WGBH Openvault

American Experience; Silicon Valley


HOME VIDEO MASTER Silicon Valley, NOLA Code: SILC 000000

License Clip

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Undigitized item: Request Digitization

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

American Experience
Silicon Valley
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered October 1988 As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation. Now in its eighteenth season, the series has produced over 180 programs and garnered every major broadcast award. Series release date: 10/1988

Program Description

A startling announcement pulsated through a suburban garage in Santa Clara County, California on October 4, 1957. There, some of the young founders of a new semiconductor company were busy talking to silicon suppliers, hounding realtors for office space, shopping for desks and poring over the names of young PhDs they hoped to poach from rival companies when they heard the shocking news: the Soviet Union had just launched the first artificial satellite into orbit around the earth. The group's leader, Robert Noyce, watched Sputnik flash across the darkened sky, he could not have known that he would play a key role in helping America win the space race. Noyce's innovation, the integrated circuit, would make an impact far beyond the Apollo program. It would shape the way Americans live, making possible smart phones and digital video recorders, pacemakers, and microwaves. In telling the story of Noyce and the integrated circuit, this film looks at the monumental impact the microchip had on modern life and reveals the pivotal role Noyce played in transforming a fertile farmland into one of the most creative places on earth -- the hub of technological ingenuity we now know as Silicon Valley.

SILICON VALLEY tells the story of the pioneering scientists and engineers who transformed rural Santa Clara County into the hub of technological ingenuity we now know as Silicon Valley. The film spotlights the creativity of the young men who founded Fairchild Semiconductor, in particular the brilliant, charismatic young physicist Robert Noyce. Their radical innovations would include the integrated circuit that helped make the United States a leader in both space exploration and the personal computer revolution, transforming the way the world works, plays and communicates, making possible everything from the Apollo program to smart phones, from pacemakers to microwaves.

A Film Posse production for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “American Experience; Silicon Valley,” 11/28/2012, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 27, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5228FC8328D24EA3A093B9DAEC9131E1.
MLA: “American Experience; Silicon Valley.” 11/28/2012. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 27, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5228FC8328D24EA3A093B9DAEC9131E1>.
APA: American Experience; Silicon Valley. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_5228FC8328D24EA3A093B9DAEC9131E1
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.