A Transistor Museum Interview with Wilf Corrigan

Personal Reflections on Motorola’s Pioneering 1960s

Silicon Transistor Development Program


Curator’s Introduction

Wilf Corrigan’s career in the semiconductor industry has spanned over four decades, beginning in 1960 with his first post-college job as a transistor production engineer at Transitron.  During the following 45+ years, Wilf has been a technology innovator and semiconductor industry CEO.  He has been directly associated with several of the world’s premier transistor and IC companies and his impact on the history of semiconductors has been substantial.  This Oral History will highlight Wilf’s involvement with the legendary Motorola 1960s silicon transistor program, which was a major milestone in the history of transistor technology.  The semiconductor fabrication and manufacturing processes perfected by the Motorola silicon transistor program established the company as a world class technology leader and was a major factor in the tremendous growth of the semiconductor industry for the next four decades. Wilf’s personal recollections of this important work will be discussed, as will his insights into how these achievements impacted the evolving industry and his later accomplishments at Fairchild and LSI Logic.



Go To Corrigan Oral History, Page 2  




Corrigan Historic Audio Recordings


Curator’s Introduction

The list of Wilf’s accomplishments is most impressive.  Here is a milestone summary:


Corporate Positions


1960. TransitronProduction engineer for the 2N338 silicon transistor.  This was Wilf’s first professional assignment with transistors, and the technology (diffused grown junction silicon triodes) was representative of the emerging, but still primitive, silicon device fabrication processes developed in the 1950s at Bell Labs, TI and GE. 


1960 – 1968.  Motorola.  Starting as section manager for the epitaxial material group, Wilf was a key member of the epitaxial planar silicon transistor team.  He soon was promoted to more senior management positions, including Operations Manager for silicon transistors.  It was during this timeframe that the important work on epitaxial processes, annular structures, and plastic encapsulation contributed to the great success of the Motorola transistor program, and is the basis for this Oral History.


1968 – 1980. Fairchild.  Wilf moved to Fairchild in 1968, along with Lester Hogan and other key members of the Motorola transistor management team.  Initial responsibility for the Fairchild transistor, diode and offshore activities.  Promoted later to President and CEO (1974), and then Chairman (1977).


1981 – 2006.  LSI Logic.  Co-founder of LSI Logic.  Wilf has served as CEO and Chairman of the Board.  LSI Logic has annual revenues of $2 billion and is the recognized industry leader in ASIC and system-on-a-chip integration.




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