California History:  Golden Opportunity

Did the discovery of gold in 1848 ensure that California would become one of the world’s largest economies?  Yes and no.  We must give credit to all the people who came from around the world and the East Coast and the Midwest.  Without these pioneers, California wouldn’t be what it is today.

From Prunes to Processors

One can pose a similar question about Silicon Valley, the state’s 20th-century Gold Rush.  After Santa Clara Valley’s orchard production peaked in 1950, it was on its way to becoming the technology capital, a transformation set in motion when local engineers worked on then-state-of-the-art wireless technology at least 40 years earlier:  radio.  By the mid-1960s, the former prune capital of America had the largest concentration of microelectronics companies in the world.  The name “Silicon Valley” was coined by a journalist in 1971.

Many of California’s high-tech companies are founded or led by immigrants and transplants from other states.  The story seems to repeat itself.  It’s not just individuals who flock to Silicon Valley; large corporations have always established a presence in this technology mecca—from IBM and Lockheed in the 1950s to Xerox and Nortel Networks in the 1970s and more recent arrivals such as Wipro Technologies and Infosys Technologies.

Beyond the Valley of Semiconductors

Not only are there low-key computer software and hardware companies all over the Bay Area today, the Peninsula, for example, is home to the country’s largest biotechnology concentration.  Aerospace companies and defense contractors were some of the major employers during the 1960s and 70s.  The Bay Area also has a long history of working with the entertainment industry in areas such as gaming, computer graphics, and computer animation.  And the Internet has made several local companies household names.

 

Time Line Entities/People
1840s-90s James Marshall, Eadweard Muybridge, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley
1900s-20s Lee de Forest, Philo Taylor Farnsworth, Federal Telegraph, FMC, Charles D. Herrold, Frederick Terman
1930s Hewlett-Packard, NASA Ames Research Center
1940s Ampex, SRI International, Varian Associates
1950s Bio-Rad Laboratories, Fair Isaac, Fairchild Semiconductor, IBM San Jose, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space, Shockley Transistor, WJ Communications
1960s ALZA, AMD, Applied Materials, Boole & Babbage, Coherent, Dolby Laboratories, Flextronics International, frog design, Intel, Intersil, National Semiconductor, Plantronics, ROLM, Signetics, Siliconix, Spectra-Physics, Syntex USA
1970s ADAC Laboratories, Amdahl, Apple Computer, Atari, Cetus, Dialog, Etec Systems, Genentech, GRiD Systems, Industrial Light + Magic, Nortel Networks, Oracle, Seagate Technology, Silicon Valley Group, Solectron, Tandem Computers, 3Com, Trimble Navigation, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center
1980s Adaptec, Adobe Systems, Altera, Ascend Communications, ASI, Asyst Technologies, Atmel, Autodesk, Bell Microproducts, Borland Software, Cadence Design Systems, Cell Genesys, Chiron, Cirrus Logic, Cisco Systems, Conner Peripherals, Cypress Semiconductor, Elantec Semiconductor, Electronic Arts, E*Trade Financial, Genencor International, Gilead Sciences, IDT, Informix Software, Ingres, Intuit, Komag, Lam Research, Linear Technology, Logitech, LSI Logic, Maxim Integrated Products, Maxtor, McAfee, Mercury Interactive, MIPS Technologies, NEC Electronics, Netcom On-line Communication Services, Network General, Novellus Systems, Octel Communications, PDI/DreamWorks, PeopleSoft, Pixar Animation Studios, PMC-Sierra, Pyramid Technology, Quantum, Rational Software, SanDisk, Scios, SGI, Sun Microsystems, Sybase, Symantec, SYNNEX, Synopsys, VERITAS Software, Xilinx
1990s Affymetrix, Agilent Technologies, AirTouch Communications, Ask Jeeves, Aviron, Bay Networks, BEA Systems, Brocade Communications Systems, CNET Networks, craigslist, eBay, Excite, Foundry Networks, Google, Hotmail, Hyperion Solutions, Infosys Technologies, JDS Uniphase, Juniper Networks, KLA-Tencor, Lexar Media, Macromedia, Napster, Netflix, Netscape Communications, Network Appliance, NVIDIA, palmOne, PayPal, Polycom, Rambus, Remedy, Salesforce.com, Siebel Systems, TIBCO Software, TiVo, Tularik, UTStarcom, VeriSign, Wipro Technologies, Yahoo!
2000s California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Mozilla Foundation, Sanmina-SCI

 

 

California History:  Golden Opportunity

Did the discovery of gold in 1848 ensure that California would become one of the world’s largest economies?  Yes and no.  We must give credit to all the people who came from around the world and the East Coast and the Midwest.  Without these pioneers, California wouldn’t be what it is today.

From Prunes to Processors

One can pose a similar question about Silicon Valley, the state’s 20th-century Gold Rush.  After Santa Clara Valley’s orchard production peaked in 1950, it was on its way to becoming the technology capital, a transformation set in motion when local engineers worked on then-state-of-the-art wireless technology at least 40 years earlier:  radio.  By the mid-1960s, the former prune capital of America had the largest concentration of microelectronics companies in the world.  The name “Silicon Valley” was coined by a journalist in 1971.

Many of California’s high-tech companies are founded or led by immigrants and transplants from other states.  The story seems to repeat itself.  It’s not just individuals who flock to Silicon Valley; large corporations have always established a presence in this technology mecca—from IBM and Lockheed in the 1950s to Xerox and Nortel Networks in the 1970s and more recent arrivals such as Wipro Technologies and Infosys Technologies.

Beyond the Valley of Semiconductors

Not only are there low-key computer software and hardware companies all over the Bay Area today, the Peninsula, for example, is home to the country’s largest biotechnology concentration.  Aerospace companies and defense contractors were some of the major employers during the 1960s and 70s.  The Bay Area also has a long history of working with the entertainment industry in areas such as gaming, computer graphics, and computer animation.  And the Internet has made several local companies household names.

 

Time Line Entities/People
1840s-90s James Marshall, Eadweard Muybridge, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley
1900s-20s Lee de Forest, Philo Taylor Farnsworth, Federal Telegraph, FMC, Charles D. Herrold, Frederick Terman
1930s Hewlett-Packard, NASA Ames Research Center
1940s Ampex, SRI International, Varian Associates
1950s Bio-Rad Laboratories, Fair Isaac, Fairchild Semiconductor, IBM San Jose, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space, Shockley Transistor, WJ Communications
1960s ALZA, AMD, Applied Materials, Boole & Babbage, Coherent, Dolby Laboratories, Flextronics International, frog design, Intel, Intersil, National Semiconductor, Plantronics, ROLM, Signetics, Siliconix, Spectra-Physics, Syntex USA
1970s ADAC Laboratories, Amdahl, Apple Computer, Atari, Cetus, Dialog, Etec Systems, Genentech, GRiD Systems, Industrial Light + Magic, Nortel Networks, Oracle, Seagate Technology, Silicon Valley Group, Solectron, Tandem Computers, 3Com, Trimble Navigation, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center
1980s Adaptec, Adobe Systems, Altera, Ascend Communications, ASI, Asyst Technologies, Atmel, Autodesk, Bell Microproducts, Borland Software, Cadence Design Systems, Cell Genesys, Chiron, Cirrus Logic, Cisco Systems, Conner Peripherals, Cypress Semiconductor, Elantec Semiconductor, Electronic Arts, E*Trade Financial, Genencor International, Gilead Sciences, IDT, Informix Software, Ingres, Intuit, Komag, Lam Research, Linear Technology, Logitech, LSI Logic, Maxim Integrated Products, Maxtor, McAfee, Mercury Interactive, MIPS Technologies, NEC Electronics, Netcom On-line Communication Services, Network General, Novellus Systems, Octel Communications, PDI/DreamWorks, PeopleSoft, Pixar Animation Studios, PMC-Sierra, Pyramid Technology, Quantum, Rational Software, SanDisk, Scios, SGI, Sun Microsystems, Sybase, Symantec, SYNNEX, Synopsys, VERITAS Software, Xilinx
1990s Affymetrix, Agilent Technologies, AirTouch Communications, Ask Jeeves, Aviron, Bay Networks, BEA Systems, Brocade Communications Systems, CNET Networks, craigslist, eBay, Excite, Foundry Networks, Google, Hotmail, Hyperion Solutions, Infosys Technologies, JDS Uniphase, Juniper Networks, KLA-Tencor, Lexar Media, Macromedia, Napster, Netflix, Netscape Communications, Network Appliance, NVIDIA, palmOne, PayPal, Polycom, Rambus, Remedy, Salesforce.com, Siebel Systems, TIBCO Software, TiVo, Tularik, UTStarcom, VeriSign, Wipro Technologies, Yahoo!
2000s California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Mozilla Foundation, Sanmina-SCI

 

 

1840s-90s

 

1840s-90s

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Coloma, El Dorado Co.

...parks.ca.gov (California Department of Parks & Recreation:  California State Parks)
...marshallgold.com (Gold Discovery Park Association)
...coloma.com (Coloma Valley)

  • Replica of the original sawmill where James Marshall discovered gold in 1848 (CHL 530)
  • Two remaining buildings from Coloma Chinatown (Wah Hop Store and China Bank [1851-1880?] and Wan Lee Store [1860-1880?])
  • Emmanuel Episcopal Church (1856-1xxx)
  • St. John’s Catholic Church (18xx-1xxx)

Note that the first discovery of gold in California was made at Placerita Canyon (CHL 168, Los Angeles County, parks.ca.gov) in 1842.

Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, Alameda Co.*

...bancroft.berkeley.edu

  • First gold nugget discovered at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma (see above) (The Smithsonian Institution [smithsonianlegacies.si.edu] claims to have the first nugget also)

California State Mining and Mineral Museum, Mariposa, Mariposa Co.

...parks.ca.gov (California Department of Parks & Recreation:  California State Parks)

  • Minerals, diamonds, and gems found in California and other parts of the world
  • Fricot Nugget, 12.6-pound gold nugget discovered in 1865 in El Dorado County

Gold Nugget Museum, Paradise, Butte Co.

  • Replica of a 54-pound gold nugget discovered in 1859

University of California (1868), Berkeley, Alameda Co.*

...berkeley.edu

  • 1,232 acres
  • 39,000 students
  • Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology (see California Indian History)
  • California Indian Library Collections (see California Indian History)
  • Bancroft Library (see above)
  • Lawrence Hall of Science
  • Free speech movement in 1964
  • BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) UNIX, Berkeley’s version of Bell Laboratories’ open operating system, in the 1970s (later became the operating system of choice for workstations from Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, et al.)
  • Relational database technology in 1974 (see IBM San Jose below)
  • Reduced instruction set computer (RISC) architecture in the 1970s
  • Internet search research in 1995
  • Related companies:  Ingres, Inktomi

Palo Alto Stock Farm, Stanford, Santa Clara Co.*

...paloaltoonline.com (Palo Alto Online:  search for “when the farm was really a farm” article)
...stanfordstables.com/festival04.html (Stanford Equestrian Center)
...founders.stanford.edu (Stanford University Founders’ Celebration)

  • Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) conducted motion picture research in 1878 (CHL 834); farm now site of Stanford University (see below)

Stanford University (1891), Stanford, Santa Clara Co.*

...stanford.edu
...stanfordmanage.org (Stanford Management Co.)
...stanford.edu (Stanford University:  click on About Stanford, then Introduction to Stanford, then Research, then First High-Tech Research Park)
...smecc.org (Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communications and Computation:  click on Frederick Terman – by Ed Sharpe)

  • 8,200 acres
  • 14,000 students
  • Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace (1919)
  • Frederick Terman (1900-1982) joining the faculty in the 1920s (later known as “the father of Silicon Valley”)
  • Hanna House by Frank Lloyd Wright (1936)
  • Connection with nascent electronics industry by the 1930s
  • Stanford Research Park (1951), originally named Stanford Industrial Park (land leased to high-tech companies; past tenants include Varian, Eastman Kodak, Hewlett-Packard, Lockheed, Shockley, Coherent, Syntex, et al.)
  • Stanford Linear Acceleration Center (1962)
  • Office of Technology Licensing
  • Recombinant DNA techniques in 1972
  • FM synthesis patent in 1977
  • Received first major biotech patent (for gene-cloning) in 1980
  • Related companies:  Federal Telegraph, Hewlett-Packard, SRI International, Varian, Wiltron, SGI, Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems, MIPS Technologies, Excite, Yahoo!

 

 

1900s-20s

 

1900s-20s

Federal Telegraph (1909-1930s), Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co.*

...leedeforest.org
...californiahistoricalradio.com (California Historical Radio Society)

  • Founded as Poulsen Wireless Telephone and Telegraph
  • Lee de Forest (1873-1961) conducted electronics research in 1911 (CHL 836); marker in sidewalk at Channing Ave. and Emerson St.
  • Acquired by International Telephone and Telegraph (N.Y., 1920, later ITT)

Herrold Station, San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...charlesherrold.org (Charles Herrold)
...californiahistoricalradio.com (California Historical Radio Society)

  • Charles D. Herrold (1875-1948) operated one of the first radio stations in 1912 (CHL 952); marker at First St. and San Fernando St.

Farnsworth’s Green Street Lab, San Francisco, San Francisco Co.* (202 Green St.)

...sfmusuem.org (The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco:  click on Search by Subject, then “S.F. Man’s Invention to Revolutionize Television”)

  • Philo Taylor Farnsworth (1906-1971) invented the first “television system” in 1927 (CHL 941); marker at Sansome St. and Green St.

FMC (1928), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...fmc.com
...uniteddefense.com (United Defense)

  • Founded as Food Machinery after Bean Spray Pump (San Jose, 1883) acquired Anderson-Barngrover Manufacturing (San Jose) and Sprague-Sells (Ill.)
  • Name changed to Food Machinery and Chemical in the 1940s as business expanded to include defense contracting
  • Headquarters moved to Illinois from San Jose in 1972 (company now based in Pennsylvania)
  • Bradley Fighting Vehicle in 1981
  • FMC’s Defense Systems Group (San Jose) merged with Harsco’s BMY Combat Systems Division (Pa.) to form United Defense (Va.) in 1994
  • United Defense acquired by The Carlyle Group (D.C., 1987) in 1997 (Santa Clara office maintained)

 

 

1930s-50s

 

1930s-50s

Hewlett-Packard Garage, Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co.* (367 Addison Ave.)

...hp.com

  • 1938 birthplace of Silicon Valley (CHL 976)

Hewlett-Packard (1939), Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co.*

...hp.com

  • Founded by William R. Hewlett (1913-2001) and David Packard (1912-1996), students of Stanford University professor Frederick Terman (see above)
  • Acquired Sanborn (Mass., 1917) in 1961
  • First scientific hand-held calculator in 1972
  • First programmable pocket calculator in 1974
  • Marketed its first PC in 1980
  • Thinkjet printer in 1984
  • LaserJet printer in 1985
  • Acquired Apollo Computers (Mass., 1980) in 1989
  • Agilent Technologies (Palo Alto) spun off in 1999 (see below)
  • Acquired Compaq Computer (Texas, 1982) in 2002

NASA Ames Research Center (1939), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.*

...arc.nasa.gov

  • Founded as Ames Research Center

Ampex (1944), Redwood City, San Mateo Co.*

...ampex.com

  • First practical videotape recorder in 1956

SRI International (1946), Menlo Park, San Mateo Co.*

...sri.com

  • Founded as Stanford Research Institute, nonprofit venture between Stanford University and business executives (independence from Stanford since 1970)
  • Research and development contractor
  • Magnetic ink character reading (MICR) in 1955 (for check processing)
  • Optical disk recording in 1963
  • Mouse pointer in 1964 (see Xerox Palo Alto Research Center below)
  • Acoustic modem in 1965
  • Liquid crystal display (LCD) in 196x
  • One of first four nodes of the Internet (formerly ARPAnet) in 1969
  • Pen-input computing in the 1970s
  • Acquired Sarnoff (N.J., 1942, formerly RCA Laboratories) in 1987
  • Address recognition software in the 1990s (for postal service)

Varian Associates (1948), Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co.*

...varianinc.com (Varian Inc.)
...varian.com (Varian Medical Systems)
...vsea.com (Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates)

  • Three of the cofounders invented the klystron tube in 1937
  • Split into three entities in 1999:  Varian Inc. (Palo Alto), Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto), and Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates (Mass.)

Bio-Rad Laboraties (1952), Hercules, Contra Costa Co.*

...bio-rad.com

  • Clinical diagnostics and life science research

IBM San Jose (1952), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.* (original site at 99 Notre Dame Ave.)

...ibm.com

  • Established by IBM (N.Y., 1911)
  • RAMAC 305, first direct access storage device in 1956
  • Cottle Rd. campus established in 1959 (now IBM Business Continuity & Recovery Service)
  • Relational database technology in 1970 (see University of California above)
  • Winchester disk technology in 1973
  • IBM Almaden Research Center established in 1986

Fair Isaac (1956), San Rafael, Marin Co.*

...fairisaac.com

  • Headquarters moved to Minnesota from San Rafael in 2004 (San Rafael office maintained)

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space (19xx [outside Bay Area]), Sunnyvale, Santa Clara Co.*

...lockheedmartin.com

  • Founded as Lockheed Missiles and Space
  • Headquarters moved to Silicon Valley from Burbank in 1956
  • Hubble Space Telescope
  • Now part of Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems Co. (Colo.) (parent company Lockheed [1926] and Martin Marietta [1961] merged to form Lockheed Martin [Md.] in 1995)

Shockley Transistor (1956-1968), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.* (391 S. San Antonio Rd.)

...shockleytransistor.com (Shockley Plaque)

  • Founded as Shockley Semiconductor Laboratories
  • Founder William Shockley (1910-1989) was part of the team that invented the transistor at Bell Laboratories (N.J., 1925, later Lucent Technologies) in 1948

Fairchild Semiconductor (1957), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.* (original headquarters at 844 E. Charleston Rd., Palo Alto)

...fairchildsemi.com

  • Founded by “Fairchild Eight” or “Traitorous Eight” who resigned from Shockley Semiconductor Laboratories (see above)
  • First patented computer chips (integrated circuits) invented by cofounder Robert Noyce (1927-1990) in 1959 (CHL 1000)
  • About 40 companies would be started by former Fairchild employees (“Fairchildren”) by the early 1970s
  • Acquired by Schlumberger (N.Y., 1934) in 1979 and later sold to National Semiconductor (Santa Clara, 1959) in 1987 (see below)
  • Reborn as independent company in 1997; headquarters moved to Maine from Mountain View (San Jose office maintained)
  • Acquired Samsung’s (South Korea, 1938) Power Device Division in 1999
  • Acquired QT Optoelectronics (Sunnyvale, 1969), KOTA Microcircuits (Colo., 1998), and Micro Linear’s (San Jose, 1983) Power Management business in 2000
  • Acquired Intersil’s (Milpitas, 1967) Discrete Power business in 2001 (see below)

WJ Communications (1957), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...wj.com

  • Founded as Watkins-Johnson, maker of microwave products for the defense market
  • Name changed as business shifted to commercial telecommunications since 1997

 

 

1960s-70s

 

1960s-70s

Plantronics (1961), Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Co.

...plantronics.com

  • Founded as Pacific Plantronics
  • Communications headsets used by NASA during 1969 moon landing

Signetics (1961), Sunnyvale, Santa Clara Co.*

...semiconductors.philips.com (Philips Semiconductors)
...signetics.com (Signetics High Technology)

  • First integrated circuit (IC) vendor
  • Assembly plant opened in South Korea in 1966 (Signetics Korea)
  • Acquired by Philips Electronics (Netherlands, 1891) in 1975; now part of Philips Semiconductors (Netherlands)
  • First IC company to offer “zero defects” warranty in 1985
  • Former Signetics Korea sold to Keo Pyung Group (South Korea) in 1995 and later to a group of private investors in 1999; Silicon Valley operation known as Signetics High Technology (San Jose)

Spectra-Physics (1961), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.*

...newport.com (Newport)

  • Laser equipment vendor
  • Acquired by Thermo Electron (Mass., 1956)
  • Spun off in 1997 and reacquired by Thermo Electron in 2002
  • Sold to Newport Research (Irvine, 1969, later Newport) in 2004

Syntex USA (1961), Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co.*

...paloalto.roche.com (Roche Palo Alto)

  • Research lab established by Syntex (Mexico, 1944)
  • Acquired by Roche (Switzerland, 1896) in 1994
  • Now known as Roche Bioscience, one of Roche’s four pharmaceutical research centers

Siliconix (1962), Santa Clara, Santa Clara Co.*

...vishay.com (Vishay Intertechnology)

  • Supplier of power and analog semiconductor products
  • Acquired by Vishay Intertechnology (Pa., 1962) in 2005
  • Now known as Vishay Siliconix

Dolby Laboratories (1965), San Francisco, San Francisco Co.*

...dolby.com

  • Audio and surround sound technology developer
  • Headquarters moved to San Francisco from England in 1976 (always a U.S. company)

Coherent (1966), Santa Clara, Santa Clara Co.*

...coherent.com

  • Laser equipment vendor
  • Acquired Lambda Physik (Germany, 1971) in 1981

Applied Materials (1967), Santa Clara, Santa Clara Co.*

...appliedmaterials.com

  • One of the first makers of wafer fabrication equipment
  • Acquired Etec Systems (Hayward, 1970) in 2000 (see below)
  • Largest semiconductor equipment manufacturer in the world

Boole & Babbage (1967), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...bmc.com (BMC Software)

  • Systems management software vendor
  • Acquired by BMC Software (Texas, 1980) in 1999

Intersil (1967), Milpitas, Santa Clara Co.*

...intersil.com

  • Maker of analog semiconductors founded as Advanced Memory Systems
  • Acquired by General Electric (Conn., 1892) in 1981 and later sold to Harris (Fla., 1895) in 1988 (as part of GE Solid State)
  • Harris Semiconductor (Irvine) sold to an investment firm in 1999
  • Reborn as Intersil
  • Sold Discrete Power business to Fairchild Semiconductor (Maine, 1957) in 2001 (see above)
  • Acquired Elantec Semiconductor (Milpitas, 1983) in 2002 (see below)
  • Headquarters moved to Milpitas from Irvine in 2002
  • Acquired Xicor (Milpitas, 1978) in 2004
  • Acquired BitBlitz Communications (Milpitas, 1999) in 2004

National Semiconductor (1959 [outside California]), Santa Clara, Santa Clara Co.*

...national.com

  • Maker of analog devices and subsystems
  • Headquarters moved to Silicon Valley from Connecticut in 1967
  • First Silicon Valley semiconductor company to reach $1 billion in sales (1983)
  • NS32032, first 32-bit microprocessor in 1984
  • Acquired Fairchild Semiconductor (Maine, 1957) in 1987 and later sold it to an investment group in 1997 (see above)

ALZA (1968), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.*

...alza.com

  • Provider of drug delivery solutions
  • Transderm-Nitro in 1981
  • Procardia XL in 1989
  • Duragesic (fentanyl) CII in 1990
  • Nicoderm (nicotine) transdermal system in 1991
  • Acquired by Johnson & Johnson (N.J., 1886) in 2001

Intel (1968), Santa Clara, Santa Clara Co.*

...intel.com

  • Founded as NM Electronics
  • Moore’s Law in 1965 (cofounder’s prediction that the number of transistors on integrated circuits would double every two years)
  • First dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chip in 1970
  • First erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM) chip in 1971
  • Intel 4004 microprocessor in 1971, first computer on a chip
  • Intel 8008, first 8-bit microprocessor in 1972
  • Intel 8080, first true general-purpose microprocessor in 1974
  • Intel 8086, 16-bit microprocessor in 1978
  • Intel 8088 microprocessor in 1979 (lower cost version of 8086), later used to power IBM’s first microcomputer in 1981
  • Intel386, 32-bit microprocessor in 1985
  • Intel i860, first one-million-transistor microprocessor in 1989 (based on RISC or reduced instruction set computer architecture)
  • Largest semiconductor supplier in the world (1992)
  • Intel Pentium, microprocessor with 3.1 million transistors in 1993 (roughly 1750 times more powerful than the 8080)
  • Intel Pentium II, microprocessor with 7.5 million transistors in 1997
  • CEO named Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” in 1997
  • Acquired Shiva (Mass., 1985) in 1998 and later sold its main product line to Simple Access (Mass.) in 2002
  • Intel Pentium 4, microprocessor with 42 million transistors in 2000
  • Intel Itanium, 64-bit processor in 2001
  • Acquired Xircom (Thousand Oaks, 1988) in 2001
  • Intel Itanium 2, processor with 410 million transistors in 2002
  • Intel Centrino mobile technology in 2003
  • Shipped 1 billionth processor in 2003
  • Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology in 2004 (64-bit extension for x86 platform)
  • Dual-core Pentium in 2005

AMD or Advanced Micro Devices (1969), Sunnyvale, Santa Clara Co.*

...amd.com

  • Maker of microprocessors and flash memory devices
  • Second source for Intel-compatible microprocessors in 1982
  • Legal dispute with Intel between 1987 and 1995
  • Acquired Monolithic Memories (1969) in 1987
  • AMD Opteron, 64-bit processor in 2002
  • AMD64 in 2003 (64-bit extension for x86 platform)
  • Dual-core Opteron in 2005

Flextronics International (1969), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...flextronics.com

  • One of the largest electronics manufacturing contractors in the world
  • Headquarters moved to Singapore (San Jose remains U.S. headquarters)

frog design (1969), Sunnyvale, Santa Clara Co.*

...frogdesign.com

  • Industrial design firm
  • Sony Trinitron TV in 1978
  • Apple Macintosh in 1984

ROLM (1969), Santa Clara, Santa Clara Co.*

...enterprise.usa.siemens.com (Siemens Enterprise Networks)
...communications.usa.siemens.com (Siemens Communications)

  • First microprocessor-controlled telephone in 1979
  • Acquired by IBM (N.Y., 1911) in 1984 and later sold to Siemens (Germany, 1847) in 1992
  • optiPoint 100, first session initiation protocol (SIP) telephone in 2001
  • optiPoint 400, first multiprotocol telephone in 2001
  • Now part of Siemens Enterprise Networks (San Jose), a division of Siemens Communications (Fla.)

ADAC Laboratories (1970), Milpitas, Santa Clara Co.*

...medical.philips.com (Philips Medical Systems)

  • Medical imaging company
  • Acquired by Philips Electronics (Netherlands, 1891) in 2000
  • Now part of Philips Medical Systems (Mass.)

Amdahl (1970-2002?), Sunnyvale, Santa Clara Co.*

...computers.us.fujitsu.com (Fujitsu Computer Systems)

  • Founded by chief designer of IBM’s 360 mainframe series to make IBM-compatible mainframe computers
  • First plug-compatible system in 1975
  • Acquired by Fujitsu (Japan, 1935) in 1997
  • Now part of Fujitsu Computer Systems

Etec Systems (1970), Hayward, Alameda Co.*

...appliedmaterials.com (Applied Materials)

  • Semiconductor equipment vendor
  • Acquired ATEQ (Ore., 1983) in 1991
  • Acquired by Applied Materials (Santa Clara, 1967) in 2000 (see above)

Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (1970), Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co.*

...parc.xerox.com

  • Established by Xerox (Conn., 1906)
  • Xerox Alto, forerunner of many microcomputer technologies in 1973 (see SRI International above)
  • Xerox Ethernet, computer network in 1973
  • Xerox laser printer in 1975
  • Xerox Star, commercial version of Alto in 1981
  • SynOptics Communications (Santa Clara, later Bay Networks) spun off in 1985 (see below)
  • Semaphore Communications (Santa Clara) spun off in 1990; assets sold to Digital Link (Sunnyvale, 1985, later Quick Eagle Networks) in 1998
  • Documentum (Pleasanton) spun off in 1990 and later acquired by EMC (Mass., 1979) in 2003
  • Uppercase spun off in 1998 and later acquired by Microsoft (Wash., 1975)
  • GroupFire (Redwood City, later Outride) spun off in 2000; assets sold to Google (Mountain View, 1998) in 2001 (see below)
  • Incorporated in 2002

Atari (1971), Sunnyvale, Santa Clara Co.*

...atarimuseum.com (Atari Historical Society)
...atari.com
...wikipedia.org (Wikipedia)

  • Pong, first computer game in 1972 (first arcade version installed in Sunnyvale tavern)
  • Home version of Pong in 1975
  • Acquired by Warner Communications (N.Y., 1923, later Time Warner) in 1976
  • Home computing and game console business sold and became Atari Corp. in 1984; remaining arcade division renamed Atari Games
  • Atari Games became Time Warner Interactive in 1993 and later Midway Games West before closing in 2003
  • Atari Corp. merged with JTS (San Jose, 1994) in 1996 and later assets sold to Hasbro Interactive (R.I., 1923) in 1998; renamed Atari Inc. (N.Y.) in 2003 (Sunnyvale office maintained)

Cetus (1971), Emeryville, Alameda Co.*

...chiron.com (Chiron)

  • Acquired by Chiron (Emeryville, 1981) in 1991 (see below)

Dialog (1972), Sunnyvale, Santa Clara Co.*

...dialog.com

  • On-line information service vendor founded as Dialog Information Services
  • Acquired by Lockheed (Md., 1926, later Lockheed Martin) in 1981 and later sold to Knight-Ridder (San Jose, 1974) in 1988
  • Knight-Ridder acquired Data-Star (Switzerland), Dialog’s European counterpart, in 1993 (Dialog and Data-Star became part of Knight-Ridder Information)
  • Knight-Ridder Information sold to Market, Analysis and Information Database (U.K., 1984, later Bright Station) in 1997 and renamed The Dialog Corp. (headquarters moved to North Carolina from Mountain View)
  • The Dialog Corp. sold to The Thomson Corp. (Canada, 1989) in 2000 (Sunnyvale office maintained)

Nortel Networks (1974), Santa Clara, Santa Clara Co.*

...nortel.com

  • Nortel Networks’ (Canada, 1895, formerly Northern Telecom) first two campuses in Silicon Valley opened between 1974 and 75
  • Headquarters for PBX (private branch exchange) systems established in 1995 (see Bay Networks below)

Tandem Computers (1974), Cupertino, Santa Clara Co.*

...hp.com (Hewlett-Packard)

  • NonStop system, first fault-tolerant on-line transaction processing (OLTP) computer in 1976
  • Acquired by Compaq Computer (Texas, 1982) in 1997
  • Now known as Tandem HP NonStop Services (Compaq merged with Hewlett-Packard in 2002)

Apple Computer (1976), Cupertino, Santa Clara Co.*

...apple.com
...applemuseum.bott.org (The Apple Museum)

  • Apple II, first mass-market microcomputer in 1977
  • Apple Macintosh, first successful microcomputer with a graphical user interface, mouse pointer, bit-mapped display, and network in 1984
  • First PC company to reach $1 billion in sales
  • Apple Hypercard, software development tool in 1987
  • Apple Newton MessagePad in 1993
  • Apple iMac in 1999
  • Apple iTunes, “jukebox” software in 2001
  • Apple iPod, digital music player in 2001
  • Apple iTunes Music Store, one of the first popular digital music retailers in 2003

Genentech (1976), South San Francisco, San Mateo Co.*

...gene.com

  • Human insulin cloned in 1978
  • Human growth hormone cloned in 1979
  • Recombinant DNA drug licensed to Eli Lilly in 1984
  • More than 30 companies would be started by former Genentech employees by the early 1990s (biotechnology’s Fairchild)
  • The Genentech Foundation Biotechnology Learning Center at the new San Mateo Public Library (scheduled to open in 2006)

Industrial Light + Magic (1977), Nicasio, Marin Co.*

...ilm.com

  • First computer-generated character in a feature film (“Young Sherlock Holmes,” 1985)
  • First computer-generated 3D character in a feature film (“The Abyss,” 1989)
  • Scheduled to relocate to San Francisco with other Lucasfilm divisions

Oracle (1977), Redwood Shores, San Mateo Co.*

...oracle.com

  • Founded as Software Development Laboratories and renamed Relational Software in 1979
  • Second-largest independent software company in the world
  • First commercial structured query language (SQL) relational database in 1979
  • First portable database in 1983 (written entirely in C)
  • First client/server database in 1986
  • First 64-bit relational database in 1995
  • Acquired PeopleSoft (Pleasanton, 1987) in 2005 (see below)
  • Acquired Retek (Minn., 1986) in 2005

Silicon Valley Group (1977), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...asml.com (ASM Lithography)

  • Semiconductor manufacturing equipment vendor
  • Acquired by ASM Lithography (Netherlands, 1984) in 2001

Solectron (1977), Milpitas, Santa Clara Co.*

...solectron.com

  • One of the largest electronics manufacturing contractors in the world
  • First company to win the Malcolm Baldrige Award for manufacturing twice (1991 and 1997)

Trimble Navigation (1978), Sunnyvale, Santa Clara Co.*

...trimble.com

  • First commercial GPS (global positioning system) positioning product in 1984

GRiD Systems (1979-1993?), Fremont, Alameda Co.*

  • GRiD Compass, first portable computer in 1979
  • Acquired by Tandy (Texas, 1950, later RadioShack) in 1988
  • GRiDPad, hand-held computer with handwriting recognition in 1989
  • Sold to AST Research (Irvine, 1980, later AST Computers) in 1993

Seagate Technology (1979), Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz Co.

...seagate.com

  • Cofounder invented the floppy disk
  • World’s largest disk-drive maker
  • First 5.25-inch hard disk drive in 1980
  • Acquired CDC’s (Minn., 1957, later Control Data Systems and now part of BT’s Syntegra) MPI/Imprimis disk storage division in 1989
  • Acquired Conner Peripherals (San Jose, 1986) in 1996 (same person co-founded both companies) (see below)

3Com (1979), Santa Clara, Santa Clara Co.*

...3com.com

  • Founded by computer network pioneer
  • First Ethernet network interface card
  • Acquired U.S. Robotics (Ill., 1976) in 1997
  • Palm (Milpitas, 1992, later palmOne) spun off in 1999 (see below)
  • Headquarters moved to Massachusetts from Santa Clara in 2003 (Santa Clara office maintained)

 

 

1980s-90s

 

1980s-90s

IDT or Integrated Device Technology (1980), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...idt.com

  • Maker of semiconductor devices for networking equipment
  • First low-power, high-speed CMOS chip in 1981
  • Diagnostic circuits and boundary-scan technology in 1987
  • R4640 processor used to power WebTV set-top box in 1996
  • x86 design subsidiary sold to VIA Technologies (Taiwan, 1987) in 1999

Informix Software (1980), Menlo Park, San Mateo Co.*

...ascential.com (Ascential Software)

  • Founded as Relational Database Systems
  • Database business sold to IBM (N.Y., 1911) in 2001
  • Remaining enterprise data integration business renamed Ascential Software (headquarters moved to Massachusetts from Menlo Park in 2001)
  • Ascential Software later acquired by IBM in 2005

Ingres (1980), Alameda, Alameda Co.*

...ca.com (Computer Associates International)

  • Database vendor founded as Relational Technology
  • Acquired by ASK Computer Systems (Mountain View, 1971) in 1990; ASK later acquired by Computer Associates International (N.Y., 1976) in 1994

Lam Research (1980), Fremont, Alameda Co.*

...lamrc.com

  • Supplier of wafer fabrication equipment and services

PDI/DreamWorks (1980), Redwood City, San Mateo Co.*

...pdi.com

  • Founded as Pacific Data Images
  • Acquired by DreamWorks SKG (Los Angeles, 1994) in 2000
  • “Shrek,” first winner of best animated feature film in 2001
  • Now part of DreamWorks Animation SKG (Glendale)

Quantum (1980), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...quantum.com

  • Largest supplier of tape drives and tape automation
  • Acquired Digital Equipment’s (Mass., 1957, later Compaq Computer and now part of Hewlett-Packard) storage division in 1994
  • Quantum Hard Disk Drive Group sold to Maxtor (Milpitas, 1982) in 2001 (see below)

SYNNEX (1980), Fremont, Alameda Co.*

...synnex.com

  • Founded as COMPAC Microelectronics
  • Provider of information technology supply chain services
  • Acquired Merisel’s ComputerLand (Pleasanton, 1976) in 1997

Adaptec (1981), Milpitas, Santa Clara Co.*

...adaptec.com

  • Hard disk vendor

Chiron (1981), Emeryville, Alameda Co.*

...chiron.com

  • Acquired Cetus (Emeryville, 1971) in 1991 (see above)
  • Proleukin in 1998
  • Procleix System in 2002

Linear Technology (1981), Milpitas, Santa Clara Co.*

...linear.com

  • Analog integrated circuit (IC) vendor

Logitech (1981), Fremont, Alameda Co.*

...logitech.com

  • Founded in Switzerland
  • Cordless mouse in 1984
  • Shipped 100 millionth mouse in 1996
  • Shipped 500 millionth mouse in 2003

LSI Logic (1981), Milpitas, Santa Clara Co.*

...lsilogic.com

  • Semiconductor vendor

NEC Electronics (1981), Santa Clara, Santa Clara Co.*

...necel.com

  • Semiconductor business established by NEC (Japan, 1899)
  • Separate entity from NEC since 2002

Rational Software (1981), Cupertino, Santa Clara Co.*

...www-306.ibm.com/software/ (IBM Software Group)

  • Business application development software
  • Acquired by IBM (N.Y., 1911) in 2003
  • Now part of IBM Software Group, along with Lotus, DB2, Tivoli, and WebSphere

Scios (1981), Fremont, Alameda Co.*

...sciosinc.com

  • Founded as California Biotechnology, heart failure treatment company
  • Natrecor (nesiritide) in 2001
  • Acquired by Johnson & Johnson (N.J., 1886) in 2003

Adobe Systems (1982), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...adobe.com

  • PostScript, page description language in 1984
  • Adobe Illustrator in 1987
  • Adobe Type Manager in 1989
  • Photoshop in 1989
  • Acrobat in 1993
  • Acquired Aldus (Wash., 1984) in 1994
  • Acquired Frame Technology (San Jose, 1986) in 1995

Autodesk (1982), San Rafael, Marin Co.*

...autodesk.com

  • AutoCAD, first computer-aided design (CAD) system for the PC in 1982

Cypress Semiconductor (1982), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...cypress.com

  • Semiconductor vendor

Electronic Arts (1982), Redwood City, San Mateo Co.*

...ea.com

  • The Sims in 2000

E*Trade Financial (1982), Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co.*

...etrade.com

  • On-line stock trading company
  • Pioneer of portable mortgages
  • Headquarters moved to New York from Menlo Park in 2003 (Palo Alto office maintained)

Genencor International (1982), Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co.*

...genencor.com

  • Biotechnology joint venture between Genentech (South San Francisco, 1976) and Corning Glass Works (N.Y., 1851, later Corning)

Maxtor (1982), Milpitas, Santa Clara Co.*

...maxtor.com

  • One of the largest suppliers of hard disk drives in the world
  • Acquired MiniScribe (Colo., 1980) in 1990
  • Acquired Quantum Hard Disk Drive Group in 2001 (see above)

Octel Communications (1982), Milpitas, Santa Clara Co.*

...avaya.com (Avaya)

  • Voice mail pioneer
  • Acquired by Lucent Technologies (N.J., 1996) in 1997
  • Now part of Avaya (N.J.), spin-off from Lucent Technologies in 2000

SGI or Silicon Graphics, Inc. (1982), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.*

...sgi.com

  • Maker of high-performance computers
  • Launched its first 3-D workstation in 1984
  • Acquired MIPS Computer Systems (Mountain View, 1984, later MIPS Technologies) in 1992 (see below)

Sun Microsystems (1982), Santa Clara, Santa Clara Co.*

...sun.com

  • Sun-1 workstation in 1982
  • Sun-4 workstation in 1987 (based on RISC or reduced instruction set computer architecture)
  • Fastest computer company with a direct sales force to reach $1 billion in sales in six years (1988)
  • SPARCstation in 1989
  • Largest RISC-based computer supplier in the world (1989)
  • Java technology in 1995
  • Sun Ultra workstation in 1996

Symantec (1982), Cupertino, Santa Clara Co.*

...symantec.com

  • Security software vendor
  • Acquired Peter Norton Computing (1982) in 1990
  • Acquired Contact Software International (1986) in 1993 and later sold its main product line to Best Software’s SalesLogix (Ariz., 1996) in 1999
  • Acquired Fifth Generation Systems (La., 1984) in 1993
  • Acquired Central Point Software in 1994
  • Acquired Delrina (Canada, 1988) in 1995
  • Acquired Quarterdeck (Marina del Rey) in 1998
  • Acquired Brightmail (San Francisco, 1998) in 2004
  • Acquired VERITAS Software (Mountain View, 1989) in 2005 (see below)

Altera (1983), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...altera.com

  • System-on-a-programmable-chip (SOPC) solutions

Borland Software (1983), Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz Co.

...borland.com

  • Founded as Borland International
  • Turbo Pascal in 1983
  • SideKick in 1984
  • Acquired Ansa Software in 1987
  • Acquired Ashton-Tate (Los Angeles, 1980) in 1991
  • Acquired Visigenic Software (San Mateo) in 1997
  • JBuilder development tools in 1997
  • Renamed Inprise between 1998 and 2001
  • Kylix application development environment in 2001

Elantec Semiconductor (1983), Milpitas, Santa Clara Co.*

...intersil.com (Intersil)

  • Acquired by Intersil (Milpitas, 1967) in 2002 (see above)

Intuit (1983), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.*

...intuit.com

  • Quicken, popular personal finance software in 1984
  • TurboTax

Komag (1983), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...komag.com

  • Thin-film disk vendor
  • First company to ship 100 millionth disk in 1993

Maxim Integrated Products (1983), Sunnyvale, Santa Clara Co.*

...maxim-ic.com

  • Maker of linear and mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs)
  • Acquired Dallas Semiconductor (Texas, 1984) in 2001

Asyst Technologies (1984), Fremont, Alameda Co.*

...asyst.com

  • Semiconductor equipment vendor

Atmel (1984), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...atmel.com

  • Semiconductor vendor

Cirrus Logic (1984), Fremont, Alameda Co.*

...cirrus.com

  • Integrated drive electronics (IDE) pioneer (controller built directly on a disk drive)
  • Fastest Silicon Valley semiconductor company to reach $1 billion in sales
  • Headquarters moved to Texas from Fremont in 2000 (Fremont office maintained)

Cisco Systems (1984), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...cisco.com

  • Largest networking equipment vendor in the world
  • Acquired Crescendo Communications (Sunnyvale, 1990) in 1993
  • Acquired Kalpana (Sunnyvale) in 1994
  • Acquired Grand Junction Networks (Fremont, 1992) in 1995
  • Acquired StrataCom (San Jose, 1986) in 1996
  • Acquired Telebit (Mass.) in 1996
  • Acquired Precept Software (Palo Alto, 1995) in 1998
  • Fastest company to reach a market value of $100 billion in 14 years (1998)
  • Acquired The Linksys Group (Irvine, 1988) in 2003

MIPS Technologies (1984), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.*

...mips.com

  • Founded as MIPS Computer Systems
  • Reduced instruction set computer (RISC) processor pioneer
  • R2000, first RISC microprocessor in 1985
  • R4000, first 64-bit microprocessor in 1991
  • Acquired by SGI (Mountain View, 1982) in 1992 (see above)
  • R4700 microprocessor in 1995

Novellus Systems (1984), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...novellus.com

  • Semiconductor manufacturing equipment vendor
  • Acquired GaSonics International (San Jose, 1971) in 2001
  • Acquired SpeedFam-IPEC (Ariz., 1999) in 2002

PMC-Sierra (1984), Santa Clara, Santa Clara Co.*

...pmc-sierra.com

  • Founded as Sierra Semiconductor
  • Maker of communications semiconductors

Sybase (1984), Dublin, Alameda Co.*

...sybase.com

  • Acquired Powersoft (Mass., 1974) in 1994

Xilinx (1984), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...xilinx.com

  • World’s largest maker of programmable semiconductors

Conner Peripherals (1986), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...seagate.com (Seagate Technology)

  • Disk drive vendor
  • First manufacturing company to reach $1 billion in sales in four years (1990)
  • Acquired by Seagate Technology (Scotts Valley, 1979) in 1996 (see above)

Network General (1986), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...networkgeneral.com

  • Network analysis software vendor
  • Acquired by McAfee Associates (Santa Clara, 1987) in 1997 (merged company named Network Associates) and later sold to buyout specialists in 2004 (see McAfee below)

Pixar Animation Studios (1986), Emeryville, Alameda Co.*

...pixar.com

  • “Luxo Jr.,” first computer-generated film to be nominated for best animated short in 1986
  • “Toy Story,” first feature-length computer-animated film in 1995

Synopsys (1986), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.*

...synopsys.com

  • Semiconductor design software vendor founded as Optimal Solutions

ASI (1987), Fremont, Alameda Co.*

...asipartner.com

  • Wholesale distributor of PC products
  • One of the largest privately held companies

Bell Microproducts (1987), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...bellmicro.com

  • Storage products

Gilead Sciences (1987), Foster City, San Mateo Co.*

...gilead.com

  • Biopharmaceutical company

McAfee (1987), Santa Clara, Santa Clara Co.*

...mcafee.com

  • Security software vendor founded as McAfee Associates
  • Merged with Network General (San Jose, 1986) to form Network Associates in 1997
  • Sold Network General division to buyout specialists in 2004 (see Network General above)

PeopleSoft (1987), Pleasanton, Alameda Co.*

...peoplesoft.com

  • Enterprise software vendor
  • Acquired J.D. Edwards (Colo., 1977) in 2003
  • Acquired by Oracle (Redwood Shores, 1977) in 2005 (see above)

Cadence Design Systems (1988), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...cadence.com

  • Formed by merger between ECAD (Santa Clara, 1982) and SDA Systems (San Jose, 1983)
  • World’s largest maker of semiconductor-design software

Cell Genesys (1988), South San Francisco, San Mateo Co.*

...cellgenesys.com

  • Biopharmaceutical company
  • Abgenix (Fremont) spun off in 1996
  • Acquired Somatix Therapy (Alameda, 1991) in 1997
  • Ceregene (San Diego) subsidiary established in 2001
  • Acquired Calydon (Sunnyvale, 1994) in 2001

Netcom On-Line Communication Services (1988-1999), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...earthlink.net (EarthLink)

  • First Internet service provider to go public in 1994
  • Merged with ICG Communications (Colo.) in 1998
  • Assets sold to MindSpring Enterprises (Ga., 1994) in 1999
  • EarthLink Network (Pasadena, 1994) merged with MindSpring Enterprises to form EarthLink (Ga.) in 2000

SanDisk (1988), Sunnyvale, Santa Clara Co.*

...sandisk.com

  • Flash memory card vendor

Ascend Communications (1989), Alameda, Alameda Co.*

...lucent.com (Lucent Technologies)

  • Networking equipment vendor
  • Acquired by Lucent Technologies (N.J., 1996) in 1999

Mercury Interactive (1989), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.*

...mercury.com

  • Business technology optimization (BTO) software vendor

VERITAS Software (1989), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.*

...veritas.com

  • Storage software vendor
  • Acquired by Symantec (Cupertino, 1982) in 2005 (see above)

Polycom (1990), Pleasanton, Alameda Co.*

...polycom.com

  • Provider of video conferencing systems
  • Acquired PictureTel (Mass., 1984) in 2001

Rambus (1990), Los Altos, Santa Clara Co.*

...rambus.com

  • Maker of high-speed memory chips
  • First 1 GHz dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chip in 2000

Remedy (1990), Sunnyvale, Santa Clara Co.*

...remedy.com

  • Service management software vendor
  • Acquired by Peregrine Systems (San Diego, 1981) in 2001 and later sold to BMC Software (Texas, 1980) in 2002

Affymetrix (1991), Santa Clara, Santa Clara Co.*

...affymetrix.com

  • Biotechnology division established by Affymax
  • Spun off in 1992

Tularik (1991), South San Francisco, San Mateo Co.*

...amgen (Amgen)

  • Biopharmaceutical company focused on gene-regulation drugs
  • Acquired by Amgen (Thousand Oaks, 1980) in 2004
  • Now known as Amgen San Francisco

UTStarcom (1991), Alameda, Alameda Co.*

...utstar.com

  • Internet access equipment vendor

Wipro Technologies (1991?), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.*

...wipro.com

  • U.S. headquarters established by Wipro Technologies (India, 1945)
  • One of the largest software services companies in the world
  • Business process outsourcing (BPO) services

Aviron (1992), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.*

...medimmune.com (MedImmune)

  • Biopharmaceutical company focused on vaccine technologies
  • FluMist in 2001
  • Acquired by MedImmune (Md., 1987) in 2002

Macromedia (1992), San Francisco, San Francisco Co.*

...macromedia.com

  • Web and application development software vendor
  • Formed by merger between MacroMind-Paracomp (San Francisco, 1990) and Authorware (Minn.)
  • Flash Player in 1996

Network Appliance (1992), Sunnyvale, Santa Clara Co.*

...netapp.com

  • Largest maker of data-storage systems for networks in the world

palmOne (1992), Milpitas, Santa Clara Co.*

...palmone.com

  • Hand-held computer vendor founded as Palm Computing
  • Acquired by U.S. Robotics (Ill., 1976) in 1995; U.S. Robotics later acquired by 3Com (Mass., 1979) in 1997 (see above)
  • PalmPilot, one of the first successful personal digital assistants in 1996
  • Spun off from 3Com in 1999
  • Merged with Handspring (Mountain View, 1998) in 2003 (same people founded both Palm Computing and Handspring)
  • PalmSource (Sunnyvale) spun off in 2003

CNET Networks (1992 [outside California]), San Francisco, San Francisco Co.*

...cnet.com

  • Interactive media company founded as CNET
  • Headquarters moved to San Francisco from New York in 1993
  • Interactive Advertising Bureau in 1996
  • Acquired ZDNet (N.Y., 1989) in 2000
  • Acquired Vivendi Universal’s MP3.com (San Diego, 1998) in 2003

NVIDIA (1993), Santa Clara, Santa Clara Co.*

...nvidia.com

  • Maker of graphics and digital media processors
  • NVIDIA RIVA 128 graphics processor in 1997
  • Shipped 1 millionth RIVA 128 processor in 1998
  • Shipped 10 millionth graphics processor in 1999
  • Fastest semiconductor company to reach $1 billion in sales in 8 years (2001)
  • Shipped 100 millionth processor in 2002

Siebel Systems (1993), San Mateo, San Mateo Co.*

...siebel.com

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software vendor
  • Acquired Scopus Technology (Emeryville, 1989) in 1998
  • Acquired edocs (Mass., 1997) in 2005

AirTouch Communications (1994), San Francisco, San Francisco Co.*

...vodafone.com (Vodafone Group)

  • Wireless spin-off (formerly PacTel) from Pacific Telesis Group (San Francisco, 1984, later SBC Communications)
  • Acquired by Vodafone Group (U.K., 1984) in 1999

Bay Networks (1994), Santa Clara, Santa Clara Co.*

...nortel.com (Nortel Networks)

  • Networking equipment vendor formed by merger between SynOptics Communications (Santa Clara, 1985) and Wellfleet Communications (Mass., 1986)
  • Acquired Xylogics (Mass.) in 1995
  • Acquired by Nortel Networks (Canada, 1895, formerly Northern Telecom) in 1998 (see above)

Excite (1994-2001?), Redwood City, San Mateo Co.*

...excite.com (Excite Network)

  • Internet search engine and Web portal founded as Architext Software
  • Merged with AtHome (Redwood City, 1995) to form ExciteAtHome (Redwood City) in 1999
  • Brand and Web domain sold to iWon (N.Y., 1999, later Excite Network) in 2001; Excite Network acquired by Ask Jeeves (Oakland, 1996) in 2004 (see below)

Netscape Communications (1994), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.*

...home.netscape.com

  • Netscape Navigator, first commercial Web browser in 1994
  • August 1995 IPO at the start of dot-com boom
  • Acquired by America Online (Va., 1985, later Time Warner) in 1999

Yahoo! (1994), Sunnyvale, Santa Clara Co.*

...yahoo.com

  • Most popular Web site worldwide
  • One of the first commercial Internet search engines in 1995
  • Acquired Four11 (Menlo Park, 1994) in 1997
  • Acquired Inktomi (Foster City, 1996) in 2003
  • Acquired Overture Services (Pasadena, 1997, later Yahoo Search Marketing) in 2003
  • Acquired Ludicorp Research & Development (Canada, 2002), creator of Flickr, in 2005
  • Music subscription service in 2005

BEA Systems (1995), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...bea.com

  • Enterprise infrastructure vendor

Brocade Communications Systems (1995), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...brocade.com

  • Maker of storage area networks (SANs)

craigslist (1995), San Francisco, San Francisco Co.*

...craigslist.org

  • Popular Internet classified ads

eBay (1995), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...ebay.com

  • Most popular shopping Web site
  • Acquired PayPal (San Jose, 1998) in 2002 (see below)

Hotmail (1995), Sunnyvale, Santa Clara Co.*

...hotmail.com

  • One of the most popular Web-based e-mail vendors
  • Acquired by Microsoft (Wash., 1975) in 1998

VeriSign (1995), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.*

...verisign.com

  • Manager of two of the Internet’s 13 root servers:  .com and .net

Ask Jeeves (1996), Oakland, Alameda Co.*

...ask.com

  • Internet search engine
  • Acquired Teoma (N.J., 2000) in 2001
  • Acquired Excite Network (N.Y., 1999) in 2004 (see above)
  • Acquired Trustic (Redwood City, 2003), creator of Bloglines, in 2005
  • Acquired by IAC/InterActiveCorp (N.Y., 1996) in 2005

Foundry Networks (1996), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...foundrynetworks.com

  • Networking equipment vendor

Infosys Technologies (1996?), Fremont, Alameda Co.*

...infosys.com

  • U.S. headquarters established by Infosys Technologies (India, 1981)
  • One of the largest software services companies in the world
  • Business process outsourcing (BPO) services
  • Infosys Consulting (Texas) subsidiary established in 2004

Juniper Networks (1996), Sunnyvale, Santa Clara Co.*

...juniper.net

  • Networking equipment vendor

Lexar Media (1996), Fremont, Alameda Co.*

...lexar.com

  • Founded as Lexar Microsystems
  • Maker of flash memory cards

KLA-Tencor (1997), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...klatencor.com

  • Formed by merger between KLA Instruments (San Jose, 1976) and Tencor Instruments (Milpitas, 1976)
  • World’s largest maker of equipment for inspecting semiconductors

TIBCO Software (1997), Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co.*

...tibco.com

  • Spin-off from Reuters Group’s Teknekron Software Systems (Palo Alto, 1985)
  • Business integration and process management software vendor

TiVo (1997), Alviso, Santa Clara Co.*

...tivo.com

  • Digital video recording pioneer

Google (1998), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.*

...google.com

  • Largest Internet search engine in the world
  • Largest archive of Usenet (network of newsgroups) messages in the world
  • Acquired Pyra Labs (San Francisco, 1999), creator of Blogger, in 2003
  • Google AdSense, contextual advertising program in 2003
  • Acquired Picasa (Pasadena, 2001) in 2004

Hyperion Solutions (1998), Santa Clara, Santa Clara Co.*

...hyperion.com

  • Financial/business performance management software vendor formed by merger between Arbor Software (Sunnyvale, 1991) and Hyperion Software (Conn., 1981)

PayPal (1998), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...paypal.com

  • On-line payment service
  • Acquired by eBay (San Jose, 1995) in 2002 (see above)

Agilent Technologies (1999), Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co.*

...agilent.com

  • Measurement spin-off from Hewlett-Packard (Palo Alto, 1939) (see above)
  • Largest IPO in Silicon Valley history ($2.1 billion in 1999)
  • Healthcare Solutions Group sold to Philips Electronics (Netherlands, 1891) in 2001 (now part of Philips Medical Systems)

JDS Uniphase (1999), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...jdsu.com

  • Optical communications products
  • Formed by merger between Uniphase (San Jose, 1980) and JDS FITEL (Canada, 1981)

Napster (1999?), Redwood City, San Mateo Co.*

...napster.com

  • Peer-to-peer networking in 2000, enabling users to easily share multimedia files
  • Forced to shut down in 2001; assets sold to Sonic Solutions’ Roxio (Santa Clara) in 2002

Netflix (1999), Los Gatos, Santa Clara Co.*

...netflix.com

  • On-line movie rental service

Salesforce.com (1999), San Francisco, San Francisco Co.*

...salesforce.com

  • Hosted customer relationship management (CRM) software services

 

 

2000s-Present

 

2000s-Present

Sanmina-SCI (2001), San Jose, Santa Clara Co.*

...sanmina-sci.com

  • Formed by merger between Sanmina (San Jose, 1980) and SCI Systems (Ala., 1961)
  • One of the largest electronics manufacturing contractors in the world

Mozilla Foundation (2003), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.*

...mozilla.org

  • Open-source software nonprofit established with support from Time Warner’s Netscape Communications (Mountain View, 1994) (see above)

California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (2005), San Francisco, San Francisco Co.*

...cirm.ca.gov

  • Established with passage of Proposition 71 to provide grants for stem cell research

 

 

Miscellany

 

Miscellany

Computer History Museum (1996), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.*

...computerhistory.org

Draper, Gaither & Anderson (1958-19xx), Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co.*

  • First venture capital firm west of the Mississippi

Menlo Park, San Mateo Co.*

...menlopark.org (City of Menlo Park)
...menloparkchamber.com (Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce)

  • Capital of venture capital (city with most venture capital companies)
  • Country’s first planned industrial development opened in 1953

Dinah’s Shack (1926-1989), Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co.* (4269 El Camino Real)

  • Restaurant where William Shockley’s employees gathered to celebrate his winning the Nobel Prize in 1956
  • Now site of Trader Vic’s (since 2001)

The Wagon Wheel (1962-2000), Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.* (282 E. Middlefield Rd.)

  • Popular place where pioneer engineers used to socialize after work

Homebrew Computer Club (1975-1986), Menlo Park, San Mateo Co.*

  • Members included an Apple Computer cofounder and the founder of Atari

Fry’s Electronics (1985), Palo Alto, Santa Clara Co.*

…frys.com
…frysoutpost.com

  • Silicon Valley’s hardware store of choice for many start-up companies in the 1980s (original store at 541 Lakeside Dr., Sunnyvale)
  • One of the largest privately held companies

High-Tech Street Names

 

City and County Name(s) in Bay Area
Dublin, Alameda Co.* Sybase Dr.
Redwood Shores, San Mateo Co.* Oracle Pkwy.
Cupertino, Santa Clara Co.* Varian Way
Mountain View, Santa Clara Co.* Fairchild Dr.
San Jose, Santa Clara Co.* Disk Ct./Dr., Fortran Ct., Foundry Ct., General Electric Way, Logic Dr., Silicon Dr., Silicon Valley Blvd., Technology Dr., Varian Ct., Woz Way
Santa Clara, Santa Clara Co.* Macintosh St., Memorex Dr., Network Cir., Semiconductor Dr.
Sunnyvale, Santa Clara Co.* AMD Pl., Lockheed Martin Way

 

An asterisk indicates San Francisco Bay Area destination; CHL means California Historical Landmark.

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