The name “Silicon Valley” has become a stand-in for everything in the technology world. It is a synonym of start-up culture, a symbol of disruption and innovation, and even the title of a TV show!
Silicon Valley itself is actually a true valley, surrounded by the Santa Cruz mountains to the west and the Diablo Range to the east. However, the term originally referred to the region’s high number of silicon chip innovators and manufacturers, before finally being used to refer to the thriving high-tech businesses in the area.
The nickname “Silicon Valley” first showed in print as a catchy 1971 newspaper headline about the semiconductor industry, which was then blasting in Santa Clara Valley.
But the Silicon Valley story began long before. In 1954 William Shockley, Walter Brattain and John Bardeen first revealed the silicon transistor at Bell Labs in New Jersey. Since then, silicon has been the crucial active component in all modern electronics.
Regardless of the development of other high-tech financial centres throughout the US and the world, Silicon Valley continues to be the leading core for high-tech innovation and development, representing 1/3 of all of the venture capital investment in the US.
Seems that you can thank the transistor for modern-day Silicon Valley innovation!