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Corrections about Bob Noyce and Intel

At 4:55 PM 11/17/95, attila wrote:

>   2.  most were pioneers: a specific example is Bob Norris who walked
>       out of a Fairchild board meeting being being rejected for his
>       eighth try at replacing Germanium because the first seven had
>       failed. A couple of VCs, among them Arthur Rock and Bob Perring
>       said: "...we believe you, let's try silicon..." and we have Intel.

Bob Noyce was already making silicon devices at Fairchild. The "planar
process" was developed by him in the late 50s. It is not the case that
Fairchild was stuck making germanium, nor that Intel was the first to use
silicon. I could go on about the actual history, but this is far from the
themes of this list, and many books cover the history very well.

What Intel pioneered the development of was _silicon-gate MOS_, where the
aluminum gates of traditional silicon devices is replaced with polysilicon
gates. Intel did this by hiring the silicon-gate gurus from Fairchild
(Vadasz, Grove, Faggin, etc.).

>       But, who drives Intel today? --Grove, who is labelled as the
>       founder.  Grove made the _business_ -the brains have been
>       forgotten. Norris was the darling of the VCs for a couple years
>       until they figured he couldn't spot a _financial_ success.

Grove remains a technologist--I studied semiconcuctor physics from his
wonderful 1967 book, "The Physics and Technology of Seminconductor
Devices"--and the group that leads Intel is highly technical. Gordon Moore
remains connected, materials scientist Craig Barrett (who hired me into
Intel in '74, ironically) is next-in-line to be President, Gerry Parker is
a top technologist, and so on.

As to Bob Noyce being the "darling of the VCs for a couple of years until
they figured he couldn't spot a _financial_ success," I should just let
that one pass. Noyce of course has been dead for several years. When he was
alive, though, he "spotted" several financial successes.

--Tim May

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