Semiconductor Industry Trivia Quiz

Reviewed by Matt Balanda
Matt Balanda, BS (Aerospace Engineering) |
Physics
Review Board Member
Matt holds a Bachelor's of Science in Aerospace Engineering and Mathematics from the University of Arizona, along with a Master's in Educational Leadership for Faith-Based Schools from California Baptist University. A devoted leader, he transitioned from Aerospace Engineering to inspire students. As the High School Vice-Principal and a skilled Physics teacher at Calvary Chapel Christian School, his passion is nurturing a love for learning and deepening students' connection with God, fostering a transformative educational journey.
, BS (Aerospace Engineering)
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Semiconductor Industry Trivia Quiz - Quiz

Are you curious about the dynamic world of semiconductors? Dive into our Semiconductor Industry Quiz to explore this fascinating field! This quiz is designed to test your knowledge of the semiconductor industry, covering a wide range of topics, including market trends, technological advancements, major players, and key concepts.

This quiz offers an engaging opportunity to assess your understanding and learn something new. From the basics of semiconductor manufacturing to the latest breakthroughs shaping the industry's future, this quiz will challenge you to think critically and expand your knowledge base.

Don't miss out on this chance to test your expertise and Read moredeepen your understanding of the semiconductor industry. Embark on this educational journey now and discover what makes this field so pivotal in shaping our technological landscape!


Semiconductor Industry Questions and Answers

  • 1. 

    When Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce left Fairchild Semiconductor in 1968 to start their own electronics company, what was the original name of their startup?

    • A.

      Intelligent Network Company

    • B.

      Intel

    • C.

      NM Electronics

    • D.

      The Intelligentsia

    • E.

      Microchip

    Correct Answer
    C. NM Electronics
    Explanation
    It is not widely known that the original idea for the company name was 'Moore Noyce' company but it was quickly evident that the name sounded too much like 'More Noise' and the connotation is not exactly the sort of nickname they wanted if they ever intended to sell components that improve the signal-to-noise ratio of ICs. The founders quickly renamed it to NM Electronics (NM = Noyce Moore) which stood for the first year of existence while the founders searched for a better name. Eventually, the company settled on Intel, short for 'integrated electronics.' Alas, Murphy's law chimed in. A similar name, Intelco, was already in existence and it was decided to purchase the rights to the name to avoid future issues.

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  • 2. 

    The founding of Silicon Valley has its roots with the 'Traitorous Eight' leaving this company to form Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957. Which company was it?

    • A.

      Shockley Semiconductor

    • B.

      Westinghouse

    • C.

      GE

    • D.

      RCA

    • E.

      Los Alamos

    Correct Answer
    A. Shockley Semiconductor
    Explanation
    The 'Traitorous Eight' were Gordon Moore, Sheldon Roberts, Eugene Kleiner, Robert Noyce, Victor Grinich, Julius Blank, Jean Hoerni, and Jay Last. These eight men left because they did not agree with William Shockley's managerial style. Specifically, he wanted the research done his way and expected a certain result instead of letting the research guide them. Shockley envisioned the operation of the company as if the researchers were the Knights of the Round Table and he was King Arthur. The startups that Fairchild Semiconductor spawned were later called 'Fairchildren.'

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  • 3. 

    Which captain of industry made this statement: 'Semiconductors are the crude oil of the electronics industry' ?

    • A.

      Charlie Sporck

    • B.

      Jerry Sanders

    • C.

      Jack Kilby

    • D.

      Jack Gifford

    • E.

      Robert Noyce

    Correct Answer
    B. Jerry Sanders
    Explanation
    Jerry Sanders, president of AMD, made that proclamation in the 1970s during the height of the energy crisis with the vision that chips will be the basis for the growth of the world electronics industry. He later said that 'only real men have fabs' which turned out to be not true as the fabless business model took over the chip industry and even the 'big boys' went fabless or to fab-lite.

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  • 4. 

    Who coined the term 'Silicon Valley' ?

    • A.

      Don Hoefler

    • B.

      Jerry Sanders

    • C.

      Alvin Toffler

    • D.

      David Packard

    • E.

      William Hewlett

    Correct Answer
    A. Don Hoefler
    Explanation
    Don Hoefler (1922 - April 15, 1986) is an American journalist who coined the phrase 'Silicon Valley' in a series of articles entitled 'Silicon Valley, USA' in the weekly trade newspaper Electronic News starting on January 11, 1971. From the mid 1970s until his death due to a stroke in 1986, Hoefler published a gossipy, four-page newsletter called Microelectronics News, which was a tabloid of the emerging American semiconductor industry (typed on an IBM Selectric). One of his favorite targets for his barbs was Jack Giffort, president of Intersil (the only exec who filed a suit against him for his writings).

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  • 5. 

    What is the name of the infamous bar in Silicon Valley where chip secrets were spilled, rumors flowed and companies were hatched on napkins?

    • A.

      Walker's Wagon Wheel

    • B.

      Silicon Valley Lounge

    • C.

      Jake's Silicon Grill

    • D.

      The Lion and Compass

    • E.

      Murphy's Law

    Correct Answer
    A. Walker's Wagon Wheel
    Explanation
    Walker's Wagon Wheel, the legendary Mountain View watering hole where semiconductor workers from line operators to top executives retired to celebrate the week's successes, seek solutions to a yield bust, or look for a job. From its opening in 1962 to its closing in 2000 -- during the dotcom bust -- the bar flourished and helped create that Silicon Valley breed of worker where loyalty to the industry was more prized than loyalty to the company creating cross-fertilization that helped spawn startups. This place was said to have a "we’re in it together," atmosphere -- no gag orders to follow, no secrets (well, few), and, as a result, ideas flowed. The Wagon Wheel is with us no more.

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  • 6. 

    How many transistors did the first Intel MPU, the 4004, have?

    • A.

      275

    • B.

      1,100

    • C.

      6,500

    • D.

      2,300

    • E.

      12,000

    Correct Answer
    D. 2,300
    Explanation
    In 1971, the Intel 4004 processor held 2,300 transistors. By 2010, an Intel® Core™ processor with a 32nm processing die and second-generation high-k metal gate silicon technology held 560 million transistors.

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  • 7. 

    Who is generally credited with the title of 'father of the fabless industry' ?

    • A.

      Henry Nicholas

    • B.

      T.J. Rodgers

    • C.

      Gordon Campbell

    • D.

      Henry Samueli

    • E.

      Suhas Patil

    Correct Answer
    C. Gordon Campbell
    Explanation
    Chips and Technologies (C&T) was the first fabless semiconductor company, a new semiconductor business model pioneered in 1984 by its founder, Gordon Campbell. Its first product was an EGA IBM compatible graphics chip --later followed by chipsets for PC motherboards and other computer graphics chips. C&T was acquired by Intel in 1997 for its graphics chip business. Today, fabless chip companies represent about 20% of worldwide semiconductor revenues totaling $227 billion. Campbell later founded SEEQ Technology and 3Dfx Interactive. Today, he runs Techfarm Ventures, an early-stage venture investment company which he founded.

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  • 8. 

    Who designed the Zilog Z-80 -- probably one of the most popular microprocessors of all time?

    • A.

      Frederico Faggin

    • B.

      Ted Hoff

    • C.

      Robert Noyce

    • D.

      Carver Mead

    • E.

      Julius Blank

    Correct Answer
    A. Frederico Faggin
    Explanation
    The Zilog Z-80 was designed by Frederico Faggin after he left Intel, and it was released in July 1976. Faggin had designed or led the design teams for all of Intel's early processors: the 4004, the 8008, and particularly, the revolutionary 8080. The Zilog Z80 is an 8-bit microprocessor designed by Zilog and sold from July 1976 onwards. It was widely used both in desktop and embedded computer designs as well as for military purposes. The Z80 and its derivatives and clones made up one of the most commonly used CPU families of all time, and, along with the MOS Technology 6502 family, dominated the eight-bit microcomputer market from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s.

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  • 9. 

    Who invented the integrated circuit and received a Nobel Prize for it later?

    • A.

      Jean Horni

    • B.

      Julius Blank

    • C.

      Robert Noyce

    • D.

      John Bardeen

    • E.

      Jack Kilby

    Correct Answer
    E. Jack Kilby
    Explanation
    Jack St. Clair Kilby, a Texas Instruments engineer without a physics education, invented the first monolithic integrated circuit, which laid the foundation for the field of modern microelectronics, moving the industry into a world of miniaturization and integration. Later, he received a Nobel Peace Prize in Physics for the achievement that changed the world.

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  • 10. 

    Before the integrated circuit, the transistor was invented. What was the year?

    • A.

      1947

    • B.

      1929

    • C.

      1937

    • D.

      1943

    • E.

      1919

    Correct Answer
    A. 1947
    Explanation
    On 16 December 1947 William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain succeeded in building the first practical point-contact transistor at Bell Labs. This work followed from their war-time efforts to produce extremely pure germanium crystal mixer diodes, used in radar units as a frequency mixer element in microwave radar receivers. A parallel project on germanium diodes at Purdue University succeeded in producing the good-quality germanium semiconducting crystals that were used at Bell Labs. Legal papers from the Bell Labs patent show that Shockley had built operational versions from Julies Lilienfeld's patents (German physicist, 1928), yet they never referenced this work in any of their later research papers or historical articles. The discovery led the way from vacuum tubes to the semiconductor age.

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  • 11. 

    Who designed the first integrated op-amp, the bipolar Fairchild µA709, which became popular and widely available in the 1960s?

    • A.

      Ted Hoff

    • B.

      Bob Swanson

    • C.

      Eugene Kleiner

    • D.

      Bob Vidlar

    • E.

      Jack Perkins

    Correct Answer
    D. Bob Vidlar
    Explanation
    Bob Widlar, an electronics pioneer who made his fame with Fairchild Semiconductor in the 1960s, designed four major products for Fairchild, including the successful µA709 operational amplifier. He is also the inventor of a type of current source called the Widlar current source. Widlar was an analog industry technical guru with an infamous reputation. Later, he moved to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico from where he did design consulting. He died at a relatively early age in February 1991 from a heart attack while jogging near his home in Puerto Vallarta.

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  • 12. 

    Which company introduced the first FDA-approved human-implantable RFID microchip?

    • A.

      VeriChip

    • B.

      Intel

    • C.

      STMicroelectronics

    • D.

      ATMEL

    • E.

      Analog Devices

    Correct Answer
    A. VeriChip
    Explanation
    VeriChip received United States FDA approval in 2002. About twice the size of a grain of rice, the device is typically implanted above the triceps area of an individual's right arm. Once scanned at the proper frequency, the VeriChip responds with a unique 16-digit number which can correlate the user to information stored on a database for identity verification, medical records access and other uses. The insertion procedure is performed under local anesthetic and once inserted, is invisible to the naked eye. On February 10th, 2006, a surveillance company in Cincinnati became the first American business to use the VeriChip for access to its datacenter.

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  • 13. 

    Who is credited for making an important empirical observation in 1965 that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit for minimum component cost doubles every 24 months?

    • A.

      Gordon Moore

    • B.

      Robert Noyce

    • C.

      Jerry Sanders

    • D.

      Andy Grove

    • E.

      Jack Gifford

    Correct Answer
    A. Gordon Moore
    Explanation
    Gordon Moore's observation was not named a 'law' by Moore himself, but by the Caltech professor, VLSI pioneer, and entrepreneur Carver Mead in 1970. Moore, indicating that it cannot be sustained indefinitely, has since observed that the law can't continue forever. The nature of exponentials is that you can push them out but eventually disaster happens.

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  • 14. 

    Who is generally recognized as being the godfather of the venture capital industry which became part of the high-tech silicon valley landscape?

    • A.

      Don Valentine

    • B.

      Tom Perkins

    • C.

      Floyd Kvamme

    • D.

      Frank Caufield

    • E.

      Robert Kleiner

    Correct Answer
    A. Don Valentine
    Explanation
    Don Valentine founded Sequoia Capital in 1972. Since then, Sequoia Capital has participated in the financing of over 500 technology companies. He has played a key role in the formation of a number of industries such as semiconductors, personal computers, personal computer software, digital entertainment and networking. Earlier, Valentine was a founder of National Semiconductor and senior sales and marketing executive with Fairchild Semiconductor. His personal quest is to play every championship golf course in the world.

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  • 15. 

    Who developed the 555 analog timer IC which became one of the most widely used chips in the semiconductor industry?

    • A.

      Hans Camenzind

    • B.

      Pierre Lamonde

    • C.

      Chuck Harwood

    • D.

      Bill Holt

    • E.

      Wilf Corrigan

    Correct Answer
    A. Hans Camenzind
    Explanation
    Hans Camenzind, a Swiss born engineer, developed the 555 timer while working for Signetics as an engineering contractor. Later, Camenzind went on to found Interdesign, a semicustom analog array company and later did analog design consulting through his ArrayDesign shop in San Francisco, Calif. He was an inventor on 20 US patents.

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Matt Balanda |BS (Aerospace Engineering) |
Physics
Matt holds a Bachelor's of Science in Aerospace Engineering and Mathematics from the University of Arizona, along with a Master's in Educational Leadership for Faith-Based Schools from California Baptist University. A devoted leader, he transitioned from Aerospace Engineering to inspire students. As the High School Vice-Principal and a skilled Physics teacher at Calvary Chapel Christian School, his passion is nurturing a love for learning and deepening students' connection with God, fostering a transformative educational journey.

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  • Current Version
  • Mar 01, 2024
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team

    Expert Reviewed by
    Matt Balanda
  • Dec 04, 2014
    Quiz Created by
    Sail444
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