A New Monument to Silicon Valley's Birthplace

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A new office building/shopping complex is nearing completion at the site of the original Shockley Laboratories location on San Antonio Road in Mountain View, CA. As part of the development, a new monument as been incorporated into the building and sidewalk, featuring giant transistors and diodes. Originally the site had been occupied by an international grocery market and the only commemoration of the significance of the spot was a small plaque on the sidewalk. In fact, instructor Rick Lyons wrote about it in his DSP Blog. Shockley Laboratories was the first high-technology company in the region to work on silicon-based semiconductor devices for commercial markets. So, while there were other high-technology companies in the area (such as Hewlett-Packard's famous garage), this spot marks where the "Silicon" aspect of "Silicon Valley" really got started. 

The engineering talent that worked for William Shockley went on to found over 65 companies over a period of 20 years, including such mainstays as Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). If you are ever visiting Silicon Valley and are in the Mountain View area, take a moment to check out this historic spot. While you are there, you will almost certainly see some autonomous vehicles drive by, since Alphabet's Waymo (formerly Google) self-driving car development takes place across the tracks. Also, you can take some time to visit the Computer History Museum, which is not too far away.