James Phil Ferguson was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1930. He attended SMU, Dallas and graduated with a degree in Mathematics. After serving in the Air Force, where he experienced the problems of unreliable vacuum tube-based electronic systems first hand, he joined Texas Instruments as a sustaining engineer. In this role he worked on several projects for Jack Kilby. In 1960 Ferguson was recruited to Fairchild Semiconductor where he worked in the Product Development Group in the R&D Lab under Fairchild co-founder Vic Grinich. In 1963 he joined with Howard Bobb and Robert Norman to found the first MOS technology start-up in Silicon Valley, General Microelectronics (GMe). After several turbulent years that produced some aggressive technology developments, including developing the first MOS calculator, Ferguson sold GME to the Ford Motor Company. He later acted as a consultant to the World Bank in establishing the foundation for the semiconductor industry in Korea.
Ferguson, Phil; semiconductor fab; semiconductor history; Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI); Kilby, Jack S.; Fairchild; Grinich, Vic; Moore, Gordon; General Microelectronics; GME; Ford Motor Company; Norman, Bob; silicon; epitaxy; Korea; MOS; integrated circuit; Sporck, Charlie