Artifact Details


Noyce patent notebook (#8)

Catalog Number







Noyce, Robert N. (Robert Norton)

Biographical Notes

Robert (Bob) Norton Noyce was born in Burlington, Iowa, in 1927 and grew up in Grinnell, Iowa. He received a B.A. in physics and mathematics from Grinnell College in 1949 and a Ph.D. in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1953. William Shockley hired him from Philco Corporation to work at Shockley Semiconductor Laboratories in 1956. With eight other employees he left to found Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation in 1957. As general manager of the Fairchild semiconductor operation and a vice president of Fairchild Camera and Instrument, he presided over a decade of innovation in semiconductor technology including seminal patents that employed the planar process invented by his colleague Jean Hoerni to create the first planar integrated circuit. In 1968 Noyce co-founded Intel Corporation with Gordon Moore where he served as President until 1975 when he became Chairman of the Board. He spent much of his later career working to improve the international competitiveness of American industry, including founding and serving as chairman of the Semiconductor Industry Association. In 1988 Noyce took charge of Sematech, a consortium of semiconductor manufacturers working together and with the United States government. Noyce received numerous awards and honors including the National Medal of Science and would have been a candidate for the 2000 Nobel Prize with Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments, but he died in 1990.


Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation

Identifying Numbers

Document number 8


Approximately 25 dated entries over 93 pages.


12 x 10 inches


This volume contains Noyce’s ideas for semiconductor devices and processes generated during his service as Research Director and subsequently Vice President and General Manager of the Fairchild Semiconductor Division of Fairchild Camera & Instrument Corporation. Key entries are: PNIN Switches - Thyratron design (p. 2); 100 Mcps oscillator design (p. 5); power oscillator - calculations and fringing issues (p. 8); indexing problem – etching (p. 18); parametric amplifier discussion with Watkins & Johnson (p. 19); problem of emitter capacitance – calculations (p. 21); possible HF transistors – negative resistance diodes (p. 34); transit time diode (p. 43); punch through diode – interconnected array of many devices on a single wafer (p. 46); parametric amplifier diode – structure and calculations (p. 49); high-efficiency photovoltaic cell (p. 57); semiconductor scanning device – led to U.S. patent 2959681 (p. 62); methods of isolating multiple devices – his first conception of the ideas that led to U.S. patent 2981877 (p.70); method of device isolation – using Pyrex glass (p.76)
Constant current source applied to DVM (p. 78); adaptive machines – led to U.S. patent 3325787 (p. 80); three handwritten pages of calculations headed “Ionization Resistor – Gunn Effect?” are inserted into the rear of the book.


The author is named as inventor on 17 U.S. patents, including 7 patents assigned to Fairchild:

U.S. patent 2971139, “Semiconductor switching device.” Filed 1959-06-16. Issued 1961-02-07.

U.S. patent 2959681, ”Semiconductor scanning device.” Filed 1959-06-18. Issued 1960-11-08.

U.S. patent 2981877, “Semiconductor device-and-lead structure.” Filed 1959-06-30. Issued 1961-04-25.

U.S. patent 3108359, “Method for fabricating transistors.” Filed 1959-01-30. Issued 1963-10-29.

U.S. patent 117260, “Semiconductor circuit complexes.” Filed 1959-09-11. Issued 1964-01-07.

U.S. patent 3150299, “Semiconductor circuit complex having isolation means.” Filed 1959-09-11. Issued 1964-09-22.

U.S. patent 3183129, “Method of forming a semiconductor.” Filed 1963-07-15. Issued 1965-05-11.

U.S. patent 3325787, “Trainable system.” Filed 1964-10-19. Issued 1967-06-13.



Collection Title

Fairchild Semiconductor notebooks and technical papers


The author made numerous speeches at conferences and other venues during his tenure at Fairchild; following are identified published documents:

Hoerni, J. A. and Noyce, R. N., PN(pi)N switches. IRE Wescon Convention Record. (1958-08): 172-175.

Noyce, R. N., Future trends in semiconductors. Speech given on 1961-05-22.

Noyce, R., Putting integrated electronics to work. 1968 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference: Digest of Technical Papers. vol. XI (1968): 29.


Gift of Texas Instruments Incorporated

Lot Number


Related Records

102721290 Handwritten notes and notebook page copies