IEEE

Early History of Silicon Valley: Panelists Ted Hoff & Norm Pond; with Paul Wesling

Evening talk on Wednesday, November 5th, at 6 PM (details below)

Session Abstract:   How did the Santa Clara Valley area become “Silicon Valley?”  What was the genesis? Come to the IEEE  SV Technology History Committee’s meeting to find out the answers to those questions and much more!

Four time periods will be examined during this IEEE History of Silicon Valley panel session:

a] 1907-1932 Early tech history of Santa Clara County: a quick overview of how electronics got started here: Lee DeForest, the Navy, WW I, radio amateurs, RCA patents.

b] 1933-1947 Vacuum tube development & applications: radio, telecommunications, Stanford University co-operation with industry, Charles Litton’s role in shaping Silicon Valley, the klystron, WW II technology.

c] 1948-1959 Pushing limits of vacuum tubes & new applications: e.g. FM radio & TV; microwave communications for long distance telephony, space-based communications; manufacturing process development, new materials, the transistor.

d] 1960-1970 Start of the IC era: Stanford, Shockley Labs–>Fairchild–>new semiconductor companies (Intel, AMD, National, Intersil, many others); MOS process development; MOS LSI memories, calculator, micro-controllers and microprocessors; process equipment development, environment/atmosphere in Santa Clara county vs today (and what’s changed).

Moderator & Panelists:

The panel will be moderated by Paul Wesling, Communications Director for the IEEE’s SF Bay Area Council. Panelists are Norman H. (Norm) Pond and Marcian E. “Ted” Hoff, PhD.

Norm Pond became a “tube guy” back in the ’60’s, developing traveling-wave tubes for satellite and space use, eventually serving as president of Varian Associates, then forming Intevac where he serves as chairman. He wrote the book “The Tube Guys,” documenting the vacuum tube technology that gave rise, eventually, to Silicon Valley.

Ted Hoff is best known for his work on memory and microprocessor ICs during the first days of Intel.  He is regarded as the inventor of the microprocessor for his work on the Intel 4004 and 8008.  Hoff also led the team that designed the first LSI codec-filter, which gave rise to digital switching.    A video capturing Ted’s pioneering work at Intel may be viewed here.

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  • Nov 5th Presentation slides   Thanks to Paul Wesling for assembling this slide deck.
  • Nov 5th Videos (you can watch the entire video or individual video segments/”snippets” with captions).  Thanks to Ken Pyle for creating these videos and Paul Wesling for reviewing and approving)

Event Details:
WEDNESDAY November 5, 2014
Subject: The Early History of Silicon Valley Technology (1907-1970)
Speakers: Norm Pond, Ted Hoff, Paul Wesling
Time: Networking and light dinner at 6:00 PM; Opening Remarks, Panel at 6:30 PM; Audience Q&A at 8:00 PM
Cost: $5 donation requested for food & soft drinks
Place: Keypoint Credit Union, 2805 Bowers Ave., Santa Clara, CA 95051


Panelist Biographies:
Norman H. Pond was raised on a dairy farm in Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri at Rolla and was enticed to join Hughes Aircraft by the Masters Fellowship Program at UCLA and became a “tube guy.” At Hughes he first worked on TWTs for radar, then on the TWT for Hughes’ first space tubes, the Surveyor moon lander and the Symcom communications satellite. Thus began a lengthy involvement in the microwave tube field. He was involved in designing several of Teledyne MEC’s high power tubes and then headed the division. He joined Varian Associates, manufacturer of semiconductor, communication, defense and medical products, in 1984 with responsibility for the Electron Device Group. He became President and COO of Varian in 1988, then left the company to form Intevac and is now Chairman of that company. Norm’s involvement in the “middle thirty years” of the tube business’s seventy year history gives him a good perspective on the past as well as insight in the industry’s past and its future.

Ted Hoff, Jr. received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1958, and he applied for his first two patents based on work done for the General Railway Signal Corp. of Rochester, New York during the summers of his undergraduate study.  He then received his master’s degree in 1959 and Ph.D. in 1962 from Stanford University.  As part of his Ph.D. dissertation, Hoff co-invented the least mean squares filter with Bernard Widrow.  Hoff joined Intel in 1968 as employee number 12, and is credited with coming up with the idea of using a “universal processor” rather than a variety of custom-designed circuits in the architectural idea and an instruction set for the Intel 4004 – the chip that started the microprocessor revolution in the early 1970s.  In 1985, Hoff was named the first Intel Fellow; he stayed in that position until 1988.

Paul Wesling received his BS in electrical engineering and his MS in materials science from Stanford University. Following assignments at GTE/Lenkurt Electric, ISS/Sperry-Univac, Datapoint Peripheral Products (VP – Product Integrity), and Amdahl (mainframe testing), he joined Tandem Computer in Cupertino (now part of Hewlett Packard) in 1985. He designed several multi-chip module prototypes, managed Tandem’s Distinguished Lectures series, and organized a number of advanced technology courses for his Division and also for the IEEE. He managed a grant from the National Science Foundation for the development of multimedia educational modules. Paul retired from HP in 2001, and now serves as the Communications Director for the IEEE S.F. Bay Area’s Council.
As CPMT Society vice president of publications from 1985 through 2008, he supervised four archival journals and a newsletter. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, and received the IEEE Centennial Medal, the Board’s Distinguished Service award, the Society Contribution Award, and the IEEE’s Third Millennium Medal. He has organized over 500 courses for his local IEEE/CPMT chapter in the Santa Clara Valley (Silicon Valley), many of them held at Stanford University (and, more recently, at Silicon Valley company facilities). He served as scoutmaster of his local Boy Scout Troop for 15 years, was Advisor of a High-Adventure Crew, and enjoys backpacking, fly fishing, guitar and amateur radio (call sign: KM6LH).

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Postscript:

Thanks to the moderator (Paul), panelists (Ted & Norm) for a terrific program!  Thanks also to our hard working volunteers.

There were 97 attendees for this excellent panel session!

The presentation slides will be posted here soon and a link to the videos will follow once they’re edited.

A follow up post on Moore’s Law is here.

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One Response to “Early History of Silicon Valley: Panelists Ted Hoff & Norm Pond; with Paul Wesling”

  1. 97 attendees were treated to a fantastic panel session that was skillfully moderated by Paul Wesling with great info from panelists Norm Pond and Ted Hoff.

    Due to time constraints we couldn’t cover the blossoming of the semiconductor industry in the 1960s, which was spawned by Fairchild Semiconductor

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