Artifact Details


Karp, Joel oral history

Catalog Number





Joel Karp describes growing up in Chelsea, Massachusetts, attending MIT along with working on high speed analog computer design for GPS Instruments. After graduating in 1962, he went to work for the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, working on projects which included hardening the electronics of missiles to survive the electromagnetic pulse resulting from a nuclear explosion. He moved to California in 1966 to work for Philco Micro Electronics, one of the earliest companies developing MOS integrated circuits, and then went to work for Intel as employee #20 in September, 1968 to design Intel's first MOS memory. Karp then describes writing the first MOS software simulation models based on equations from Andy Grove. He describes his work with Honeywell and Bill Regitz on the development of the first MOS dynamic memory, the 1102, and the enhancements to the design which resulted in the Intel 1103. After discussing the details of the development to the 1103, he describes Intel's first 4K dynamic RAM, the 2107, which was the last design he worked on at Intel before forming a memory design consulting company with John Reid in 1974. Their consultancy continued into the early 1980s when they formed an IC startup called Visic, which was sold to VLSI Technology, where Visic formed the core of VLSI's memory design group. He concludes by talking about the intellectual property expert witness work that he has been involved with, as well as his time in Korea working for Samsung Semiconductor before retiring in 2000.




Hendrie, Gardner, Interviewer
Karp, Joel, Interviewee
Kossow, Allen, Editor


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Atherton, California


55 p.




EMP circumvention; semiconductor history; General Micro Electronics; Intel 1101; Intel 1102; Intel 1103; Intel 2107; Visic

Collection Title

Oral history collection

Lot Number