Milestone-Proposal:The Birthplace of Silicon Valley

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Docket #:

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Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes

Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s fields of interest? (e.g. “the theory and practice of electrical, electronics, communications and computer engineering, as well as computer science, the allied branches of engineering and the related arts and sciences” – from the IEEE Constitution) Yes

Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes

Was it of at least regional importance? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes

Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes

Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an Electrical Engineering Milestone? Yes

Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:


Title of the proposed milestone:

The Birthplace of Silicon Valley - 1955

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:

In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

Santa Clara Valley Section

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: Santa Clara Valley Section
Senior Officer Name: Senior officer name masked to public

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: Santa Clara Valley Section
Senior Officer Name: Senior officer name masked to public

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: Santa Clara Valley Section
IEEE Section Chair name: Section chair name masked to public

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: Proposer's name masked to public
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

391 San Antonio Rd. near corner California St.

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need.

The plaque wil be installed in a plaza at the site. Plans are to have an artistic scupture memorializing the site. The sculpture is projected to be 8+ feet high. The IEEE bronze plaque will be installed in this plaza. Presently there is a bronze "site" plaque in the concrete. This present plaque will also be mounted in the plaza and will be complememtary to the IEEE milestone plaque. Photos are available on request.

Are the original buildings extant?

Not presently, but the plan is to demolish the building, which has beeen altered from the original.

Details of the plaque mounting:

The mounting will be outside in a public plaza readily accessable to the public

How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

The plaza is very close to the street and will be maintained by the site owners and the City of Mtn. View

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

MerloneGeier Partners

A letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property:

File:Letter of Permission MerloneGeier.doc

A letter or email from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application:

What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)?

In bringing the first silicon semiconductor device production to Silicon Valley launched an industry. Over 400 semiconductor firms producing silicn transistors and silicon ICs emerged as a result.

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

The opening of Shockley Labs in 1955 required building of a semicoductor facility which grew silicon crystals and processed silicon devices. This was the first such facility.

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

The development of the first silicon based semiconductor devices in Silicon Valley, In addition the hiring of an oustanding team of semiconductor scientists that later on founded Faitchild Semiconductor.

References to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or citations to pages in scholarly books. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article.

Shockley, William and Jones, Richard V. "Crystal Growing Apparatus," U. S. Patent 2,979,386 (Filed August 2, 1956. Issued April 11, 1961)

Sah, C.T., Noyce, R.N., Shockley, W. "Carrier Generation and Recombination in p-n Junction and p-n Junction Characteristics," Proceedings of the IRE, Vol. 45, No. 9 (September 1957), pp. 1228-1243.

Sah, C.T., Sello, H., Tremere, D.A. "Diffusion of Phosphorus in Silicon Oxide Film." J. Phys. Chem. Solids Vol. 11 (1959) p. 288.

Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.

This Shockley banner.JPG titled "The Birthplace of Silicon Valley" showa the Shockley Labs legacy. It is resident at the Computer History Museum. It is also shown in

Bronze Plaque and roadside sign.

Richard Ahrons is presentlt a member of the committee organized by the property owners to memorialize the site. The present draft of a plan is to erect a memorial artistic sculpture at the site. Richard Ahrons has presented the case for this site before the Mtn. View City Council