William H. Davidow
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
William H. Davidow begins the interview by describing his early interest in science and technology. After a five-year program and obtaining his MS in electrical engineering at Dartmouth College, Davidow decided to pursue science over business and enrolled in the California Institute of Technology. After obtaining his MS at Caltech and his PhD at Stanford University, Davidow worked at General Electric on peripheral devices. Davidow realized that his talent was in marketing rather than science, and moved on to marketing positions. After working at Hewlett-Packard and Signetics Memory Systems, Davidow moved to Intel and became responsible for marketing of its microprocessor development systems. Eventually Davidow was charged with running the microprocessor division, and embarked on a massive marketing campaign called “Operation Crush.” After the success of Operation Crush Davidow moved to work in Intel’s marketing and sales division; this is the time period during which increasing Japanese competition forced Intel to withdraw from the memory business and focus of microprocessors. Davidow concludes the interview by offering his thoughts on Moore’s Law, interactions and philanthropic work associated with Moore, and the impact Gordon Moore has had on Davidow’s life.
|1957||Dartmouth College||AB||Electrical Engineering|
|1958||Dartmouth College||MS||Electrical Engineering|
|1959||California Institute of Technology||MS||Electrical Engineering|
|1961||Stanford University||PhD||Electrical Engineering|
General Electric Company
Signetics Memory Systems
Mohr Davidow Ventures
Table of Contents
Early interest in science and technology. Decision to attend Dartmouth College. Sputnik and decision to become a scientist. Master's degree at California Institute of Technology. PhD work at Stanford University.
Peripheral devices research at General Electric. Marketing work for Hewlett-Packard. Time at Signetics Memory Systems.
Running marketing for the microprocessor development systems. Decision to keep Intel operating system in-house. Working for Edward Gelbach. Working with Leslie Vadasz to develop microprocessor systems. Thought on roles of Gordon Moore, Andrew Grove, and Robert Noyce within Intel.
Being in charge of the microprocessor division. Operation Crush. Working in the sales and marketing division. Japanese competition and Intel withdrawing from the memory business. Push for Intel allocations in Asia.
Thoughts on Moore's Law. Interactions with Gordon Moore after leaving Intel. Moore's philanthropic work. Impact of Gordon Moore. Interactions with various Intel executives.
About the Interviewer
David C. Brock is a senior research fellow with the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. As a historian of science and technology, he specializes in the history of semiconductor science, technology, and industry; the history of instrumentation; and oral history. Brock has studied the philosophy, sociology, and history of science at Brown University, the University of Edinburgh, and Princeton University.
In the policy arena Brock recently published Patterning the World: The Rise of Chemically Amplified Photoresists, a white-paper case study for the Center’s Studies in Materials Innovation. With Hyungsub Choi he is preparing an analysis of semiconductor technology roadmapping, having presented preliminary results at the 2009 meeting of the Industry Studies Association.