In 1960 Bob Lorenzini joined Rheem Semiconductor, the first spin-off from Fairchild Semiconductor, where he was involved in the design and development of a crystal growing furnace. After two years at Microsoft Word - 102746355-05-01-src.docRheem, Lorenzini did short stints at Allegheny Electronic Chemicals in Pennsylvania and Knapic Electrophysics in Palo Alto, California. When Knapic closed down shortly after he joined, Lorenzini bought the assets and launched his own company, Elmat, to grow crystals for silicon wafer manufacturing. Elmat was acquired by General Instrument in 1968 and Lorenzini established his second startup, Siltec, in 1969. Siltec, a provider of silicon wafers and wafer making equipment, launched its IPO in 1980 and by 1984 the company had grown to $50 million in revenues. He served as president and CEO of Siltec from its inception until 1985, when he became chairman. In 1986 Siltec was acquired by Mitsubishi. In 1988 Lorenzini co-founded a third company, SunPower, with Professor Richard Swanson, producing silicon PV cells and panels for generating solar power. Lorenzini graduated from Stanford University in 1958 with a Bachelor's degree in Materials Science, and subsequently earned a Master’s degree in 1960, also from Stanford. Lorenzini received the SEMI Award for his pioneering work in silicon crystal growth in 1979.
Addison, Craig, Interviewer
Lorenzini, Robert E., Interviewee
Computer History Museum
Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI)
Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) oral histories and company videos
Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International