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WEBINAR: Silicon Valley the Way I Saw It (Semiconductor History)

April 30, 2020 @ 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Today people make chips with 10 billion transistors and no-one thinks anything of it. But there was a day (Or more correctly a decade) when we couldn’t make even one transistor reliably. How did we start there and get where we are today? Who were the players? What did they do? John East is a grizzled veteran of the semiconductor business. In 1968 he began his career at Fairchild Semiconductor as an engineer trying (And often failing) to get decent yields on circuits with a few dozen transistors. He had personal interactions with the key players who made this all happen. Today he’s going to tell us about those players and what they accomplished.

John East retired from Actel Corporation in November 2010 in conjunction with the transaction in which Actel was purchased by Microsemi Corporation. He had served as the CEO of Actel for 22 years at the time of his retirement. Previously, he was a senior vice president of AMD, where he was responsible for the Logic Products Group. In the past he has served on many boards of directors. He currently serves on the boards of directors of SPARK Microsystems – a Canadian start up involved in high speed, low power radios — and Tortuga Logic — a Silicon Valley start-up involved in hardware security. He is also an advisor to Silicon Catalyst — a Silicon Valley based incubator actively engaged in fostering semiconductor based start-ups.

Today he spends time teaching the art of public speaking and delivering addresses on the history of Silicon Valley: “Silicon Valley the Way I Saw It”. His personal history is recorded both in the Computer History Museum “Oral Histories of Key Pioneers and Contributors to the Information Age” and the Stanford Library “Silicon Genesis: Oral History Interviews of Silicon Valley Scientists.”

Mr. East holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA, both from the University of California, Berkeley. He has lived in the Silicon Valley with his wife Pam for 52 years.

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