A Transistor Museum Interview with Wilf Corrigan

Personal Reflections on Motorola’s Pioneering 1960s

Silicon Transistor Development Program


Curator’s Introduction


Industry Associations and Awards


1977.  Semiconductor Industry Association – Founding Member.

“The SIA is the premier trade association representing the U.S. semiconductor industry.  Founded in 1977 by five microelectronics innovators, SIA unites 95 companies responsible for 85 percent of the semiconductor production in this country.” [2]


1988.  EE Times – Integrated Circuit 30th Anniversary Edition – Thirty who Made a Difference.

This special 1988 edition of EE Times was published to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the integrated circuit.  Wilf’s pioneering work at Motorola is cited as “making a production reality out of epitaxial growth.” [3]


1998.  Semiconductor Industry Association – Robert N. Noyce Award.

Wilf was the co-recipient, along with Jerry Sanders III, of this award, which has been noted as “the industry’s highest honor for leadership.”  The Noyce award recognizes the lifetime achievements of leaders in the chip industry.


2004.  Semiconductor Industry Association Board Chairman.

Wilf was elected as the 2004 SIA Board Chairman. 


2006.  EE Times ACE Lifetime Achievement Award.

Wilf received this award, recognizing his nearly five decades of achievements in the U.S. semiconductor industry.   [4]



    Oral History – Wilf Corrigan


This Oral History is excerpted from a series of communications with Wilf Corrigan in August/Sept 2006.


Wilf, let’s start the Oral History with your recollections of the work you did at Transitron in 1960.  I believe this was your first job after college, and your first exposure to transistors.


My first job in the industry was as Production Engineer on the 2N338 line at Transitron. This was a silicon bar transistor; the average selling price at that time was about $50. (1960), principal customer Autonetics going into the Minuteman Missile.


I started in June 1960 left Dec 1960.  I graduated Imperial College of Science (B.Sc.Chemical Engineering), May 1960. Recruited by Transitron Pres. Dave Bakalar in London. This was my first job out of school. At that time about 80% of new engineers were recruited out of Europe. UK, Holland, France, Germany. I was production engineer on the 2N336/2N338 bar transistor line. I took the job because salary was 2X what I was offered in UK. Also I wanted to immigrate to the US.


Go To Corrigan Oral History, Page 3



[See [1] for an excellent and detailed presentation of Wilf’s career, as recounted in a 1998 interview conducted by Rob Walker of the Silicon Genesis project.] 

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