[EAS]Integrated Circuit Origins

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Tue Oct 10 16:23:07 EDT 2000

Subject:   Integrated Circuit Origins

Dear Colleagues -

On a day when Jack Kilby shares the Nobel Prize for Physics for the
invention to the integrated circuit, it is well to remember a
contributor on whose pivotal invention of the planar process the
entire integrated circuit industry is built, but who did not live to
be considered in this context--Jean Hoerni of Fairchild Semiconductor.
I have commented on his work in these mailings before, at

You can also get biographical details about Hoerni at

About the early days of the semiconductor industry there is a fun
piece by Tom Wolfe at

For the full details of how a new semiconductor technology is spawned
by a complex mix of device physics, entrepreneurship instincts and
dire corporate economic necessity I refer you to the meticulous
history "Revolution in Miniature" by Ernest Braun and Stuart MacDonald
(2nd ed., Cambridge University Press, 1982). It is a remarable book,
the only one known to me that handles semiconductor technological
history with full academic standards. (Out of print, but trivially
easy to find at <http://www.bookfinder.com/>.

All best,  --PJK

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