A founding father and patriarch of Silicon Valley has been named chief executive of Sematech, a giant research consortium aimed at ensuring U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing.
Robert N. Noyce, vice chairman and co-founder of Intel Corp., will direct the consortium's 135-member staff, which is expected to expand to 800 people over the next several years. Austin, Tex.-based Sematech has a planned annual budget of $250 million, with $100 million contributed by the federal government, $100 million to $125 million by 14 member companies, and the balance by the state of Texas.
A senior International Business Machines technical executive, Paul P. Castrucci, was appointed chief operating officer. He is resigning from IBM, while Noyce remains at Intel as vice chairman but will give up his day-to-day responsibilities.
Noyce co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. in 1957, and the following year invented with a colleague the integrated circuit, a predecessor to semiconductor chips. He launched Intel in 1968, and became known for creating an informal business atmosphere in which few executives wore ties and expertise counted for more than positions in organizational charts, said Jeanne E. Locke, a spokeswoman for the Cupertino, Calif.-based Semiconductor Industry Assn.
After more than 30 years in the industry, Noyce, 60, remains a very active leader, she said. "I don't think of him as a grand old man because he has so much energy."