Makers of the Microchip: A Documentary History of Fairchild Semiconductor

Hardcover | September 3, 2010

byChristophe Lécuyer, David C. BrockForeword byJay Last

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In the first three and a half years of its existence, Fairchild Semiconductor developed, produced, and marketed the device that would become the fundamental building block of the digital world: the microchip. Founded in 1957 by eight former employees of the Schockley Semiconductor Laboratory, Fairchild created the model for a successful Silicon Valley start-up: intense activity with a common goal, close collaboration, and a quick path to the market (Fairchild's first device hit the market just ten months after the company's founding). Fairchild Semiconductor was one of the first companies financed by venture capital, and its success inspired the establishment of venture capital firms in the San Francisco Bay area. These firms would finance the explosive growth of Silicon Valley over the next several decades. This history of the early years of Fairchild Semiconductor examines the technological, business, and social dynamics behind its innovative products. The centerpiece of the book is a collection of documents, reproduced in facsimile, including the company's first prospectus; ideas, sketches, and plans for the company's products; and a notebook kept by cofounder Jay Last that records problems, schedules, and tasks discussed at weekly meetings. A historical overview, interpretive essays, and an introduction to semiconductor technology in the period accompany these primary documents.

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In the first three and a half years of its existence, Fairchild Semiconductor developed, produced, and marketed the device that would become the fundamental building block of the digital world: the microchip. Founded in 1957 by eight former employees of the Schockley Semiconductor Laboratory, Fairchild created the model for a successfu...

Christophe Lécuyer is Principal Economic Analyst in the Office of the President of the University of California and the author of Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930-1970 (MIT Press, 2005). David C. Brock is Senior Research Fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation's Center for Contemporary History and ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:328 pages, 10 × 7.5 × 0.69 inPublished:September 3, 2010Publisher:The MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262014246

ISBN - 13:9780262014243

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Christophe Lécuyer is Principal Economic Analyst in the Office of the President of the University of California and the author of Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930-1970 (MIT Press, 2005). David C. Brock is Senior Research Fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation's Center for Contemporary History and the editor of Understanding Moore's Law: Four Decades of Innovation. This thoughtfully conceived and nicely executed book offers a wealth of insights into the early history of the silicon revolution. Its newly disclosed documents and unusually perceptive commentary and analysis provide unprecedented glimpses into the inner workings of Fairchild Semiconductor and the remarkable entrepreneurial team that propelled this transforming epic in modern business and technological history.