SEMI Oral History Interview

Sam Harrell

November 16, 2004, Austin , Texas

Interviewed by Craig Addison

 

 

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.

 

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CA: Thank you very much, Sam for joining us.

 

SH: My pleasure.

 

CA: Could we start off with you talking about your early days -- where you grew up, what sort of influences you had, what you wanted to be when you graduated?

 

SH: Well I grew up in Texas . I grew up on a ranch at Stephenville , Texas and was privileged to be in an outstanding school system which was a very poor school system economically [yet]…over 90 percent of its students graduated from college, which in a rural area is very abnormal. So I was blessed by really good teachers. I had an outstanding teacher in chemistry and in physics in high school. And that got me turned from an agricultural interest toward chemistry. And then I went to Texas Tech University in Lubbock , Texas , and then to the University of Cincinnati in Ohio where I got a doctorate degree in chemistry. And I went directly from there in

1963 to Texas Instruments in Dallas where the timing was great because it was at the birth of the commercialization of the integrated circuit. Up until that time the integrated circuit had primarily been a military market. The majority of the dollars were from the military applications and space applications. So what happened was, at Texas Instruments at least, we began to look for volume commercial applications and they succeeded in doing that. And I got involved very quickly in how to make these things at a high yield. And at that time the definition of “high yield” was 5 percent. Typical yields at the beginning of devices were one-tenth of 1 percent, or maybe a big success was six-tenths of 1 percent. So we had to totally change the technology in order to begin building them at yields of the order of 30 percent or so, which got us to a set of economics that could allow commercialization.

 

CA: So you joined TI in ‘63 and that was, as you said, when the IC was being ramped up. Was there a lot of excitement about this new technology and how it would change the world or at that stage they didn't really realize the impact that it would have?

 

SH: I think TI, particularly Pat Haggerty and Jack Kilby, had visions that it would change the electronic world. They really did believe it would become very pervasive. And they felt that probably for 30 or 40 years that it could grow at a faster rate than the GNP would grow. And so it was a great opportunity for TI. TI at that time was a seismic exploration company. And TI had a world view at that time because of the seismic exploration. And so they looked at the integrated circuit business as a world business. And the tough job would be to get the ability to produce them at a cost that would be competitive with other ways of doing those jobs in the commercial world, which were largely mechanical at that time. Calculators were mechanical. They might have motors that drove mechanical things but they were basically mechanical.

 

CA: In the equipment and materials area -- that was all developed in-house

-- can you talk a little bit about how you acquired that technology or how you grew that technology at TI?

 

SH: Well, in order to get production yields up and costs down we had to work on replacing the science of the R&D phase and getting a production worthy set of science and engineering implementations. So to do that we had to study the fundamentals and figure out other ways of doing it. In most cases that might be built internally. But in some cases we would find machine shops or specialists outside to build our design. We had some cooperative programs, for example, with IBM. They were a very big customer and so we would compare notes on how to perform certain tasks, for example lithography, printing equipment and so on. And then they would build theirs. We would build ours. And sometimes we would look at each other's product and improve the ideas. At the same time Fairchild was doing the same and National was doing the same. And I don't mean to imply there weren't other companies in the business. There were. But these were the primary movers at that time. And what began to occur over time was driven a lot by the change in wafer size, which was a productivity change. Now today we talk about the difficulty of 300 millimeter wafers. At that time we were talking about going from three-quarters of an inch to an inch and then from an inch to an inch and a quarter and then an inch and quarter to an inch and a half. What those required were changes in equipment. At the time you changed the wafer size, you ended up changing maybe 80 percent of the parts in a machine. And that's when all your best ideas got put in. Instead of incremental improvement, they were more, stronger productivity improvements and technical capability improvements. And from time to time those transitions were extraordinarily difficult. What you thought would be an easy uniformity problem turned out to be extraordinarily difficult uniformity problem. And it might seem trivial compared to the degree of control that we have today. But there was a lot less detailed understanding at that point as to what caused the defects and the degree of equipment precision required. So at that time a piece of equipment that cost $10,000 to $15,000 was extraordinarily expensive. Today the spare parts cost that.

 

We changed lithography. We changed the test methodology. We changed the diffusion later on implementing ion implantation. And a lot of difficulty in the metallization schemes to get to a robust metallization technology. So what happened in going from the two inch conversion to the three inch conversion, all of the companies began to rely on outside suppliers. As some of Fairchild's internal equipment engineering people were able to raise venture capital, formed companies in the Silicon Valley area, some of the TI shops were allowed to sell beyond TI. And step by step there began to be an infrastructure outside. Now I was on Texas Instrument's Capital Committee in the late 1960s when the idea came up of cooperating across equipment segments and material segments particularly relating to standards. And the thing that was a catalyst was that IBM, for example, used a notch to define the scribe lines within the silicon scribe and break planes, and TI used a plane that was ground off on the side instead of a notch, so the pieces of equipment that had to handle the wafers were not common. The handling side was not common. So as the desire came to make the handling more automatic and not be handled by people…then there became a need to standardize, if not on one standard, at least a family of standards so that the guys building the equipment and particularly the wafer carriers and so on, could standardize.

 

So the motivation I think from the point of view of the semiconductor equipment and materials people was heavily driven toward having some kind of venues to help them sell. The motivation from the IC manufacturers for whom I worked was to try to be able to make the development of these pieces of equipment more efficient [as well as develop] standards activities. And these things kind of came together. First I think there was a lot of dissatisfaction by the treatment given in the WEMA shows and other venues at that time, which were electronic but didn't give much shift to test and manufacturing people in the semiconductor equipment industry. I know as a member of the [TI] Capital Committee we had a debate about whether we wanted to foster this idea or whether we wanted to keep our ideas to ourselves and not cooperate. And we talked to our brethren at IBM and we made the decision to cooperate. So Howard Moss, who was one of the very early directors of SEMI, made the decision that we would cooperate. And so we did. We were there at the very first [SEMICON] show and we were there in the first standards committees. And our motivation in the standards committee was that we were frustrated with the National Bureau of Standards' slowness. Their procedures were so cumbersome and their round robins took so long that we wanted a place where, if we agreed on standards, we'd just start using them.

 

I think from the equipment and materials side, they wanted a place where they could get some customers to a show and not be half of one percent of a show but be able to really have access to the customers. And so I think there was synergy. There weren't the same objectives but there was enough synergy [so] that what became SEMI came into play. And the first show was in the Hall of Flowers at the Fairgrounds in San Mateo [ California ]. And I remember it wasn't full of semiconductor equipment or semiconductor materials people. There were insurance booths and all kinds of things to try to fill it up. But it was the beginning and became an incredible force.

 

CA: When SEMI was formed in 1970, and you said that TI had made the decision to cooperate, what equipment manufacturing did you want to keep in-house? What did you want to keep and what did you want to purchase from outside at that stage?

 

SH: In any company there are people of differing views. And we certainly had those in our company. But we made the people who developed equipment internally have to go through the same capital committee as [those] procuring it. So we had a central point at which had this debate with each and every kind of equipment at each generation of investment. But I think there were groups within TI that for the next 20 years continued to make equipment. And they might still. I don't know. But there are always engineers who feel that their idea is better. It's unique. They ought to get credit for it. They ought to get to do it. And then there are managers who say, “Where do we want to make our investments?” But the decisions mainly got made because you were going to have to share the data anyway with your second sources in order to choose the wafers that would be used, to choose whether the curves were identified by notches or flats, what kind of carriers would you have. All these kinds of things were deals you had to work [out] with your second sources. And especially test equipment.

 

CA: During the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, the industry started moving offshore for the assembly and test. What sort of impact did that have at TI?

 

SH: The offshore movement began because of taxation policies and protectionism policies of different parts of the world. So we found that we had to go to different locations in order to be European to Europeans and Asian to Asians and so on. And we found that our costs were far less. But TI's management was very adverse to that as a permanent trend. So they wanted to get more of the offshore capability back domestically at least for the domestic market. So that generated a lot of effort at automation and a lot of automation programs were funded explicitly to try to meet the profit-after-ultimate-tax with automation advantages, so that the end product could be made in the U.S. for at least the North American market. And my observation is during my tenure, which was through 1973, that every advance we made in automation we ended up shipping to the offshore sites. So their advantage in cost of labor and cost of logistics and support and taxation just got added to the advantage of the automation so it never got changed. And eventually in the early ‘70s we began to put more and more facilities offshore. We had facilities in England and France , Germany , Italy , Japan , Taiwan and virtually everywhere there was an end market there was manufacturing eventually.

 

CA: I've read Charlie Sporck's book, Spin Off, and he talks a lot about Fairchild and National and how they went to Hong Kong and Asia in general to beat the automation at TI by using low cost labor. What was TI's response to that?

 

SH: There wasn't a TI. There were several TIs. And each of the TI's followed its own approach. There was an automation program which was extensive -- really extensive. There was a big one at IBM. There was a big one at Texas Instruments. But at the same time there were others within the company who were using more conventional technology and trying to use other means of getting the yields, the costs and benefits to compete with National and Fairchild specifically. And they found ways of doing it. In fact one of my big revelations when I moved in 1973 to Computervision and got involved with the Cobilt operation of Computervision, now I could go see how these other people did things. And they were very different. You go to each company and they were using different tradeoffs. But they all had the same goal line. They knew what cost per bit or what cost per function they had to meet in order to be successful with a customer. And they all did it in different ways but they all got here. And if you didn't get there you wouldn't survive. So it was quite interesting -- the innovation.

 

And then about the same time, I spent quite a bit of time in Japan . Now I had spent time in Japan already with Texas Instruments in the early ‘60s, or the middle ‘60s under the integrated circuit patent training activity. And the Japanese took different approaches than the U.S. guys. But they all got to the point where they were competitive. So teams of people in different locations with the same laws of physics balance the economics differently but they were all competitive. Now over time the dominance of the outside equipment suppliers and the availability to all manufacturers of all of that equipment, I think, was instrumental in raising all the ships and getting a little more, if not uniformity, at least likeness in character of the ways that the processing was done.

 

CA: You mentioned Japan . What sort of feeling did you have when you visited Japan during the ‘60s? Were they going to be a big competitive threat to the U.S. , was that evident during that period?

 

SH: In the ‘60s and even into the early ‘70s, the Japanese equipment and facilities were inferior, but their attention to detail and their attention to the detail of data was superior. They improved faster. They were not satisfied with less than the best that they could figure out how to do. And so I had many, many…I still have many good friends among the Japanese leadership. And I think they had a superior, unrelenting drive toward improvement. And eventually that paid off for them. Now they also had very low cost of money. When your cost of money in a business that's very capital intensive is near zero, then you have some striking advantages. Every generation you just go do another factory. When there's the better equipment, you just buy it because your cost of money is so low. And in the U.S. at those times the cost of money was very high. And that was a distinct advantage the Japanese had. But overall I think the Japanese just did an excellent engineering job.

 

CA: I've heard several stories from different people about equipment being copied or reengineered by Japanese. Did anything like that happen with Texas Instruments?

 

SH: There are many examples of that happening. But in Texas Instruments' case we did a joint venture with Sony as their beginning entree into Japan . And so the equipment was available to them. And so it wasn't that they stole it. It was available to them. They paid royalties under the patent licenses. But the second half of the question, which is improvement; they were really good at improving equipment. In fact the most important things we did were to get access to all the improvements they made because they made good improvements. They did a really good job.

 

CA: Before we move on from TI, Sam, I wanted to ask you about your experience working with Jack Kilby. Can you talk a little bit about that?

 

SH: Well Jack is a giant of a man both physically and intellectually. And he also had a very keen sense of economics. He would tell us at times when integrated circuits were selling for thousands of dollars each that they all had to eventually be made for a dollar. And so he had this vision that to be the pervasive technology it needed to be you had to be able to make them for a dollar. So that drove a lot of what we did. We made road maps. We made technology transition charts and all kinds of things trying to figure out how you were going to make these things for a dollar. The answer is -- you couldn't do it with the ways that we were doing it then. We had to invent new ways in order to make that happen. So Jack was very, very skilled. He was a good electronic engineer in the first place -- very bright. But in addition to that, he had a really sharp business sense as to where integrated circuit technology could be used and what would be necessary to solve to do that. And so I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to work with him during that time. And between a group of maybe four people, we essentially changed the technology package to something that was extendable and is mainly still the path, the fundamental path that integrated circuits are built on. So Kilby is a very capable person. And I think he would be very capable in any technical problem you put him onto. He's just one of those kinds of people who could think through problems in a manner where they were most likely to get solved and get solved practically as well as theoretically. So Kilby is a very bright guy.

 

CA: So let's move on from TI. You left TI in '73 and went to Computervision. Can you talk about how that came about – why you decided to jump to the other side of the fence, so to speak?

 

SH: At the time I ran the design centers for TI as well as the front end processing technology -- especially lithography. And so I was intrigued by Computervision because it was bringing CAD/CAM out of the universities into commercial life. And so it was the power of CAD that attracted me -- computer aided design. It was very clear to me that without successful computer aided design you would not be able to design circuits at the complexity we needed for them to be. And that's true of printed circuit boards, true of the integrated circuits themselves, the routing of the chips. So I thought that was a very attractive and interesting thing to work on. And quite frankly at that time I had reached the level where I was spending all my time being presented to or presenting to somebody else and I wasn't ready to stop working. I was too much of a manager and not enough hands-on and I was not going to be able to stay there and get out of that trap. So I changed. At Computervision I was the chief strategy officer for the corporation and so I did get my hand in the CAD/CAM area somewhat. And probably the biggest contribution I made was strongly encouraging them to concentrate on the mechanical and mapping and architectural areas rather than the electronic areas because the electronic market was just so much smaller than the number of people who needed mechanical CAD in the world. And that fostered a lot of growth. I think we were the highest P/E ratio on the New York Stock Exchange for seven straight years and we had the highest growth rate, which would not be phenomenal today but it was phenomenal then. So it was a great success story.

But because I had the semiconductor experience I got connected with Ken Levy, who has also been a member of the SEMI board, because Computervision bought a company called Cobilt. Cobilt made mechanical aligners that printed the semiconductor wafer with somewhat superior technology to the standard of the day. And Computervision had a package of automatic alignment which would allow you to align the layers more exactly. So they could put the automatic alignment into these Cobilt aligner packages and create a new paradigm for wafer printing. So that was the attractive feature there. And so I moved to California , as did Ken Levy, and we created new methodologies for the lithographic process. And we sold hundreds of machines all over the world. It really reigned until the period of the projection printers became dominant.

 

CA: Can you talk a little bit about Cobilt -- how the products developed and some of the highlights during your period there?

 

SH: Cobilt was a relatively small company so it was very intense, very active. And we had a strategy which was essentially to outrun the competition to each new node in the technology. So it was a technology in which the existing players would typically run with the design for quite a long time. And they would buy large quantities of parts to get the cost as low as possible and so on. So what we did was concentrate on the printing technology and try to improve it technically to add more automation and to outrun to the next nodes. And we were able to do that successfully. And so it was considered in it's time to be the productivity engine. It would grind out wafers reliably and for the customer who set up the disciplines correctly in the mask making process, the automatic alignment worked well. For those who didn't, it didn't work well. The problems we had were primarily in wafer handling. Wafer handling has always been a tricky thing because there wasn't enough money in the error budget to do the job really, really well. And eventually it had to be because machines got so expensive that you had to solve that problem. But we instituted what was called “soft contact printing” which was very gentle as opposed to very hard, therefore doing less mask damage, therefore having longer mask life and higher yields. And so it was an advantage and was widely used.

 

We also put together automatic spin bake systems and integrated them with the aligner, which was the first time that was done. And we had automatic inspection systems where the automation was really in the handling of the wafers so that the operators didn't add defects in the process. But it still was a microscope system where the operators looked at the wafers. As you know, Ken Levy later left Computervision and formed KLA, which was based on trying to automate the inspection process which he and his team succeeded in doing.

 

CA: Can you talk about what happened to Cobilt?

 

SH: Cobilt's job was to be a cash cow for the CAD CAM business [of Computervision]. The CAD CAM business was growing at a very high rate. And then a decision was made to turn Cobilt into cash. The reason was that there was a set of rumors that some large companies wanted to acquire Computervision. And whether it was smart or foolish the management decided they didn't want to be acquired. They wanted to stay independent so they needed to build a giant cash hoard. And so they set out with directions to take Cobilt apart and sell the pieces. And so we had a bonder operation in Hong Kong , which we sold. We sold the spin bake equipment line and the prober line to Tokyo Electron, which became the heart of their equipment business. We sold the remaining parts to Applied Materials. So we disbanded it. And then Computervision did continue to grow. However to complete the story, they were caught in the trap of Michael Milken because they did have a giant cash hoard. They had a huge number of buildings around the world all paid for and they did not realize that people could come in and take them over, distribute the cash to the people who gave them the money to take it over and then leave them hanging in debt to compete.

 

CA: So Cobilt was sold off and I presume you were out of a job, so what did you do next?

 

SH: Well, I formed a small company, called Micronix, which had some specialists in x-ray source technology. And we had two primary product lines. One product line was an x-ray source for breast cancer detection. And it would allow the detection, about six months earlier, of breast cancer because it would detect smaller spot sizes and it would allow far lower dosage. So you've got earlier detection at lower doses. And so that was a very successful product line. Eventually we sold that product line. And the other was x-ray lithography. X-ray lithography was not successful and it was not successful because you couldn't make good enough masks to get high yield with it. The printing side of the thing was successful but the mask technology was not. Optical lithography improved way beyond what the physicists had said in earlier times. And so the necessity of going to x-ray lithography to solve the problems was significantly diminished. So the risk to the customer was more easily accomplished by staying with the extension of the optical technology, which is what happened. You got the [introduction] of the stepper, which allowed the mask technology for optical technology to be solved by a four to one reduction instead of one to one. So that got easier. And that was the work horse of the industry for a number of years. And so we closed it.

 

CA: Were there many other x-ray lithography start-ups during that time?

 

SH: There were. HP turned theirs off toward the end of this period. IBM continued theirs for a time, mainly working around synchrotron approaches. Then there was a start-up called Hampshire Engineering late in that period. And they ran into the same problem but burned through some venture capital on the way. The technology is just like the lithography options we heard about today. There are a lot of options. But you'd better make sure you can build a mask first. The lesson of Micronix is, make sure you can solve the mask problem first.

 

CA: Now we're up to the late 1980s period. So let's just back up a little bit and talk about your involvement with SEMI, becoming a member of the board of directors and eventually serving a term as SEMI Chairman. How did you get involved with SEMI in the first place?

 

SH: I began my interaction with SEMI through the standards activities, first at TI and then later with Cobilt. And then I was asked to join the board and to take as a project the implementation of the technical programs. At that time there were some programs but they were mainly what I'll call oral commercials and the board wanted to change that. They wanted to create technical programs that would be real symposia and would have some academic standard standing and would be perceived as a place that real technologists would want to come and interact. And hopefully do that in concert in some cases with shows. And it would cause a higher level of technical customer people to come to shows. And so the logic was very good and so we set out to do that and we did it. We set up the symposium around the SEMICON shows and then symposia that were outside the shows, and [we held] the biggest one which was the technical symposium in Japan .

 

In the midst of all this during my time on the [SEMI] board of directors and the time I was chairman, there were two giant issues. One giant issue was whether we were going to be cooperative or competitive internationally in the shows. And there were independent parties trying to set up competitive shows in Japan and in Europe . And so we went to the customers at the executive level and were able to get agreement that we would have cooperative shows – that we would not have our show and your show. We managed to keep a cooperative spirit within the SEMI community at that time. I think the second really big issue was what I'll call the internationalization issue. Would we have international members? Would we treat international members like equal members? That kind of thing. And I know some of those most violently against international memberships sold their companies to international companies within the next two years. It was really funny. But I had had a lot of experience in Japan . We had other directors who had good success in relationships as well as business in Japan , in particular, and in Europe . And so we were able to guide ourselves through this process and come to a point where SEMI was an international organization. That was very important, I think, and very pivotal. The other issue that was a derivative issue of that was that in the U.S. there was a movement toward, through the SIA [Semiconductor Industry Association], toward the establishment of a consortium for manufacturing technology. And that later became known as SEMATECH. But in its earliest time they recognized that if you don't include the equipment and materials industry, you can't get the changes needed to be competitive. And so there was the beginning of this issue of, now that we've decided to be international, can we be connected to this consortium that the SIA is putting together? There was a lot of good heated discussion about that too. And in the end the decision was, if we're going to be an international organization then we have to have our members who want to be a part of this consortium…join a separate organization.

 

And so SEMI birthed a separate organization …I was physically there and we made one very bad decision on the name. The name was SEMI-SEMATECH. And I think it took a really long time to get that name changed…because it caused confusion. But in any case the decision made by the board was that we were international, we were cooperative, we would remain cooperative. All [SEMI] members are members. All members really are equal and eventually we got international members on the board and now that's an old story. But at the time it was a very contentious decision to reach. And as a result of those decisions the decision was that SEMI-SEMATECH had to be separate and distinct -- totally separate membership, separate structure, separate management. Everything. Then after we reached all those decisions then they came to me and said, “Now would you go run that?” And so I was very deeply committed to SEMI. Very deeply. That was the hard decision. It wasn't a hard decision to close Micronix but that was a hard decision because you had to choose between these paths. But when this was being formed, Charlie Sporck [from National Semiconductor] stuck his long finger in my face and said, “If we form this thing, would you be willing to come and spend at least two years of your life trying to make it work?” And I said, “Yes. I would.” And so the reason I said yes was that a year and a half before I had told Charlie yes and I felt that I was committed. And I went home and looked in the mirror and asked myself if I was committed. And so I did. It ended up being six years, about half of which was with

SEMI-SEMATECH and the other half was as the chief strategy officer of SEMATECH itself.

 

CA: You worked for Bob Noyce at SEMATECH and you also worked for Jack Kilby at TI.

 

SH: That's true.

 

CA: Can you talk about Bob Noyce -- what sort of person he was to work for and as an individual?

 

SH: I loved Bob Noyce. He was a friend for a long time before SEMATECH was ever formed and I was one of those working hard to try to get him to come to SEMATECH and be the CEO. He was at least half retired from Intel at that point. And so he finally relented and decided to do it. Noyce was, I think, the only renaissance-man I've known in my lifetime. He's a brilliant technologist, but you can have an engaging discussion on any subject on the planet and he had thought about it. He had an opinion about it. He was ready to listen to your opinion about it. He was a very open person. So he was an enjoyable person to have as a friend and to have as a colleague. Many people say Bob Noyce was not an outstanding manager and in the classical Harvard Business School sense, that may be right. But what he could do better than anybody I've ever known is he could work on a problem in a team as a team member and not dominate the team. And if the team got stuck, he could get up and be the leader, get them unstuck and then sit down again and be a team member and not have that leadership through that period cause people to tilt his way. Now that's a unique skill. I've never seen it as well done by anybody else. I hope I can do it but he did it best. So he could work in a team and he could work in a team if it was confrontational. He could work in a team that was not confrontational. But he knew how to work on the issues and make a climate in the team where you worked on the problem. He also was very good at having this clash of 13 cultures [at SEMATECH] come to a conclusion and then everybody had to follow it. So you could fight all you wanted in a room but when you finished it was time to get up and go do it. And if you were battling the decision afterward he would send you back to your company. And he did. He sent them home.

 

CA: So he could be tough when he wanted to?

 

SH: Yes. And he'd just get them out of there.

 

CA: What happened after SEMATECH in your personal career, Sam?

 

SH: I made the decision that since I had extended from two years to six years that that was enough, and just told everybody I was going to retire and go take care of my ranches and our meat business and retire from that. So I did. But I got a call from Ken Levy of KLA Tencor and he met me for breakfast one morning. And I thought he was going to talk about an investment or something. But then he asked me to come and work on KLA's future and the directions and business development issues and so on. So I agreed to do that. And I'm really surprised I did in retrospect because it involved commuting between Austin and Silicon Valley a lot. In the end it was a very rewarding time. It was very challenging. They had 18 divisions and so you've got all these things to keep your finger on. I think we grew the company from $400 million a year to over $2 billion. The biggest was the merger of KLA and Tencor [in 1997] which made sense to me… It didn't make sense in terms of the people issue because they had tried to merge once before and had a real falling out over it. And so I said, “Look. Let's look at this from a customer's point of view and what you can do by having more of the data origin points for controlling the factory yield and parametric control.” And so slowly the group came around to it. And so we ended up doing the deal. At that time it was the largest semiconductor equipment deal that had been done. And the Wall Street guys said it was just too big, you just can't get it done. But we got it done. And then of course the next challenge is integration -- putting this stuff together and making the choices and what programs to keep and what programs to stop and so on. But that was a great time. First of all, I really like working with Ken Levy. I worked with him before in the Cobilt period. A person of great integrity and I just enjoyed working with him. And then later, as he pulled back more into the chairmanship, continued to work. But also I'm not in any way regretful of deciding then to retire because it's been a great thing. I get to spend more time with my family. For 41 years I averaged 200,000 air miles a year. And it's enough. I'm now able to just go periodically. I try to sign up only for things I can say no to. And so I'm helping a small company in Dallas working in the medical side, taking nanotechnology and thermal control and applying it to wound therapy. And so making what I think is a contribution there, helping a bunch of young people to get that into the market place. And there are now several hundred machines in the field. And then I have our ranches and meat business. And then my wife and I now are going to seminary classes. We're taking Old Testament in the seminary and that's been interesting. We're not ministers, we're just people but it's really fun to be with 30 and 35 year old young people who are zealots, who really want to go out and change the world for the better and are doing the hard work to prepare to do that. And that's been fun. So that's where I am today. I enjoy it and I'm happy.

 

CA: That's a good place to stop. Thank you very much, Sam. It's been really interesting.

 

SH: Thanks for the opportunity.