Logic as Executive Vice President of the product group. In May, 1996, he joined National Semiconductor as President and CEO. Up until that time, he'd been involved almost exclusively with digital products. A transcript is available here.

Richard Hodgeson

The late Richard Hodgson describes the founding of Fairchild Semiconductor in this 1995 interview. A transcript is available here.

Marcian E. "Ted" Hoff

Dr. Marcian Edward "Ted" Hoff, Jr. joined Intel in 1968, where he was the architect for the very first microprocessor. In 1980, Ted was named the first Intel Fellow, the highest technical position in the company. He is currently VP and Chief Technical Officer with Teklicon, Inc. This 1995 interview covers his involvement in the design and development of the first commercially available microprocessor, the Intel 4004. A transcript of this video is available.

C. Lester Hogan

Lester Hogan was an early innovator in the semiconductor and microwave electronics industry. He was president of Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation, which he joined in 1968 after demonstrating his leadership abilities at Bell Telephone Laboratories and Motorola, Inc. This 1995 interview covers the early days of Motorola's semiconductor operation and the post-Noyce days at Fairchild. A transcript of this video is available.

Dave House

Dave was at Intel for twenty-two years, thirteen of which as General Manager of the microprocessor division. In this 2005 interview, he describes the steps taken to maintain and strengthen Intel's position of dominance in the microprocessor market.  From the 286, 386, 486 and through the Pentium line, Dave made sure that Intel remained the dominant player in the microprocessor field. A transcript is available here.

Jen-Hsun Huang

Jenson is a co-founder and CE0 of Nvidia, a manufacturer of Graphical Processor Unit integrated circuits. Born in Taiwan he came to the USA and became an Electrical Engineer. After stints at AMD, LSI Logic and Sun he cofounded Nvidia. In this 2010 interview he discusses his core values and management philosophy . A transcript is available here.

Jim Koford

Jim Koford is a true pioneer of the semiconductor industry, having originated the industries first logic simulator while at Fairchild in the 1960s. He was in charge of LSI Logic's design automation for most of the 1980s and a co-founder of Monterey Design Systems. A transcript is available here.

Floyd Kvamme

E. Floyd Kvamme was born in San Francisco to Norwegian parents in 1938. He grew up in the Bay Area in the forties before Silicon Valley actually became Silicon Valley. He attended U. C. Berkeley and received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and then went on to receive a master of science in semiconductor materials from Syracuse University in New York. After an initial post-graduate employment period, he joined National Semiconductor, being hired by the famous Charlie Sporck. In 1982, he joined the fledgling Apple Computer Company in a marketing role in Cupertino. Two years later, he joined the famed venture capital group Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers , where he was a partner focusing on semiconductor and systems investments. In 2001, Floyd was invited to join the Bush Administration in Washington as co-chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He was also chairman of Empower America, a board member of the National Venture Capital Association and was chair of the California State Elections Committee. A transcript is available here.

David Laws

David Laws joined Fairchild Semiconductor in the UK and moved to Silicon Valley in 1968 with Fairchild, just as some of the big changes were occurring in management following the departure of Robert Noyce and the arrival of C. Lester Hogan. He moved to Advanced Micro Devices in the mid-seventies with Jerry Sanders and stayed there for a decade. He recognized the programmable integrated circuit wave early on and moved to Altera Corporation as Vice President of Marketing to work for another native Brit, Rodney Smith. He was then recruited as CEO of QuickLogic, another programmable integrated circuit company here in the Valley. Today, David is retired and active at the Computer History Museum here in Silicon Valley as the curator in the Semiconductor Special Interest Group. A transcript is available here.

J. Daniel McCranie

Regis McKenna

Regis McKenna is founder and chairman of The McKenna Group, a management and marketing consulting firm specializing in the application of information and telecommunications technologies. He is responsible for helping to launch some of the most important technology products of the last twenty-five years, including the first microprocessor, the Intel 4004, and the first commercially successful personal computers (Apple Computer). This 1995 interview discusses early developments at Intel and Apple as well as Silicon Valley philosophy. A transcript of this video is available.

Mike Markkula

Bernie Marren

Bernie Marren has a long and notable career in semiconductors. He began at Fairchild Semiconductor and later served as CEO of distributor Western Micro Technology and MOS pioneer American Microtechnology. He was a founder of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and served as it's first president. At the time of this interview he was president of OPTI, a chip set and technology licensing firm. In the interview Bernie discusses the role of distribution in semiconductor sales and the increasing importance of intellectual property protection. A transcript is available here.

Pier Angelo Martinotti

Pier Angelo Martinotti has served on UPEK's board of directors since March 2004 and has also served on the boards of other technology companies, including Accent, Media Lario, and Sensitive Object. He is currently a consultant to Sofinnova Partners in France. From 2002 through 2005, Mr. Martinotti was an advisor to STMicroelectronics. Between 1986 and 2002, Mr. Martinotti served in various roles within STMicroelectronics. Most recently, from 1994 to 2002, he served as corporate vice president and general manager of the New Ventures Group of STMicroelectronics. Mr. Martinotti earned a Master of Science degree in electronic engineering from the Politecnico of Turin, Italy. He has also completed financial courses at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France and at IMEDE in Lausanne, Switzerland. A transcript is available here.

Stan Mazor

Stan was a member of the Intel 4004 design team, considered to be the first commercially available microprocessor. Ted Hoff designed the architecture, Federico Faggin the logical and physical design, while Stan wrote application programs and defined some instructions. After the 4004, Stan contributed to the 8080 and 8086 microprocessors, the predecessors of today's Pentium products. After leaving Intel, he became a computer-aided design specialist at Silicon Compilers Synopsys and others. A transcript is available here.

William Mensch

William Mensch headed development of the Motorola 6800 and the General Instrument 6801 microprocessors. A transcript of this interview is available here.

Gordon Moore

Gordon Moore joined Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory shortly after its founding in 1956 and worked on semiconductor process technology with William Shockley, co-inventor of the transistor. Moore was on the original team at Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and co-founded Intel in 1968, where he developed large-scale integrated products beginning with semiconductor memories. His recognition of the trend that integrated circuit complexity doubles every 18 to 24 months, known today as Moore's Law, has become one of the driving principles of the semiconductor industry. A transcript of this interview is available.

Jim Morgan

Jim Morgan took charge of Applied Materials in 1976. The semiconductor equipment maker was in default on bank loans and on the verge of bankruptcy. Jim sold off its non-core businesses and refinanced loans to bring the firm back to profitability. In 2003 Applied Materials was profitable, number one in the semiconductor equipment marketplace and brought in sales of over five billion dollars. In this 2004 interview, Jim
discusses his business philosophy, competing in the global marketplace and why he routinely invests an astounding 20% of revenue in R&D. A transcript is available here.

Gerry Parker

Gerry Parker joined Intel Corporation as employee number 99 in 1969. After 32 years with the company he retired in 2001 as Executive Vice President General Manager of the New Business Group. In his career at Intel he defined manufacturing processes and organization, including the all important introduction of new semiconductor processes into manufacturing, before moving to the New Business Group in 1999. In this 2003 interview Gerry describes the explosive growth of Intel and the unending challenges of transferring technology from R & D to production. A transcript is available here.

Pasquale Pistorio

Pasquale Pistorio (Agira, 6 january 1936) is an Italian company director, ex president of STMicroelectronics and board member of Confindustria. From 17 April 2007 until 3 December 2007 he was president of Telecom Italia. He graduated in Electrical Engineering , his early career was at Motorola where he became the European marketing director in 1967. From here his responsibility increased to Director of WorldWide Marketing, Vice President of Motorola Corporation and Director General of the International Semiconductor Division, responsible for planning, production and marketing worldwide excluding the USA. In 1980 he returned to Italy to lead the SGS group, a microelectronics company that then went on to merge with the semiconductor arm of Thompson, a French electronics company, becoming SGS-Thomson Microelectronics (now known as STMicroelectronics), a company, which under his leadership, grew to became one of the leading worldwide manufacturers of semiconductors. In 2005 Pistorio stepped down as CEO and was named honorary president. Two years later he was nominated President of Telecom Italia. A transcript is available here.

Walden Rhines

Walden Rhines has a unique perspective on the history of the semiconductor industry as possibly the only CEO who has spent over twenty years on each side of the industry fence: chip manufacturing and chip design. The latter is broadly known as the EDA or Electronic Design Automation industry and serves semiconductor companies with design tools and services. After receiving an PhD in Material Science from Stanford University, he has divided his career between Texas Instruments and Mentor Graphics. A transcript will be available here.

Arthur Rock

As a young New York investment banker, Arthur Rock convinced the wealthy industrialist Sherman Fairchild to talk to eight dissatisfied scientists at the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory. Fairchild liked what he saw and Fairchild Semiconductor was born out of their collaboration. Rock later moved to San Francisco and became the first venture capitalist. When Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore grew weary of the East Coast style of Fairchild management, Rock in a single afternoon raised the money to start a new company, Intel. Rock was also the money man behind Apple Computer, Scientific Data Systems, and many other startups. In this 2002 interview Rock describes his investment criteria and philosophy. A transcript of this interview is available.

T. J. Rodgers

T. J. Rodgers, always known as T. J., was born in Wisconsin and attended Dartmouth College and Stanford University, earning undergraduate and post-degrees in chemistry, physics and electrical engineering. Following a period at Advanced Micro Devices with Jerry Sanders, T. J. founded Cypress Semiconductor in 1982, where he remains to this day as its President and Chief Executive Officer. Over his career, T. J. has accumulated multiple awards and has testified before Congress multiple times and has been one of Silicon Valley's advocates for free enterprise. A transcript of this interview is available.

George Rostky

The late George Rostky was a journalist who covered the development of the semiconductor industry from its inception, which he discusses in this 1995 interview. He describes his interviews with semiconductor industry notables; audiotapes of this interviews have been donated to the Stanford University Libraries' Silicon Valley Archives. A transcript is available here.

W. "Jerry" Sanders III

Jerry Sanders graduated in 1958 with a degree in Electrical Engineering and was recruited to Fairchild Semiconductor in 1961. He was a star performer at Fairchild, becoming world-wide sales manager at the age of 31. When Bob Noyce left to found Intel, C. Lester Hogan was brought in as head of Fairchild and ended up firing the young and brash Sanders. Other former Fairchild employees had left to form Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) but could not obtain funding. Sanders was asked to join them, got the money, and became Chairman and CEO of AMD, a position he held from 1969 to 2002. In this 2002 interview, Sanders describes his 41 years in semiconductors and speculates on the future of technology. A transcript is available here.

Horst G. Sandfort

Horst Sandfort has been a leader in moving U.S. semiconductor companies into Europe. Starting in 1968 with Texas Instruments, he introduced their calculators into central Europe . Next, he did the same with Litronix. In the late '70s, he initiated Fairchild Consumer Electronics to Central Europe, and later became Director of International Marketing at Fairchild in Mountain View . From 1984 to 1994, he managed LSI Logic European operations. First, establishing a design center in Munich , and then he became LSI's President in Europe , including the responsibility for manufacturing. Since that time he has held CEO positions with a variety of American electronic firms. A transcript is available here.

George Scalise

George Scalise, President of the Semiconductor Industry Association, the SIA, has enjoyed a distinguished 30 year industry carreer. He has worked in senior positions at Motorola, Fairchild, AMD, Apple and MacStore. In this 2003 interview, George discusses the early days of semiconductors, and the issues of Japanese DRAM dumping. A transcript is available here.

Harry Sello

Harry Sello was recruited by William Shockley to join Shockley Semiconductor Laboratories. He later became a senior member of Fairchild Semiconductor through the Noyce, Hogan and Roberts regimes. A transcript is available here.

Larry Sonsini

According to Business Week magazine, Larry Sonsini "is unquestionably the most
sought-after lawyer in Silicon Valley." As Chairman of law firm Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati, he has overseen hundreds of stock offerings. With a legal team of over 500 lawyers, roughly one third of Silicon Valley’s public companies are his clients. In this 2003 interview Larry shares his view on technology and public offerings. A transcript is available here.

Elliott Sopkin

Elliott Sopkin began his semiconductor life at Fairchild. He then moved to Advanced Micro Devices - joining Jerry Sanders, who has also been interviewed for this series – where Elliott stayed for over twenty years through some of the most interesting times at AMD. A transcript is available here.

Charlie Sporck

Charlie learned manufacturing at General Electric and was recruited to Fairchild as their first dedicated manufacturing director. He was there as the planar process was being developed, which, together with the manufacturing equipment and organization, became the foundation of Silicon Valley. Later he became CEO of National Semiconductor where he instituted a no-nonsense style of management. He offers his insights on the successes and failures of Fairchild and National, and their abortive forays into consumer markets. A transcript is available here.

Peter Sprague

After attending Yale, MIT, and Columbia, Peter Sprague began his semiconductor career in 1964 when he invested in a small, almost bankrupt semiconductor company in Connecticut called National Semiconductor.  Soon thereafter, around 1966, he became chairman and was instrumental in the hiring of National Semiconductor CEO Veteran Charlie Sporck in 1967.  National Semiconductor was relocated to Silicon Valley and the rest is history.  Peter remained Chairman of National Semiconductor for over 30 years.  He also had wider interests beyond the semiconductor industry which included chairman of Aston, Martin, Lagonda, a U.K. luxury car maker. A transcript is available here.

Ray Stata

Ray Stata co-founded Analog Devices in 1965. In this 2006 interview, Stata, now Chairman of the company, discusses his experiences in over forty years in the analog module and integrated circuit business. He explains the basic business tenets that have kept ADI growing through decades of technological revolution. A transcript is available here.

Bob Swanson

Bob Swanson was the founder of Linear Technologies Technology, a leader in the field of analog integrated circuits. He was a veteran of Transitron, Fairchild & National Semiconductor before founding Linear in 1981. In this 2006 interview, Bob describes the profitability of analog ICs, the advantages of Silicon Valley as a place to start a technology company and the importance of retaining the best engineers. A transcirpt is available here.

Richard S. Tedlow

Richard Tedlow is the class of 1949 Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School where he a specialist in the history of business. He is the author of several books including his latest Andy Grove: the life and times of an American. A transcirpt is available here

Robert Ulrickson and John Nichols

Robert Ulrickson and John Nichols chronicle Fairchild's pioneering developments in LSI and MSI and discuss what it takes to run a small electronics company. A transcript is available here.

Don Valentine

Don Valentine started his semiconductor career at Fairchild Semiconductor, where as Sales Manager he hired bright young men such as Jerry Sanders, Jack Gifford, Mike Markula and many others who went on to become industry leaders. Then, as a founder of National Semiconductor, Don built its sales force from scratch. In 1972 he entered the Venture Capital field then still in it's infancy, founding Sequoia Capital. In this 2004 interview Don discusses the factors that make Silicon Valley great, and his criteria for investing. A transcript is available here.

Harold Vitale

Harold Vitale was responsible for the first high pin count computer-controlled IC tester, the Fairchild 8000A in the late sixties. This was followed by the 8000B and then to the Sentry Series of larger VLSI production testers. After the Schlumberger acquisition of Fairchild, he moved on to a series of larger test design challenges at GenRad, Trillium and Credence Corporation. Largely ignored in semiconductor histories, ever faster VLSI testers were key to the success of microprocessors and ASICS. A transcript is available here.

Bernard Vonderschmitt

The late Bernard Vonderschmitt served as vice president and general manager of the solid-state division at the RCA Corporation for more than 20 years. This 1995 interview covers the RCA semiconductor operation and the development of CMOS. A transcript is available here.

Rob Walker

Rob Walker worked at both Fairchild and Intel before co-founding LSI Logic in 1981. In this 1998 interview he describes the early days of Silicon Valley with special emphasis on ASIC technology. A transcript is available here.

George Wells

George Wells, a native of Scotland, has been in the semiconductor industry since 1960 when he was hired at Transitron in the U.S. Later, heeding the call of Silicon Valley, George traveled west to Fairchild Semiconductor where he held a variety of management positions in manufacturing and engineering. He was recruited to General Electric, eventually heading up all semiconductor operations there. In 1985, he became president and COO of LSI Logic, joining his old friend, Wilf Corrigan. And in 1992, he became CEO of Exar, a mixed signal semiconductor supplier. A transcript is available here.

Keisuke Yawata

KK Yawata is a respected Japanese semiconductor executive. In this 2007 interview, he tells of his grammar school introduction to the power of electronics, his decision in college to pursue the physics and manufacture of transistors; and later integrated circuits. In his career at NEC, he rose to head-up NEC Electronics, USA. There he did the unthinkable, in 1984, he left NEC to start LSI Logic KK, a Japanese ASIC manufacture and partner of LSI Logic Corp. of California. After 10 years as CEO of the Japanese ASIC company, and two years as head of Applied Materials Japan, he semi-retired to become an advisor and an angel to young Japanese entrepreneurs. A transcript is available here.

Albert Yu

Albert Yu obtained his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and began his career at Fairchild Semiconductor's R&D facility in the Stanford Industrial Park. He was later recruited to Intel by Andy Grove, where he remained for a distinguished thirty-year tenure. In this 2005 interview, he recounts how as Senior Vice President, he oversaw the development of the 386, 486 and many of the Pentium chips, as well as the revolutionary Itanium. A transcript is available here.

Steve Zelencik

Steve Zelencik spent over thirty years with AMD and was originally their first outside salesman in 1970. He was born in Indiana and attended Purdue University, earning a EE degree in 1970. He spent five years at Fairchild Semiconductor, where he earned Salesman of the Year Award in 1966. After a thirty year career at AMD alongside Jerry Sanders, Steve retired from AMD in 2003. He is now primarily involved in the wine industry. A transcript is available here.


Silicon Genesis Europe Oral history interviews from European semiconductor pioneers are currently being added to the Silicon Genesis collection. These interviews have been produced by Horst G. Sandfort, veteran of Fairchild Semiconductor and LSI Logic. They are conducted in the native language of those interviewed. Electronica Round Table

Dr. Hans-Joachim Schuetze, Curt F. Kesting, Prof. Dr. Hans Weinerth “electronica” itself is an industry controversy, which resulted from the early days' fierce competition between the German Semiconductor Conglomerates like Siemens, AEG, VALVO, who exhibited at the Hannover Industrial Fair's “Microtronic” â€" established in the early fifties of the 20th Century, as the German Industrial recovery show after World War II â€" and the USA Semiconductor Industry, which wanted a foothold in the potentially largest European market for Semiconductor applications in Germany â€" backed by Texas Instruments, Fairchild Semiconductor and lead by Importers, Distributors and the Munich Exhibition Authorities, establishing “Electronica” in the early sixties, which by now is the leading Semiconductor Show worldwide, exhibiting the developments of the worldwide companies active in the Semiconductor Industry. The discussion recorded here on November 15, 2006 gives an overview of the early days of controversy, joint ventures, co-existence and issues for limited growth as well as world leadership for a company like Wacker / Siltronic by producing wafers for the globally leading players in the Semiconductor Industry. An English translation of the roundtable transcript prepared by Horst G. Sandfort is available here. The German transcription is available here.

Dr. Hans-Joachim Schuetze

Dr. Schuetze has experienced the developments in “both worlds”: leading European Semiconductor Companies from the late fifties to the mid sixties until he joined Texas Instruments Europe as a leading scientist and ultimately General Manager and Board member of the parent company in Dallas Texas . This was recorded November 16, 2006. The German transcription is available here.

Curt F. Kesting

Curt F. Kesting represents a group of individuals, who early on in their careers joined a US based Semiconductor Company (Fairchild Semiconductor) in Germany.
In this November 16, 2006 interview he described his many historically interesting engagements of a leading USA Semiconductor Company which was trying many different ways to establish itself as a global player. The German transcription is available here.

Prof. Dr. Hans Weinerth Prof. Dr. Hans Weinerth is an individual who mastered many challenges in his career, which relate to “opportunities” and “missed opportunities” in the Semiconductor Industry. As Scientist he was instrumental in the development of Zener Diodes, enhancing manufacturing processes. In this November 27, 2007 interview he describes getting his PhD thesis approved by William Shockley, even though he never worked for him, nor worked in the USA . He is author of many books relating to Physics and Semiconductors, which students in Germany , Austria and Switzerland which students in Germany , Austria and Switzerland still study today. The German transcription is available here. The English translation is available here.

The Fairchild Chronicles Fairchild semiconductor was the mother of the semiconductor industry; Fairchild put the silicon in Silicon Valley.  Founded in 1957 by eight scientists, it quickly reached heights of influence and prestige including the invention of the integrated circuit in 1959.  Then beset by inept absentee management woes, it begin to hemorrhaging key people who founded new semiconductor companies like Intel, AMD, National, LSI Logic and many others. Finally, in 1986 it was sold to National Semiconductor for just $122 million.  Today, Fairchild Semiconductor has been reconstituted and is headquartered in Portland Maine.
The Fairchild Chronicles is the story the 29 years of the west coast Company, both creative and chaotic, prolific and profane, told in the words of those who were there. It was a turbulent period representative of the sixties replete with alcohol, fistfights and aggressive behavior that most corporate histories don't discuss. The 180 minute documentary is told with video clips assembled from this site and a series of vintage photographs. The transcript is available here.

Oral history interviews from Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International, better known as SEMI, are currently being added to the Silicon Genesis collection. These interviews have been produced by Craig Addison, Senior Editor, Communications, at SEMI.

Morris Chang

Morris Chang has been the chairman of TSMC since the company was established in 1987 and served as CEO from its founding until June 2005. From 1985 to 1994, he was president and then chairman of ITRI, the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Taiwan . Earlier in his career, Chang served as president and chief operating officer of General Instrument, and prior to that he was corporate group and senior vice president for Texas Instruments. Chang holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University , and has been active in the semiconductor industry for 51 years. A transcript is available here.

Nicholas DeWolf

The late Nick DeWolf began his career in the semiconductor industry in the mid-1950s as chief engineer for Transistron, where he developed a tester for germanium diodes. In 1960, he founded Teradyne, a Boston-based company specializing in test equipment for semiconductors. At Teradyne he served as CEO for just over 10 years and during that time designed more than 300 testers, including the J259 computer operated test system for ICs. DeWolf retired as CEO in 1971 and moved to Aspen , Colorado , where he was active in community projects. In 1979, he was a recipient of the SEMI Award for outstanding contributions to the semiconductor test industry. DeWolf died April 16, 2006, aged 77. A transcript is available here.

James Gallagher

The late Jim Gallagher's career started in the military in 1943 when the U.S. Air Force sent him to New York University to take an M.S. in Meteorology, after which he served in Italy and Germany as a staff meteorologist. In 1958, along with several colleagues including Milt Greenberg, he founded the Geophysical Corporation of America (GCA). Gallagher held a number of positions at GCA including director and senior vice president of operations in charge of the IC Systems Group. In addition to his roles at GCA, Gallagher served as president and chairman of the SEMI board of directors for two terms from 1978-1980. In 1981, he was honored by the Semiconductor Equipment Marketing Council of Japan for his contributions in bringing influence and understanding to the area of U.S.-Japan trade relations. Gallagher died on February 7, 2006 , aged 85. A transcript is available here.

Theodore J. (Ted) Gallagher began his working career in the early 1960s with Perkin Elmer, involved in the sale and marketing of analytical instruments. In 1966, he joined Tracer Labs, a division of LFE, and promoted plasma processing technology for the semiconductor industry. Gallagher founded Tegal Corporation in 1972 and founded Matrix Integrated Systems in 1985. A transcript is available here.

Sam Harrell

Sam Harrell served as senior vice president of strategic business development for KLA Tencor from 1995 to 2002, when he retired from the semiconductor industry. He was one of the founders of SEMATECH and served as its senior vice president and chief strategy officer. From September 1987 to October 1992, Harrell was president of SEMI-SEMATECH, the consortium of equipment and materials suppliers. Earlier in his career, Harrell spent nine years in senior management positions at Texas Instruments, with responsibility for computer aided design (CAD) services, photomask production, photoresist development, lithography system development, and wafer fabrication technology. After TI, Harrell worked for Computervision for nine years as senior vice president, corporate strategy officer, and general manager of the Cobilt Division. He then went on to establish Micronix to develop x-ray lithographic systems and medical x-ray sources. Harrell has served as a member of the SEMI board of directors and was SEMI chairman in 1985. He received a Bachelor of Science with a major in chemistry from Texas Technological University in 1961 and a PhD in Physical and Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati in 1964. A transcript is available here.

David Lam founded Lam Research in 1980. Under his guidance as CEO, the company introduced the industry's first fully automated plasma etching system for semiconductor manufacturing. Lam Research went public in 1984 and has since become a global leader in semiconductor capital equipment. Since his departure from Lam Research, Lam has served as chairman of the David Lam Group, which invests and advises emerging technology companies in semiconductors, semiconductor equipment, computer hardware and software, biotech, networking, and communications. A transcript is available here.

Jay T. Last

Jay Last received a BS degree in Optics from the University of Rochester in 1951, and a Ph.D. in Physics from MIT in 1956. He was then recruited by William Shockley to work at the Shockley Semiconductor Labs. In September 1957, Last was one of the group of eight who founded Fairchild Semi conductor. At Fairchild he worked on the first commercial silicon planar transistors, and then ran the R&D group that produced the first integrated circuits. In 1961, Last joined Teledyne where he formed the Amelco division, and served as vice president for technology, overseeing the technical interaction of Teledyne's large number o f divisions. After he left Teledyne in the late 1970s, Last became involved with a number of venture capital activities, and was a founder of the Archaeological Conservancy, dedicated to saving American archaeological sites. He started Hillcrest Press in 1982, publishing books dealing with California art, ethnic art, and the graphic arts. A transcript is available here.

Michael A. McNeilly

Michael A. McNeilly's career began at 25 when he co-founded Apogee Chemicals to provide the semiconductor industry with ultra-high purity chemicals and chemical delivery systems. At 28, McNeilly founded Applied Materials. During his tenure at Applied, he issued over 20 patents and was the co-recipient of the first SEMI award for “ Outstanding Contributions to the Semiconductor Industry.” After Applied, McNeilly went on to establish 14 high technology companies. He also received the NASA award for “ Outstanding Contributions to NASA Technology Commercialization.” Most recently, McNeilly served as CEO of TwinStar Systems in Fremont , California. He died October 30, 2005, aged 66. A transcript is available here.

Robert Palmer

Robert Palmer served as chairman and CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation from 1995 to 1998, and was appointed president and CEO of Digital in October 1992. From 1985 to 1992, he served in various executive positions at Digital, primarily in the semiconductor manufacturing operations. Before Digital, Palmer was executive vice president of Semiconductor Operations at United Technologies Corporation (UTC), joining UTC in 1980 when it acquired Mostek Corporation. In 1969, Palmer was a member of the founding team at Mostek, where he pioneered the use of ion implantation technology for the manufacture of MOS circuits. Palmer currently serves on the board of directors of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. A transcript is available here.

Ed Segal

Ed Segal served as chairman and CEO of Metron Technology from 1995 until 2004 when it was acquired by Applied Materials. Previously, he was president and CEO of Transpacific Technology Corporation, a company he founded in 1982. Early in his career Segal worked in senior sales and marketing positions at Materials Research Corporation, Kasper Instruments and Cobilt. He is a member of the board of directors of SEMI and a past recipient of the SEMI Bob Graham Award for significant contributions to semiconductor equipment marketing. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in metallurgical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. A transcript is available here.

Sheldon Weinig spent five years as a professor at Columbia University before founding Materials Research Corporation (MRC) in 1957, where he served as chairman and CEO for more than 20 years. Sony acquired MRC in 1989 and following the merger Weinig remained with Sony America for seven years as vice chairman of engineering and manufacturing. In April 1996, he retired and accepted Adjunct Professorships at Columbia University and The State University of New York at Stony Brook, New York . In 1980, he received the SEMI Award for developing the critical materials necessary for the growth of the semiconductor industry. In 1990, he was elected to the International Technology Institute's Hall of Fame for Engineering, Science and Technology. Weinig served two terms as a member of President Ronald Reagan's Board of Advisors on Private Sector Initiatives, was a member of the U.S.-Japan Scientific Exchange Committee, and served on the board of directors of SEMI. Weinig received his doctorate in metallurgy from Columbia University. A transcript is available here.

Peter Wolken started his career in the semiconductor and electronics industry and later spent more than 25 years in the venture capital business. In 1982, he founded and was a general partner at Associated Venture Investors (AVI), which specialized in seed and early-stage investments in IT companies. Prior to AVI, Wolken was a general partner at Page Mill Partners. In 1970, he co-founded and was vice president of sales at Cobilt, a semiconductor equipment maker that later was acquired by Computervision. Prior to entering the venture capital business he worked for Etec. Earlier in his career he worked for RCA, General Electric, Beckman Instruments and Electroglas. Wolken received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters degree in International Marketing from the Thunderbird School of International Management in Arizona.A transcript is available here.

Shoichiro Yoshida

Shoichiro Yoshida joined Nikon Corporation in 1956 after graduating from the University of Tokyo with a major in precision mechanical engineering. For the first 15 years at Nikon he was involved in the design of optical and other precision instruments, including astronomical telescopes, spectroscopic instruments and ruling engines for optical grating. Yoshida was instrumental in Nikon's strategy to merge optical technology with precision instrumentation to develop products for the semiconductor manufacturing industry. He led the development of the NSR step-and-repeat system during the 1970s and Nikon's first stepper, the NSR-1010G, which was released in 1980. In 1983, Yoshida was appointed division manager for Nikon's stepper products. Five years later he was promoted to managing director of Nikon Corporation, with wider responsibility for the microscope and measuring instruments division as well as steppers. Yoshida was subsequently appointed executive vice president and in 1997 became president of Nikon Corporation. He served as chairman and CEO from 2001 until his retirement in 2005, when he was named as Corporate Advisor to Nikon. Yoshida was elected to the board of directors of SEMI in 1990 and served a term as chairman of SEMI in 1998/1999. A transcript is available here.

Last Modified: January 25, 2012 by T.N.
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