when did you start work for Motorola, and where was this?
I got there in October,
1959 and they were just starting in the semiconductor business. They had
built a small research facility a couple of years prior on 56th St. in Phoenix. The principal investigator there was a guy named Bill
Taylor, who was a really smart fellow. By the time I got there they had
made some devices, but all their early work was in germanium. A lot of
folks started that way, because that’s what Walt Brattain was working on at
Bell Labs. He was doing work on point contact diodes, and when he was
tinkering around, he “accidentally” made a transistor – then Bill Shockley
and John Bardeen, both theorists, came in and provided a scientific
explanation of what he had done. So germanium was what people started
with, but it was widely recognized that any Group IV element would work.
Other people started playing around with silicon.
when you started at Motorola in 1959, they were only making germanium
germanium. About that time, Texas Instruments had been sampling some
silicon devices; these were not the modern planar transistors – they were
alloy junction, as I recall. They were not the stuff of Jean Hoerni and Bob
Noyce at Fairchild.
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