Artifact Details


Solomon, Jim (James E.) oral history

Catalog Number







Dennis, Eric, Videographer
Fairbairn, Doug, Interviewer
Solomon, James E., Interviewee


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, California


30 p.

Copyright Holder

Computer History Museum


Jim Solomon grew up in Idaho, where he excelled as a student, but also found time to explore a hobby in electronics, become an accomplished golfer, and a newspaper photographer. After attending a local junior college, he moved to UC Berkeley to complete a BS and MS in electrical engineering. He worked under Prof. Don Pederson, who became a life-long friend and collaborator. A keen desire to design circuits took him to Motorola Systems Research Lab where he worked on radar and missile control systems. From there he moved on to Motorola Semiconductor in Phoenix. While at Motorola Semi, he built a group that designed op amps, voltage regulators, audio circuits and many other linear semiconductor products.

In about 1970, he moved to Silicon Valley to join National Semiconductor, where he again assembled an outstanding analog design group. When the personal computer arrived on the scene in the mid-1970’s he quickly employed it as a powerful tool for modeling analog circuits.

Working with his Berkeley contacts, Jim eventually decided to start Solomon Design Automation (SDA), which was funded by a combination of industrial, and venture partners. The company grew rapidly, but after a failed IPO in 1987, they merged with another startup, ECAD, which was already public. The combined entity became Cadence Design Systems, the largest EDA company for many years. Staying with Cadence, Jim handed off his CEO responsibilities to Joe Costello and returned to engineering where he headed a group to design a new analog circuit design system. He left Cadence in 1996 and has been involved in other startups since then including, Smart Machines, and Xulu Entertainment.




semiconductor history; University of California, Berkeley; Pederson, Donald O.; SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis); National Semiconductor Corporation; Solomon Design Automation (SDA); Cadence; Analog semiconductor; Xulu Entertainment; Smart Machines; Costello, Joe; ECAD; Antle, Glen

Collection Title

Oral history collection

Lot Number