Robert Noyce gets biography

Robert Noyce, one of the founding fathers of Silicon Valley, is the subject of a new biography titled "The Man Behind the Microchip" by Leslie Berlin.

Noyce is credited as one of the co-inventors of the integrated circuit, was one of key engineers at Shockley Semiconductor and subsequently was one of the "Traitorous Eight," the engineers who left Shockley to start Fairchild Semiconductor.

After being passed over for the top spot at Fairchild, he talked fellow employee Gordon Moore to start Intel with him. He was also sort of a risk taker in private life.

"At twelve, he wanted to fly so he built a boy-sized glider and jumped off the roof. As an adult, he flew a jet through a baby thunderhead just to see what it was like to do it," said Berlin, who added that, until now, no one has written a biography of him.

Valley veterans at a small gathering for the publication of the book recalled working with him. (Noyce died in 1990). Former Intel Chairman Andy Grove recalled how Noyce helped put snow chains on Grove's snow tires once. "That was the first and last time I put chains on my car. Subsequently, I paid someone $10 to do it," said Grove.

Ted Hoff, a Stanford researcher in the 60s, admitted he was skeptical about joining the then-embryonic Intel.

"I told him, 'Does the world need another semiconductor company,'" Hoff told Noyce. Three years later, Hoff lead the team that developed the first microprocessor.

Source: CNET


Posted: Thu - June 16, 2005 at 05:52 PM