3 Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley

:"For the valley nicknamed "Silicone Valley" see San Fernando Valley.

Silicon Valley is the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California, United States. The term originally referred to the region's large number of silicon chip innovators and manufacturers, but eventually came to refer to all the high-tech businesses in the area; it is now generally used as a metonym for the high-tech sector. Despite the development of other high-tech economic centers throughout the United States, Silicon Valley continues to be the leading high-tech hub because of its large number of engineers and venture capitalists. Geographically, Silicon Valley encompasses the northern part of Santa Clara Valley and adjacent communities.

Origin of the term

The term "Silicon Valley" was coined by Ralph Vaerst, a Northern California entrepreneur. Its first published use is credited to Don Hoefler, a friend of Vaerst's, who used the phrase as the title of a series of articles in the weekly trade newspaper Electronic News. The series, entitled "Silicon Valley USA," began in the paper's issue dated January 11, 1971. "Valley" refers to the Santa Clara Valley, located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay, while "Silicon" refers to the high concentration of companies involved in the semiconductor and computer industries that were concentrated in the area. These firms slowly replaced the orchards which gave the area its initial nickname, the Valley of Heart's Delight.


Since the early twentieth century, Silicon Valley has been home to a vibrant, growing electronics industry. The industry began through experimentation and innovation in the fields of radio, television, and military electronics. Stanford University, its affiliates, and graduates have played a major role in the evolution of this area.

Roots in radio and military technology

The San Francisco Bay Area had long been a major site of U.S. Navy research and technology. In 1909, Charles Herrold started the first radio station in the United States with regularly scheduled programming in San Jose. Later that year, Stanford University graduate Cyril Elwell purchased the U.S. patents for Poulsen arc radio transmission technology and founded the Federal Telegraph Corporation (FTC) in Palo Alto. Over the next decade, the FTC created the world's first global radio communication system, and signed a contract with the U.S. Navy in 1912.

In 1933, Air Base Sunnyvale, California was commissioned by the United States Government for the use as a Naval Air Station (NAS) to house the airship USS Macon in Hangar One. The station was renamed NAS Moffett Field, and between 1933 and 1947, US Navy blimps were based here. [ [http://www.moffettfieldmuseum.org/history.html moffettfieldmuseum] ] A number of technology firms had set up shop in the area around Moffett to serve the Navy. When the Navy gave up its airship ambitions and moved most of its West Coast operations to San Diego Fact|date=March 2007, NACA (the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, forerunner of NASA) took over portions of Moffett for aeronautics research. Many of the original companies stayed, while new ones moved in. The immediate area was soon filled with aerospace firms such as Lockheed.

tanford Industrial Park

After World War II, universities were experiencing enormous demand due to returning students. To address the financial demands of Stanford's growth requirements, and to provide local employment opportunities for graduating students, Frederick Terman proposed the leasing of Stanford's lands for use as an office park, named the Stanford Industrial Park (later Stanford Research Park). Leases were limited to high technology companies. Its first tenant was Varian Associates, founded by Stanford alumni in the 1930s to build military radar components. However, Terman also found venture capital for civilian technology start-ups . One of the major success stories was Hewlett-Packard. Founded in Packard's garage by Stanford graduates William Hewlett and David Packard, Hewlett-Packard moved its offices into the Stanford Research Park slightly after 1953. In 1954, Stanford created the Honors Cooperative Program to allow full-time employees of the companies to pursue graduate degrees from the University on a part-time basis. The initial companies signed five-year agreements in which they would pay double the tuition for each student in order to cover the costs. Hewlett-Packard has become the largest personal computer manufacturer in the world, and transformed the home printing market when it released the first ink jet printer in 1984. In addition, the tenancy of Eastman Kodak and General Electric made Stanford Industrial Park a center of technology in the mid-1990s. [ [http://www.thocp.net/timeline/1984.htm 1984 printer] ] [ [http://www.netvalley.com/svhistory.html SV History] ]

ilicon transistor

In 1953, William Shockley left Bell Labs in a disagreement over the handling of the invention of the transistor. After returning to California Institute of Technology for a short while, Shockley moved to Mountain View, California in 1956, and founded Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory. Unlike many other researchers who used germanium as the semiconductor material, Shockley believed that silicon was the better material for making transistors. Shockley intended to replace the current transistor with a new three-element design (today known as the Shockley diode), but the design was considerably more difficult to build than the "simple" transistor. In 1957, Shockley decided to end research on the silicon transistor. As a result, eight engineers left the company to form Fairchild Semiconductor. Two of the original employees of Fairchild Semiconductor, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, would go on to found Intel. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/02/weekinreview/02goodheart.html Goodheart] July 2, 2006]

Venture capital firms

By the early 1970s there were many semiconductor companies in the area, computer firms using their devices, and programming and service companies serving both. Industrial space was plentiful and housing was still inexpensive. The growth was fueled by the emergence of the venture capital industry on Sand Hill Road, beginning with Kleiner Perkins in 1972; the availability of venture capital exploded after the successful $1.3 billion IPO of Apple Computer in December 1980.

The rise of software

Although semiconductors are still a major component of the area's economy, Silicon Valley has been most famous in recent years for innovations in software and Internet services. Silicon Valley has significantly influenced computer operating systems, software, and user interfaces.

Using money from NASA and the U.S. Air Force, Doug Engelbart invented the mouse and hypertext-based collaboration tools in the mid-1960s, while at Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International). When Engelbart's Augmentation Research Center declined in influence due to personal conflicts and the loss of government funding, Xerox hired some of Engelbart's best researchers. In turn, in the 1970s and 1980s, Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) played a pivotal role in object-oriented programming, graphical user interfaces (GUIs), Ethernet, PostScript, and laser printers.

While Xerox marketed equipment using its technologies, for the most part its technologies flourished elsewhere. The diaspora of Xerox inventions led directly to 3Com and Adobe Systems, and indirectly to Cisco, Apple Computer and Microsoft. Apple's Macintosh GUI was largely a result of Steve Jobs' visit to PARC and the subsequent hiring of key personnel.Fact|date=July 2007 Microsoft's Windows GUI is based on Apple's work, more or less directly. [ [http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa043099.htm Inventors of the Modern Computer:The History of the Graphical User Interface or GUI - The Apple Lisa] by [http://inventors.about.com/mbiopage.htm Mary Bellis] ] Fact|date=July 2007 Cisco's impetus stemmed from the need to route a variety of protocols over Stanford's campus Ethernet.

Internet bubble

Silicon Valley is generally considered to have been the center of the dot-com bubble which started from the mid-1990s and collapsed after the NASDAQ stock market began to decline dramatically in April 2000. During the bubble era, real estate prices reached unprecedented levels. For a brief time, Sand Hill Road was home to the most expensive commercial real estate in the world, and the booming economy resulted in severe traffic congestion.

Even after the dot-com crash, Silicon Valley continues to maintain its status as one of the top research and development centers in the world. A 2006 "Wall Street Journal" story found that 13 of the 20 most inventive towns in America were in California, and 10 of those were in Silicon Valley. [ [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115352188346314087.html Reed Albergotti, "The Most Inventive Towns in America,"] "Wall Street Journal", 22-23 July 2006, P1.] San Jose led the list with 3,867 utility patents filed in 2005, and number two was Sunnyvale, at 1,881 utility patents. ["Ibid."]


Notable companies

Thousands of high technology companies are headquartered in Silicon Valley; among those, the following are in the Fortune 1000:

*Adobe Systems
*Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
*Agilent Technologies
*Apple Inc.
*Applied Materials
*Business Objects
*Cisco Systems
*LSI Logic
*National Semiconductor
*Sun Microsystems

Additional notable companies headquartered (or with a significant presence) in Silicon Valley include (some defunct or subsumed):

*3Com (headquartered in Marlborough, Massachusetts)
*Actuate Corporation
*BEA Systems
*Cypress Semiconductor
*Foundry Networks
*Fujitsu (headquartered in Tokyo, Japan)
*Hitachi Global Storage Technologies
*IBM Almaden Research Center
*Juniper Networks
*Memorex (acquired by Imation and moved to Cerritos, California)
*Microsoft (headquartered in Redmond, Washington)
*Netscape (acquired by AOL)
*NeXT Computer, Inc. (acquired by Apple)
*Nintendo of America
*Opera Software
*Palm, Inc.
*PalmSource, Inc. (acquired by ACCESS)
*PayPal (now part of eBay)
*Redback Networks
*SAP AG (headquartered in Walldorf, Germany)
*Silicon Graphics
*Silicon Image
*SRI International
*Tesla Motors
*Tellme Networks (acquired by Microsoft)
*VA Software (Slashdot)
*WebEx (acquired by Cisco Systems)
*Veritas Software (acquired by Symantec)
*VMware (acquired by EMC)
*Xangati, Inc
*Zoran Corporation

Silicon Valley is also home to the high-tech superstore retail chain Fry's Electronics.

Notable government facilities

*NASA Ames Research Center


*Carnegie Mellon University (West Coast Campus)
*San José State University
*Santa Clara University
*Stanford University
*Silicon Valley University, San Jose
*University of California, Santa Cruz (NASA Ames UARC & UC Extension)cite web
last = UC Santa Cruz
first =
title = UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Initiatives
accessdate = 2007-11-11
] cite web
last = NASA Ames
first = University of California, Santa Cruz
title = University Affiliated Research Center
accessdate = 2007-11-11
] cite web
last = University of California, Santa Cruz
first = Extension in Silicon Valley
title = UCSC Extension in Silicon Valley
accessdate = 2007-11-11


A number of cities are located in Silicon Valley (in alphabetical order):

*East Palo Alto (San Mateo County)
*Los Altos
*Los Altos Hills
*Los Gatos
*Menlo Park (San Mateo County)
*Morgan Hill
*Mountain View
*Palo Alto
*San Jose
*Santa Clara

Cities sometimes associated with the region:
*Fremont (Alameda County)
*Newark (Alameda County)
*Redwood City (home to Oracle, Electronic Arts and PDI/DreamWorks)
*San Mateo
*Scotts Valley
*Santa Cruzcite web
last = Silicon Valley
first =
title = Silicon Valley Online
accessdate = 2007-11-11

ee also

* List of attractions in Silicon Valley
* List of places with 'Silicon' names
* List of research parks around the world
* List of technology centers around the world
* "Pirates of Silicon Valley" — Movie about the early development of Microsoft and Apple.
* Science park
* Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
* Sustainable Silicon Valley (SSV)
* Silicon Forest

Further reading

*Silicon Valley: Fact and Fiction, 1961-20080" by Cousette Copeland, BookSurge Publishing(2008), ISBN-10: 141968275X and ISBN-13: 978-1419682759, accepted into the Library of Congress collections August 2008
*"Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930-1970" by Christophe Lécuyer, MIT Press (2006)
*"" by Steven Levy, Garden City, New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday (1984)
*"Behind the Silicon Curtain: The Seductions of Work in a Lonely Era", Dennis Hayes, London: Free Association Books (1989)
* [http://www.thomasscoville.com/merc2.html Silicon Valley, Inc.: Ruminations on the Demise of a Unique Culture] , The San Jose Mercury News (1997)
*"Cultures@Silicon Valley", J. A. English-Lueck, Stanford: Stanford University Press (2002)
*"The Silicon Valley of Dreams: Environmental Injustice, Immigrant Workers, and the High-Tech Global Economy", David Naguib Pellow and Lisa Sun-Hee Park, New York University Press (2003)
*"What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry", John Markoff, Viking (2005)
*"Silicon Follies: A Dot. Comedy", Thomas Scoville, Pocket Books (2000)
*"The Silicon Boys: And Their Valleys Of Dreams", David A. Kaplan, Harper Perinneal (April 2000), ISBN 0-688-17906-1
* [http://pup.princeton.edu/titles/7859.html Cities of knowledge: Cold War science and the search for the next Silicon Valley] , Margaret Pugh O’Mara, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, (2005)
*"Accidental Empires: How the boys of Silicon Valley make their millions, battle foreign competition, and still can't get a date", Robert X. Cringely, Addison-Wesley Publishing, (1992), ISBN 0-201-57032-7
* "Start-Up : what we may still learn from Silicon Valley", Hervé Lebret, CreateSpace, 2007, ISBN 1-434-82006-8


External links

*PDFlink| [http://ipc-lis.mit.edu/globalization/Silicon%20Valley.pdf How Silicon Valley Came to Be] |90.0 KiB
* [http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/santaclara/intro.htm California's Historic Silicon Valley]
* [http://www.netvalley.com/donhoefler.html Reference about Don Hoefler]
* [http://www.siliconvalley.com/ Website focused on Silicon Valley news] , backed by the "San Jose Mercury News"
*PDFlink| [http://www.siliconvalley.com/multimedia/siliconvalley/archive/sv150_03.pdf "Silicon Valley 150" for beginning of 2004 as a PDF file]
* [http://www2.sjsu.edu/depts/anthropology/svcp/ The Silicon Valley Cultures Project]
* [http://www.slac.stanford.edu Stanford Linear Accelerator center]
* [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1999/12/27/BU52171.DTL Growth of a Silicon Empire] by Henry Norr published at the end of 1999 in the San Francisco Chronicle
* [http://www.ibiblio.org/pioneers/englebart.html Douglas Engelbart]
* [http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2004/february4/silicon-24.html Red tile roofs in Bangalore: Stanford's look copied in Silicon Valley and beyond]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Silicon Valley — [ˌsɪlɪkn̩ ˈvæli] (engl. für Silicium Tal) ist der südliche Teil der Metropolregion um die San Francisco Bay Area. Es umfasst das Santa Clara Valley und die südliche Hälfte der Halbinsel von San Francisco und reicht von San Mateo bis nach San José …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Silicon Valley — ˌSilicon ˈValley noun COMPUTING the area of California between San Francisco and San Jose, which is known as a centre of the computer industry * * * Silicon Valley UK US noun [U] INFORMAL IT ► the area in California where there are a lot of… …   Financial and business terms

  • Silicon Valley — Silicon Val|ley a part of California in the area between San Francisco and San José, which is a centre of the computer industry. Many important inventions were made in this area, and many large and small companies producing computer ↑software and …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Silicon Valley — o Valle del Silicio es el nombre de la zona sur del área de la Bahía de San Francisco, en California del norte, USA. Comprende Santa Clara Valley y la mitad sur de la Península de San Francisco, abarca aproximadamente desde Menlo Park hasta San… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Silicon Valley — ☆ Silicon Valley [after the principal material used for electronic chips] name for a valley in California, southeast of San Francisco, a center of high technology activities, esp. those involving microelectronics …   English World dictionary

  • Silicon Valley — zone californienne, au S. de San Francisco, où abondent des entreprises d électronique et d informatique (utilisant le silicium) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Silicon Valley — an area in California, where many computer companies have their offices …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Silicon Valley — 37° 22′ N 122° 02′ W / 37.37, 122.04 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Silicon Valley — the area in northern California, southwest of San Francisco in the Santa Clara valley region, where many of the high technology design and manufacturing companies in the semiconductor industry are concentrated. [so called from the silicon wafers… …   Universalium

  • Silicon Valley — Vista panorámica de Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley o Valle del Silicio[1] [2] es el nombre de la zona sur del áre …   Wikipedia Español

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