You are currently viewing SemiWiki as a guest which gives you limited access to the site. To view blog comments and experience other SemiWiki features you must be a registered member. Registration is fast, simple, and absolutely free so please, join our community today!
View attachment 2396Today's Google Doodle highlights that Robert Noyce, who died in 1990, would have been 84 today. Noyce, at Fairchild (and then Intel) along with Kilby (at TI) are generally credited with the invention of the integrated circuit, without which we wouldn't be reading this, or working in the industries that we do.
I read a book on him a while back which was very good:
[h=1]The Man Behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley[/h]Hailed as the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford of Silicon Valley, Robert Noyce was a brilliant inventor, a leading entrepreneur, and a daring risk taker who piloted his own jets and skied mountains accessible only by helicopter. Now, in The Man Behind the Microchip, Leslie Berlin captures not only this colorful individual but also the vibrant interplay of technology, business, money, politics, and culture that defines Silicon Valley.
Here is the life of a high-tech industry giant. The co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel, Noyce co-invented the integrated circuit, the electronic heart of every modern computer, automobile, cellular telephone, advanced weapon, and video game. With access to never-before-seen documents, Berlin paints a fascinating portrait of Noyce: an ambitious and intensely competitive multimillionaire who exuded a "just folks" sort of charm, a Midwestern preacher's son who rejected organized religion but would counsel his employees to "go off and do something wonderful," a man who never looked back and sometimes paid a price for it. In addition, this vivid narrative sheds light on Noyce's friends and associates, including some of the best-known managers, venture capitalists, and creative minds in Silicon Valley. Berlin draws upon interviews with dozens of key players in modern American business--including Andy Grove, Steve Jobs, Gordon Moore, and Warren Buffett; their recollections of Noyce give readers a privileged, first-hand look inside the dynamic world of high-tech entrepreneurship.
A modern American success story, The Man Behind the Microchip illuminates the triumphs and setbacks of one of the most important inventors and entrepreneurs of our time.
Another interesting factoid is that Robert's second wife Ann was VP of HR for Apple and quite close to Steve Jobs. I would imagine her and her husband had quite a bit of influence on Steve and how Apple evolved.
Post leaves out Noyce's questionable behavior at Schockley Semiconductor
This goes back to 1960 but is also modern. Maybe the story line should
be "Noyce destroyed Shockley Semiconductor and set American physics
back by 50 years". In retrospect, I was probably let into William Shockley's
seminar as a Stanford Freshman because I came from the same part of
Iowa as Noyce. In my case Decorah, Iowa where Noyce spent his grade
school years not Grinnell where he attended high school.
The story is modern because the recent book "Broken Genius: the
Rise and Fall of William Shockley" written by the current Stanford PR
Department has re-written history at least in the period that I experienced
after Shockley started teaching at Stanford in the early 1960s. For example,
Shockley was very popular in the physics department but would not
have anything to do with the EE department and advised us undergraduates to
avoid engineering graduate school at all costs. Also, the book's discussion of
Shockley's sad IQ racism has factual errors.