An Interview with Ralph Greenburg

 Historic Semiconductor Devices and Applications 

Biographic Note

During a 40 year career with Motorola semiconductors, Ralph Greenburg first became involved with transistor technology during the mid 1950s at a time when hand-made prototype germanium devices were all that was available.  He participated in the development of the first transistor applications at Motorola and was an editor and key contributor to several of the highly successful Semiconductor Handbooks published by Motorola in the 1960s and 1970s.  Ralph held senior technical and management positions in the Motorola Semiconductor Applications groups and wrote numerous technical publications on early transistor technology.


This Oral History provides a truly unique insight into the early days of transistor history and Ralph’s ability to communicate in a cogent and entertaining manner ensures you’ll enjoy this important account of early semiconductor technology.






Greenburg Historic Audio Recordings






Oral History – Ralph Greenburg

This Oral History has been developed in 2008 from material supplied by Ralph Greenburg.  Excerpts of the material have been used for Oral History.  Links have been provided for access to the complete documentation provided by Mr. Greenburg.


What years did you work for Motorola and at which locations?

I joined Motorola May 1954 and retired Dec 1994.  I started at the 56th street plant in Phoenix that was the Military Research facility and the only plant at the time. As the semiconductor activity grew the 52ndstreet plant was built and the semiconductor group moved there in 1956. The rapid growth of other semiconductor departments forced the Applications Department to move several times over the next 20 years. At the 52nd street campus I went from A building to Z building with stops along the way at N, D, P and a 4 year stint in a leased facility in Tempe. At that time I was manager of the CIA, no not the government one but Consumer-Industrial Applications. By 1970 Applications was no longer needed as missionaries to get engineers to abandon vacuum tubes but was mainly used as a consulting group. The last fun was working with Motorola’s TV group on the Quasar project, one of the first if not the first mass produced all-semiconductor Color TV.   Applications job was to check out the devices the various product groups were hoping to supply to the TV group. We also built our own version of a color set for promotional use.

 Go To Greenburg Oral History, Page 2



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