Check out “The Silicon Engine,” a Computer History Museum exhibit showing the historical development of the semiconductor, scientists involved in the process, and links to other scientific resources. Then continue the journey toward cheaper, faster, and more efficient electronics by exploring the semiconductors that came after the transistor’s invention, in the article “The Next Generation: Semiconductors.” The nine-minute video at the top of this page provides a concise history of the semiconductor, from the transistor to the modern microprocessor. Want to know more? Visit the “Semiconductor Memory: Fast, Cheap, or Dense?” page on the same site to learn the different types of semiconductor memory.


Watch “San Antonio – A Semiconductor History,” a fifteen-minute documentary covering the defection of the “Traitorous Eight” from William Shockley’s lab to create their own business: Fairchild Semiconductors.


For an in-depth historical overview of semiconductors, read the concise article “History of Semiconductors,” written by Lidia Lukaziak and Andrzej Jakubowski for the Journal of Telecommunications and Information Technology.

IEEE: “Making Micrologic: The Development of the Planar IC at Fairchild Semiconductor, 1957–1963,” David A. Laws, Michael Riordan. Using primary sources from Fairchild, Laws and Riordan trace the development and marketing of ICs in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Beginning with Jean Hoerni’s invention of the planar transistor, it covers Noyce and his idea for the IC as well as its subsequent implementation. Moving to marketing, it discusses the introduction of the idea of micrologic, Fairchild’s first microchip, marketing micrologic, and challenges faced in mass-production of the IC.