The Man Who Objected To The Planar Process

There was once a brilliant scientist who founded four semiconductor companies and, at one of them, figured out a way to make reliable ICs in high volumes.

One of his company co-founders didn’t think much of the process because it added to masking layers.


But customers liked the process and it was adopted by the company and it became the process technology for the chip industry for over 50 years.


The co-founder who objected to the adoption of the process became the richest man in California.


MORAL: No one is right all the time.

Tags: chip industry, co founder, founders, process technology

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  1. David Manners
    May 26, 2011 15:53

    Yes Jamo, Hoerni invented it and Moore is said to have objected to it it on the grounds it would add to masking layers. However Autonetics, a Fairchild customer, was persuaded by Fairchild’s Bob Graham (later on an Intel co-founder) that planar transistors were better than mesa transistors and Autonetics insisted on planar transistors being put into production..

  2. Jamo
    May 26, 2011 15:10

    Jean Hoerni and Gordon Moore at Fairchild ?

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