Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory

Introduced silicon to Silicon Valley

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William Shockley established his Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory “to engage promptly and vigorously in activities related to semiconductors” at this address in 1956. He recruited “the most creative team in the world for developing and producing transistors.” In 1957 Shockley shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for co-inventing the transistor.

Disenchanted with his difficult management style, eight employees, dubbed the “Traitorous Eight,” including Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce who later founded Intel, resigned in 1957 to start Fairchild Semiconductor.

The former apricot packing shed that introduced silicon to Silicon Valley was razed in 2015 to make way for a movie theater and office complex. Technology oriented sculptures and two IEEE Historical Milestone plaques  at the site commemorate the Shockley Labs employees and their contributions to the development of Silicon Valley.

This sidewalk plaque dedicated in 2002 is incorporated into the new site. Photo: David Laws

Categories: See & Do: Historical |

At A Glance

391 S San Antonio Rd
Mountain View CA


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