Artifact Details


Lipp, Bob oral history

Catalog Number



Moving image


Robert Lipp grew up in New York in a poor family. After getting a degree in electrical engineering, he went to work for Schlumberger, partially for the sense of adventure which they offered with work on the North Slope of Alaska.

After finding the work at Schlumberger to be too technician-like, he found a job with Cogar in New York in 1970. This provided an introduction to semiconductors, which would the focus for his career. When Cogar closed its doors, Lipp moved onto Silicon Valley in 1972 and went to work for National Semiconductor. After a few months, it was on to Micro Power Systems, where he learned about CMOS design.

After spending 2+ years, there he was looking for something more exciting and went to work for a new company called Integrated Circuits International, which was establishing one of the earliest IC fabs in Korea. This fab was later sold to Samsung as their first step into semiconductor manufacturing.

After the sale Bob moved into what was then the new world of gate arrays, or semi-custom integrated circuits. He formed a company, California Devices, which was a pioneering company in this space. The company created some innovative ideas, but did not have the capital to compete with larger companies who came later to dominate the business.
Lipp then helped start yet a couple of other companies, including Cross-Check Technology to solve the testing problem for semiconductors, and BrightLink, which came up with a very successful product, but was killed in the dot-com bust. But even that wasn’t the end, as he later helped develop a unique way to cool complex semiconductor based systems. Quite a varied and creative career!




Fairbairn, Doug, Interviewer
Lipp, Bob, Interviewee


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, CA




Oral history


ICII; California Devices; American Microsystems; AMI; Mohawk Data Systems; Micro Power Systems; Integrated Circuits International; Samsung; Deverse, Frank; International Microcircuits; IMI; Cross-Check Technology; BrightLink Corporation

Collection Title

CHM Oral History


Computer History Museum

Lot Number


Related Records

102706880 Lipp, Bob oral history