Artifact Details

Title

Bisset, Steve (Stephen) oral history

Catalog Number

102739943

Type

Text

Date

2014-07-30

Contributor

Bisset, Steve, Interviewee
Fortier, James, Videographer
Sakamoto, Paul, Interviewer

Publisher

Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, California

Extent

26 p.

Format

PDF

Copyright Holder

Computer History Museum

Description

Steve Bisset was born in Australia, the son of a civil servant. While still in Australia, he set up a surfboard exporting business, and in 1969 he came to the US and spent the summer setting up distributorships for these surfboards. He was admitted to Caltech based on his willingness to play football! Once there, he was inspired by Professor Carver Mead and learned of the place known as “Silicon Valley.” After graduating, Bisset went to work at Hewlett Packard for a short time before finding a real home at Intel doing microprocessor design. He showed a real knack for product definition and helped define a number of 8080 peripheral chips.

Bisset developed the entrepreneurial bug and spent his spare time thinking up ideas for new companies. He settled on building a new type of tester to test the microprocessors Intel and others would be pumping out in high volume. He founded Megatest in 1977. Their product focus was a cost-effective tester for high volume microprocessors . . . and later EPROMs. Memory testing eventually became their major focus. By 1980, they were a $10 million company. The company grew rapidly through 1985, but hit hard times in the late 1980s. It took several painful years to get it back on a solid footing. In 1995 Megatest was purchased by Teradyne for $245 million.

Bisset was very proud that he was able to turn the company around after such a long difficult period and that the company foreshadowed several of the new management approaches that later became common in Silicon Valley.

Category

Transcription

Subject

Megatest; Teradyne; MegaOne; Tester-per-pin; Intel; Microprocessors; semiconductor history

Collection Title

Oral history collection

Credit

Computer History Museum

Lot Number

X7240.2015

Related Records

102739942 Bisset, Steve (Stephen) oral history