A Timeline of Silicon Valley

An appendix to the book "A History of Silicon Valley"
Editor | Correspondence | Purchase the book
See also: A visual history of Silicon Valley | A slide presentation of Silicon Valley
(Copyright © 2009 Piero Scaruffi)

(Lines in parentheses are about events that did not take place in the Bay Area but affected the development of computers)

See also A Historical Tour of Silicon Valley - Slide Show

(1885: William Burroughs develops an adding machine)
1887: The Lick Observatory is erected near San Jose, the world's first permanently occupied mountain-top observatory
(1890: Hermann Hollerith's tabulator is chosen for the national census)
1891: Leland and Jane Stanford found Stanford University near Palo Alto
(1906: Lee DeForest invents the vacuum tube)
1906: The San Francisco earthquake and fire
1909: Stanford University's president David Starr Jordan invests $500 in Lee DeForest's audion tube, the first major venture-capital investment in the region
1909: Charles Herrold in San Jose starts the first radio station in the USA with regularly scheduled programming
1909: Cyril Elwell founds the Federal Telegraph Corporation (FTC) in Palo Alto to create the world's first global radio communication system
(1911: Hollerith's Tabulating Machine Company is acquired by a new company that will change name to International Bussiness Machines or IBM in 1924)
1915: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition is held in San Francisco, for which Bernard Maybeck builds the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco
1916: General Motors opens a large Chevrolet automobile factory in Oakland
1917: Edwin Pridham and Peter Jensen found the electronics company Magnavox in Napa
1921: Ansel Adams publishes his first photographs of Yosemite
1925: Frederick Terman joins Stanford University to teach electronics electrical engineering and encourages his students to start businesses in California
(1925: Burroughs introduces a portable adding machine)
(1925: AT&T and Western Electric form the Bell Labs in New York)
1927: Philo Farnsworth invents all-electronic television broadcasting while in San Francisco
(1927: Fritz Pfleumer in Germany invents the magnetic tape)
1929: The physicist Robert Oppenheimer joins UC Berkeley
1931: Ernest Lawrence designs the first successful cyclotron and founds the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories
1933: The Navy opens a base at NAS Sunnyvale (later renamed Moffett Field)
1934: The first lesbian nightclub opens in San Francisco, "Mona's"
(1935: Germany's AEG introduces the first tape recorder)
1936: San Francisco builds the longest bridge in the world, the "Bay Bridge"
1936: Joe Finocchio opens the gay bar "Finocchio's" in San Francisco
(1937: Alan Turing describes a machine capable of performing logical reasoning, the "Turing Machine")
(1936: John Lawrence, brother of Lawrence Berkeley Labs' founder, starts the Donner Laboratory to conduct research in nuclear medicine
1937: Stanford University's professor William Hansen teams with brothers Sigurd and Russell Varian to develop the klystron tube, used in the early radars
1937: The Golden Gate Bridge is completed in San Francisco
(1938: John Atanasoff at Iowa State College conceives the electronic digital computer)
1939: Fred Terman's students William Hewlett and David Packard start a company to produce their audio-oscillator
1939: Walt Disney becomes the first customer of Hewlett-Packard, purchasing their oscillator for the animation film "Fantasia"
1939: Ernest Lawrence is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
1939: The USA government establishes the Ames Aeronautical Laboratory (later renamed Ames Research Center) at Moffett Field
1941: Stanford University's professor Fred Terman is put in charge of the top-secret Harvard Radio Research Laboratory
1941: Glenn Seaborg and Edwin McMillan at UC Berkeley produce a new element, plutonium
1942: The USA government launches the "Manhattan Project" to build a nuclear bomb under the direction of Robert Oppenheimer
1942: The health-care organization Kaiser Permanente is founded in Oakland
(1943: Tommy Flowers and others build the Colossus, the world's first programmable digital electronic computer)
(1943: Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts describe an artificial neuron)
1944: Frank Malina founds the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
1944: Alexander Poniatoff founds Ampex
(1944: Howard Aiken of IBM unveils the first computer programmed by punched paper tape, the Harvard Mark I)
(1945: Vannevar Bush proposes the "Memex" desk-based machine)
(1945: John Von Neumann designs a computer that holds its own instructions, the "stored-program architecture")
(1945: IBM establishes the (later Watson Research Center) Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory at Columbia University in New York)
1946: The Stanford Research Institute is founded
1946: Blacks constitute about 12% of Oakland's population
(1946: The first venture capital firms are founded in the USA, American Research and Development Corporation (ARDC) by former Harvard Business School's dean Georges Doriot, J.H. Whitney & Company by John Hay Whitney, Rockefeller Brothers by Laurance Rockefeller (later renamed Venrock)
1946: John Northrop and Wendell Stanley of UC Berkeley are awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
1946: Fred Terman returns to Stanford University as the dean of the engineering school and founds the Electronics Research Lab (ERL), mostly founded by the USA military
(1946: The first non-military computer, ENIAC, or "Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer", is unveiled, built by John Mauchly and Presper Eckert at the University of Pennsylvania
(1947: AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratory's engineers John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain demonstrate the principle of amplifying an electrical current using a solid semiconducting material, i.e. the "transistor")
(1947: Norbert Wiener founds Cybernetics)
(1947: John Von Neumann describes self-reproducing automata)
1947: Ampex introduces a magnetic tape recorder
1948: The Varian brothers found Varian Associates
(1948: Claude Shannon founds Information Theory and coins the term "bit")
1949: William Giauque of UC Berkeley is awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry)
1950: Turing proposes a test to determine whether a machine is intelligent or not
(1950: Remington Rand purchases Eckert-Mauchly Computer)
1951: The Stanford Industrial Park is conceived
1951: Glenn Seaborg and Edwin McMillan of U.C. Berkeley are awarded the Nobel Prize
(1951: The first commercial computer is built, the Univac)
(1951: A team led by Jay Forrester at the MIT builds the "Whirlwind" computer, the first real-time system and the first computer to use a video display for output)
1952: IBM opens its first West Coast laboratory in San Jose (later Almaden Research Center)
1952: Felix Bloch of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, the first for Stanford
1952: The Atomic Energy Commission establishes a Livermore Laboratory as a branch of the UC Berkeley's Radiation Laboratory
1953: Varian is the first tenant of the Stanford Industrial Park
1953: The CIA finances a project named "MkUltra" to study the effects of psychoactive drugs
1953: Electronics manufacturer Sylvania opens its Electronic Defense Lab (EDL) in Mountain View
1953: Lawrence Ferlinghetti founds a bookstore in San Francisco, "City Lights", that becomes the headquarters of alternative writers
(1954: Remington Rand introduces UNIVAC 1103, the first computer with magnetic-core RAM
(1954: IBM introduces its first computer model, the 704
1954: David Bohannon opens the Hillsdale Shopping Center, a suburban shopping mall
1956: IBM's San Jose labs invent the hard-disk drive
Mar 1956: Berkeley's professor Harry Huskey designs Bendix's first digital computer, the G-15
(1954: George Devol designs the first industrial robot, Unimate)
1955: The first conference on Artificial Intelligence is held at Dartmouth College, organized by John McCarthy
Sep 1955: The Stanford Research Institute demonstrates the ERMA computer
1955: The "Daughters of Bilitis" is founded in San Francisco, the first exclusively Lesbian organization in the USA
1955: Stanford University hires Carl Djerassi
1955: Allen Ginsberg's recitation of his poem "Howl" transplants the "Beat" aesthetic to San Francisco
1955: Private investors or "angels" (including John Bryan, Bill Edwards and Reid Dennis) establish "The Group" to invest together in promising companies
(1955: Alexander Schure founds the New York Institute of Technology)
(1955: Remington Rand merges with Sperry to form Sperry Rand)
1955: Stanford University merges the Applied Electronics Laboratory and the Electronics Research Laboratory into the Systems Engineering Laboratory under the direction of Fred Terman and focusing on electronic warfare
1956: William Shockley founds the Shockley Transistor Corporation in Mountain View to produce semiconductor-based transistors to replace vacuum tubes, and hires Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore and others
1956: Charles Ginsburg of Ampex Corporation builds the first practical videotape recorder
1956: Aircraft company Lockheed opens an electronics research laboratory in the Stanford Industrial Park and a manufacturing facility in Sunnyvale
(1956: Werner Buchholz of IBM coins the term "byte")
(Apr 1957: John Backus of IBM introduces the FORTRAN programming language, the first practical machine-independent language)
Oct 1957: Several engineers (including Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore) quit the Shockley Transistor laboratories and form Fairchild Semiconductor in Mountain View, using funding from Fairchild Camera and Instrument
(1957: ARDC invests $70,000 in Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC)
(1957: Max Mathews begins composing computer music at Bell Laboratories)
1957: Dean Watkins of Stanford's ERL founds Watkins-Johnson, one of the first venture-capital funded companies in the Santa Clara Valley
(1957: Allen Newell and Herbert Simon develop the "General Problem Solver")
(1957: Frank Rosenblatt conceives the "Perceptron", a neural computer that can learn by trial and error)
(1957: Morton Heilig invents the "Sensorama Machine", a pioneering virtual-reality environment)
(1957: Former SAGE engineer Ken Olsen founds the Digital Equipment Corporation)
(1958: Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments invents the integrated circuit, a micro-sized silicon device containing a large number of electronic switches)
(1958: Charles Townes of Columbia theorizes about an optical maser and his student Gordon Gould builds one and names it "LASER" or "Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation")
1958: Draper, Gaither and Anderson is founded, the first professional venture-capital firm in California
1958: NASA opens a research center near Mountain View
1959: The first commercial Xerox plain-paper photocopier goes on sale
1959: Eveready (later renamed Energizer) introduces the alkaline battery
1959: Jean Hoerni at Fairchild Semiconductor invents the planar process that enables great precision in silicon components, and Robert Noyce at Fairchild Semiconductor designs a planar integrated circuit
1957: Rockefeller Brothers invests in Fairchild Semiconductor, the first venture-funded startup of the Bay Area
(1959: The MIT launches the "Computer-Aided Design Project")
1959: Dancer and mime Ron Davis founds the San Francisco Mime Troupe
1959: Arthur Kornberg of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine
1959: Emilio Segre and Owen Chamberlain of the Lawrence Berkeley Labs are awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the antiproton
1959: Frank Chambers founds the venture-capital company Continental Capital
1959: GTE buys Sylvania
1959: Several Stanford students volunteer to take part in the CIA project "MkUltra" to study the effects of psychoactive drugs
(1960: William Fetter of Boeing coins the expression "computer graphics")
(1960: Digital Equipment introduces the first minicomputer, the PDP-1 (Program Data Processor), that comes with a keyboard and a monitor
(1960: Theodore Maiman of the Hughes Research Laboratory demonstrates the first working laser)
1960: Donald Glaser of the Lawrence Berkeley Labs is awarded the Nobel Prize
1960: Wayne Thiebaud at U.C. Davis pioneers "pop art"
1960: John McCarthy speculates that "computation may someday be organized as a public utility"
(1961: Joe Orlicky of JI Case pioneers Material Requirements Planning or MRP)
1961: Laurence Spitters founds Memorex
(Sep 1961: Max Palevsky forms Scientific Data Systems)
(1961: Charles Bachman at General Electric develops the first database management system, IDS)
(1961: Philco unveils the first head-mounted display)
(1961: Fernando Corbato at the MIT creates the first working time-sharing system, CTSS or "Compatible Time Sharing System", that allowed to remotely access a computer, an IBM 7090/94)
(1961: IBM owns more than 81% of the computer market)
(1961: General Motors unveils "Unimate", the first industrial robot)
1961: Robert Hofstadter of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
1961: Melvin Calvin of the Lawrence Berkeley Labs is awarded the Nobel Prize
1961: Tommy Davis founds one of Santa Clara Valley's first venture-capital firms with Arthur Rock, Davis & Rock
1962: The San Francisco Tape Music Center for avantgarde music is established by composers Morton Subotnick and Ramon Sender
(1962: Paul Baran proposes a distributed network as the form of communication least vulnerable to a nuclear strike)
(1962: Steve Russell and others at the MIT implement the computer game "Spacewar" on a PDP-1)
1962: Stanford University founds the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC)
1962: Bill Draper and Franklin Johnson form the venture-capital firm Draper and Johnson Investment Company
1962: Michael Murphy founds the "Esalen Institute" at Big Sur to promote spiritual healing
(1962: The first commercial modem is manufactured by AT&T)
1963: Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute builds the first prototype of the "mouse"
1963: John McCarthy moves to Stanford
1963: Syntex, a pioneer of biotechnology, moves from Mexico City to the Stanford Industrial Park
(1963: The "American Standard Code for Information Interchange" or "ASCII" is introduced
(1963: Ivan Sutherland of the MIT demonstrates "Sketchpad", a computer graphics program, and the first program ever with a graphical user interface)
(1964: IBM introduces the first "mainframe" computer, the 360, and the first "operating system", the OS/360)
1964: Syntex introduces the birth-control pill
(1964: Robert Moog begins selling his synthesizer)
1964: Mario Savio founds the "Free Speech Movement" and leads student riots at the Berkeley campus
1964: Bill Draper and Paul Wythes form Sutter Hill Ventures
1964: MkUltra's alumnus Ken Kesey organizes the "Merry Pranksters" who travel around the country in a "Magic Bus", live in a commune in La Honda and experiment with "acid tests" (LSD)
(1964: John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz (at Dartmouth College) invent the BASIC programming language)
(1964: American Airlines' SABRE reservation system, developed by IBM, is the first online transaction processing
1964: Former Sylviania employee Bill Perry founds computer-based electronic-intelligence company ESL
Apr 1965: Gordon Moore predicts that the processing power of computers will double every 18 months ("Moore's law")
Jun 1965: The Grateful Dead debut in Menlo Park
Sep 1965: Ben Jacopetti inaugurates the Open Theater as a vehicle devoted to multimedia performances for the Berkeley Experimental Arts Foundation
1965: Owsley "Bear" Stanley synthesizes crystalline LSD
1965: Lotfi Zadeh invents Fuzzy Logic
1965: George Hunter of the Charlatans introduces the "light show" in rock concerts
1965: Former Ampex employee Ray Dolby founds the Dolby Labs while in Britain (relocating it to San Francisco in 1976)
1965: Ron Davis of the San Francisco Mime Troupe publishes the essay "Guerrilla Theatre"
1965: The Family Dog Production organizes the first hippie festival in San Francisco
1965: Terry Riley composes "In C", music based on repetition of simple patterns ("minimalism")
1965: Edward Feigenbaum leads development of the expert system "Dendral" at Stanford University
(1965: The Digital Equipment Corporation unveils the first successful mini-computer, the PDP-8, that uses integrated circuits)
(1965: European computer manufacturer Olivetti introduces the first affordable programmable electronic desktop computer, the P101)
Jan 1966: Steward Brand organizes the "Trips Festival" putting together Ken Kesey's "Acid Test", Jacopetti's Open Theater, Sender's Tape Music Center and rock bands
1966: John McCarthy opens the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL)
1966: The first "Summer of Love" of the hippies is held in San Francisco, and a three-day "Acid Test" is held in San Francisco with the Grateful Dead performing
1966: Hewlett-Packard enters the business of general-purpose computers with the HP-2116
1966: Willie Brown organizes the Artists Liberation Front of San Francisco-based artists at the Mime Troupe's Howard Street loft
1966: The first issue of the San Francisco Oracle, an underground cooperative publication, is published
1966: Tymshare starts one of the most popular time-sharing service and creates a circuit-switched network
1966: Emmett Grogan and members of the Mime Troupe found the "Diggers", a group of improvising actors and activists whose stage was the streets and parks of the Haight-Ashbury and whose utopia was the creation of a Free City
1966: Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Angela Davis and other African-American activists found the socialist-inspired and black-nationalist "Black Panther Party" at Oakland
1966: There are 2,623 computers in the USA (1,967 work for the Defense Department)
1966: Donald Buchla develops a voltage-controlled synthesizer for composer Morton Subotnick, the Buchla Modular Electronic Music System
1966: The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is inaugurated
(1967: Jack Kilby (at Texas Instruments) develops the first hand-held calculator)
1967: A "Human Be-In" is held at the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco
1967: Monterey hosts a rock festival
1968: Stewart Brand publishes the first "Whole Earth Catalog"
1968: David Evans and Ivan Sutherland form Evans & Sutherland
1968: Tymshare creates a circuit-switched network, Tymnet
Jul 1968: Philip Noyce, Gordon Moore and Andy Grove found Intel ("Integrated Electronics") to build memory chips
(1968: The hypertext system FRESS created by Andries van Dam at Brown University for the IBM 360 introduces the "undo" feature)
(1968: ARDC's investment in Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) is valued at $355 million
(1968: Computer Science Corp becomes the first software company to be listed at the New York stock market)
(1968: Dutch mathematician Edsger Dijkstra writes "GO TO Statement Considered Harmful")
(1968: Barclays Bank installs networked "automated teller machines" or ATMs)
1968: John Portman designs the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco
1968: William Hambrecht and George Quist found the investment company Hambrecht & Quist in San Francisco
1968: Frank Malina founds Leonardo ISAST in Paris, an organization devoted to art/science fusion
1968: John Bryan and Bill Edwards found the investment company Bryan & Edwards
1968: Doug Engelbart of the Stanford Research Institute demonstrates the NLS ("oN-Line System"), the first system to employ the mouse
1968: Luis Alvarez of the Lawrence Berkeley Labs is awarded the Nobel Prize
1969: Gary Starkweather of Xerox invents the laser printer
(1969: 1969: Compuserve's dial-up service)
May 1969: Xerox buys Scientific Data Systems (SDS)
1969: Advanced Micro Devices is founded by Jerry Sanders and other engineers from Fairchild Semiconductor
1969: The Stanford Research Institute (SRI) demonstrates Shakey the Robot
1969: Frank Oppenheimer founds the San Francisco Exploratorium as a museum of science, art and human perception
1969: Construction begins at 3000 Sand Hill Road, in Menlo Park, soon to become the headquarters of the venture-capital community
(1969: Ted Codd of IBM invents the relational database)
1969: Bell Labs unveils the Unix operating system developed by Kenneth Thompson and Dennis Ritchie
1969: The computer network Arpanet is inaugurated with four nodes, three of which are in California (UCLA, Stanford Research Institute and UC Santa Barbara)
1969: Leo Laurence in San Francisco calls for the "Homosexual Revolution"
1969: Four Stanford students found ROLM to design computers for the military
1970: Intel introduces the first commercially successful 1K DRAM chip
1970: 1970 Lee Boysel at Four Phase Systems designs the AL1, a commercial microprocessors (an 8-bit CPU)
1970: The first "San Francisco Gay Pride Parade" is held in San Francisco
1970: Gays and lesbians start moving to the "Castro" district of San Francisco in large numbers
(1970: The first practical optical fiber is developed by glass maker Corning Glass Works)
(1970: Edgar Codd at IBM introduces the concept of a relational database)
1970: Five of the seven largest USA semiconductor manufacturers are located in Santa Clara Valley
1970: Xerox opens the Palo Alto Research Center or PARC
1970: Alan Kay joins Xerox PARC to work on object-oriented programming
1970: Stanford's Ed Feigenbaum launches the Heuristic Programming Project for research in Artificial Intelligence
1971: The government bans AT&T from entering the data-processing business
1971: Pierluigi Nervi builds St Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco
1971: Berkeley's nuclear physicist Donald Glaser founds Cetus Corporation, the first biotech company of the Bay Area
1971: Film director George Lucas founds the film production company Lucasfilm
1971: David Noble at IBM invents the floppy disk
1971: Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney create the first arcade video game, "Computer Space"
1971: Ted Hoff and Federico Faggin at Intel build the first universal micro-processor, a programmable set of integrated circuits, i.e. a computer on a chip
1971: Intel unveils the first commercially available microprocessor, the 4004
1972: At least 60 semiconductor companies have been founded in Silicon Valley between 1961 and 1972, mostly by former Fairchild engineers and managers
1972: European manufacturer Olivetti establishes an Advanced Technology Centre (ATC) in Cupertino
1972: Intel introduces the 8008 microprocessor, whose eight-bit word allowed to represent 256 characters, including all ten digits, both uppercase and lowercase letters and punctuation marks
1972: Magnavox introduces the first videogame console, the "Odyssey"
1972: Nolan Bushnell invents the first videogame, "Pong", an evolution of Magnavox's Odyssey, and founds Atari
1972: Venture-capitalist company Kleiner-Perkins, founded by Austrian-born Eugene Kleiner of Fairchild Semiconductor and former Hewlett-Packard executive Tom Perkins, opens offices in Menlo Park on Sand Hill Rd, followed by Don Valentine of Fairchild Semiconductor who founds Capital Management Services, later renamed Sequoia Capital
1972: Electronics writer Don Hoeffler coins the term "Silicon Valley"
(1972: A novel by David Gerrold coins the term "computer virus")
(1972: Ray Tomlinson at Bolt, Beranek and Newman invents email for sending messages between computer users, and invents a system to identify the user name and the computer name separated by a "@")
(1972: IBM engineers in Mannheim, Germany, found Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung or SAP)
1972: Bruce Buchanan leads development of the expert system "Mycin" at Stanford University
1972: European computer manufacturer Olivetti opens a research center in Cupertino (the "Advanced Technology Centre")
1973: Lynn Hershman creates the first site-specific installation, "The Dante Hotel"
1973: Efrem Lipkin, Mark Szpakowski, and Lee Felsenstein start the "Community Memory", the first public computerized bulletin board system
1973: Stanley Cohen of Stanford University and Herbert Boyer of UC San Francisco create the first recombinant DNA organism, virtually inventing "biotechnology"
(1973: Automatic Electronic Systems of Canada introduces the "AES-90", a "word processor" that combines a CRT-screen, a floppy-disk and a microprocessor)
(1973: Vietnamese-born engineer Andre Truong Trong Thi uses the 8008 to build the computer Micral)
(1973: Japan's Sharp develops the LCD or "Liquid Crystal Display" technology)
1973: Intel introduces a CPU named 8088
1973: William Pereira builds the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco
(1973: Martin Cooper at Motorola invents the first portable, wireless or "cellular" telephone)
1973: Vinton Cerf of Stanford University coins the term "Internet"
1973: The Arpanet has 2,000 users
1973: Gary Kildall in Monterey invents the first operating system for a microprocessor, the CP/M
1974: Ed Roberts invents the first personal computer, the Altair 8800
(1974: The barcode, invented by George Laurer at IBM, debuts)
1974: Donald Chamberlin at IBM's San Jose laboratories invents SQL
1974: Xerox's PARC unveils the "Alto", the first workstation with a "mouse"
1974: Paul Flory of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
1974: Reid Dennis and Burton McMurtry found the investment company Institutional Venture Associates
1974: Philips acquires Magnavox
1974: Tommy Davis launches the Mayfield Fund
1974: (Sam Hurst invents the touch-screen user interface)
1974: Vint Cerf of Stanford and others publish the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
1974: The Ant Farm art collective creates the installation "Cadillac Farm"
(1974: The Polish geneticist Waclaw Szybalski coins the term "synthetic biology")
1975: Xerox PARC debuts the first GUI or "Graphical User Interface"
1975: Advanced Micro Devices introduces a reverse-engineered clone of the Intel 8080 microprocessor
1975: John Chowning and Leland Smith at Stanford found a computer music lab, later renamed Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA)
(1975: Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith establish the Computer Graphics Laboratory at the New York Institute of Technology)
(1975: Ed Roberts in New Mexico introduces the Altair 8800 based on an Intel microprocessor and sold as a mail-order kit)
(1975: Bill Gates and Paul Allen develop a version of BASIC for the Altair personal computer and found Microsoft)
1975: Steve Wozniak and others found the "Homebrew Computer Club"
(1975: John Holland describes Genetic Algorithms )
1976: Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs form Apple Computer and build the first microcomputer in Jobs' garage in Cupertino.
1976: Stanford University researchers (Martin Hellman, Ralph Merkle and Whitfield Diffie) describe the concept of public-key cryptography
1976: Bob Metcalfe at Xerox PARC deploys the first "Ethernet" for local area networks
1976: Bill Joy writes the "vi" text editor for Unix
1976: William Ackerman founds Windham Hill to promote his "new age" music
1976: Burton Richter of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
Apr 1976: Biochemist Herbert Boyer and venture capitalist Robert Swanson found Genentech, the first major biotech company
(1976: Ed Catmull and Fred Parke's computer animation in a scene of the film "Futureworld" is the first to use 3D computer graphics)
1976: Institutional Venture Associates splits into two partnerships, McMurtry's Technology Venture Associates and Dennis' Institutional Venture Partners
1976: ROLM introduces a digital switch, the CBX (a computer-based PBX)
(1976: MOS Technology introduces the 6502 processor)
1977: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak develop the Apple II using the 6502 processor
1977: Bill Joy at U.C. Berkeley ships the first BSD version of Unix
1974: IBM's San Jose laboratories unveils the relational database system System R
1977: 27,000 people are employed in the Semiconductor industry of Silicon Valley
1977: San Francisco's city supervisor Harvey Milk becomes the first openly gay man to be elected to office in the USA
1977: George Coates founds his multimedia theater group, Performance Works
1977: UC Berkeley develops the "Berkeley Software Distribution" (BSD), better known as "Berkeley Unix", a variant of the Unix operating system
Aug 1977: Larry Ellison founds the Software Development Laboratories, later renamed Oracle Corporation
1977: Atari introduces a videogame console, the 2600, based on the 6502 processor
1977: Dave Smith builds the "Prophet 5", the world's first microprocessor-based musical instrument, the first polyphonic and programmable synthesizer
(1977: Dennis Hayes of National Data Corporation invents the PC modem, a device that converts between analog and digital signals)
(1978: Toshihiro Nishikado creates the first blockbuster videogame, "Space Invaders")
1978: The rainbow flag debuts at the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade
(1978: The Global Positioning System or GPS is inaugurated by the USA military
(1978: Mark Pauline founds the Survival Research Laboratories
1978: Apple launches a project to design a personal computer with a graphical user interface
1978: Atari announces the Atari 800, designed by Jay Miner
1979: Dan Bricklin develops VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet program for personal computers
1979: Larry Michels founds the first Unix consulting company, Santa Cruz Operation (SCO)
1979: Michael Stonebraker at U.C. Berkeley unveils a relational database system, Ingres
1979: University of California at Berkeley launches the "Search for Extraterrestrial Radio Emissions from Nearby Developed Intelligent Populations" project or "Serendip"
1979: Lucasfilm hires Ed Catmull from the New York Institute of Technology to lead the Graphics Group of its Computer Division
1979: Kevin MacKenzie invents symbols such as :-), or "emoticons", to mimic the cues of face-to-face communication
1979: John Shoch of Xerox's PARC coins the term "worm" to describe a program that travels through a network of computers
1980: The Arpanet has 430,000 users, who exchange almost 100 million email messages a year
(1980: NESELCO introduces a touch-screen computer)
1980: John Searle publishes the article on the "Chinese Room" that attacks Artificial Intelligence
1980: Sonya Rapoport creates the interactive audio/visual installation "Objects on my Dresser"
1980: Seagate Technology introduces the first hard-disk drive for personal computers
1980: Doug and Gary Carlston found the videogame company Broderbund
1980: Paul Berg of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
1980: Polish writer Czeslaw Milosz of UC Berkeley is awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature
1980: Integrated circuits incorporate 100,000 discrete components
1980: The Usenet is born, an Arpanet-based discussion system divided in "newsgroups"
1980: Apple goes public for a record $1.3 billion
1980: UC Davis researchers found biotech company Calgene
1980: John Doerr joins Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers
1980: Ed Feigenbaum and others found IntelliGenetics (later Intellicorp), an early Artificial Intelligence and biotech startup
(1980: Sony introduces the double-sided, double-density 3.5" floppy disk that holds 875 kilobyte)
1980: Onyx launches the first microcomputer running the Unix operating system
1981: The Xerox 8010 Star Information System is the first commercial computer that uses a mouse
1980: David Patterson and Carlo Sequin launch a RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) project at U.C. Berkeley
1981: John Hennessy starts a RISC project at Stanford University
1981: Ed Feigenbaum and others found Teknowledge, the first major startup to develop "expert systems"
1981: Arthur Schawlow of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
1981: Roger Malina relocates Leonardo ISAST from Paris to San Francisco
Oct 1981: Jim Clark of Stanford University and Abbey Silverstone of Xerox found Silicon Graphics in Sunnyvale to manufacture graphic workstations
(Aug 1981: The IBM PC is launched, running an operating system developed by Bill Gates' Microsoft)
1981: Andreas Bechtolsheim at Stanford University builds a workstation running Unix and networking software
Dec 1982: John Warnock and Charles Geschke of Xerox PARC develop PostScript and found Adobe to commercialize it
(1982: John Hopfield describes a new generation of neural networks)
(1982: Thomas Zimmerman of IBM Almaden builds the first commercially-available dataglove
1982: Stanford students Andy Bechtolsheim, Vinod Khosla and Scott McNealy (a former Onyx employee) and former Berkeley student Bill Joy found SUN Microsystems, named after the "Stanford University Network", to manufacture workstations
1982: Apple's employee Trip Hawkins founds Electronic Arts to create home computer games
1982: John Walker founds Autodesk to sell computer-aided design software
1982: Gary Hendrix founds Symantec
(1982: Nastec introduces the term "Computer-Aided Software Engineering (CASE)" for its suite of software development tools)
Jan 1983: The Lotus Development Corporation, founded by Mitchell Kapor, introduces the spreadsheet program "Lotus 1-2-3" for MS-DOS developed by Jonathan Sachs
1983: Gavilan, founded by Manuel Fernandez, former CEO of Zilog, introduces the first portable computer marketed as a "laptop"
1983: Crash of the videogame console market
Mar 1983: Compaq introduces the Portable PC, compatible with the IBM PC
1983: The Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol or "TCP/IP" running on Unix BSD 4.2 debuts on the Arpanet, and the Arpanet is officially renamed Internet
1983: Paul Mockapetris invents the Domain Name System for the Internet to classify Internet addresses through extensions such as .com
Jan 1983: Apple introduces the "Lisa", the first personal computer with a graphical user interface
1983: Henry Taube of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
1983: The Musical Instrument Digital Interface is introduced, based on an idea by Dave Smith
(1983: William Inmon builds the first data warehousing system)
1983: Gerard Debreu of UC Berkeley is awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics
(1983: Nintendo releases the Family Computer, renamed Nintendo Entertainment System in the USA)
1984: Cisco is founded by Leonard Bosack and Sandra Lerner
(1984: Michael Dell, a student at University of Texas at Austin, founds PCs Limited, later renamed Dell, to sell custom PC-compatible computers by mail-order only)
(1984: Psion introduces the first personal digital assistant, the first hand-held computer)
1984: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute is founded by Thomas Pierson and Jill Tarter
1984: Robert Gaskins and Dennis Austin develop "Presentation", an application to create slide presentations (later renamed "PowerPoint")
1984: Michael McGreevy creates the first virtual-reality environment at NASA Ames
(1984: Nicholas Negroponte and Jerome Wiesner found the MIT Media Lab)
(1984: General Motors builds a factory that uses Supply Chain Management software)
(1984: Wavefront introduces the first commercial 3D-graphics software)
1984: Hewlett-Packard introduces the first ink-jet printer
Jan 1984: Apple introduces the Macintosh, which revolutionizes desktop publishing
(1984: William Gibson's novel "Neuromancer" popularizes the "cyberpunks")
(1984: The CDROM is introduced by Sony and Philips)
(1984: The CADRE laboratory ("Computers in Art, Design, Research, and Education") is established at San Jose State University
(1984: Fujio Masuoka at Toshiba invents flash memory, a cheaper kind of EEPROM)
1985: Stewart Brand creates the "Whole Earth Lectronic Link" (or "WELL"), a virtual community of computer users structured in bulletin boards for online discussions
1985: Digital Research introduces GEM (Graphical Environment Manager), a graphical-user interface for the CP/M operating system designed by former Xerox PARC employee Lee Jay Lorenzen
(1985: Microsoft releases Windows 1.0 for MS-DOS)
(1985: Commodore launches the Amiga 1000, a 16-bit home computer with advanced graphical and audio (multimedia) designed by former Atari employee Jay Miner and running a multitasking operating system and GUI designed by Carl Sassenrath)
1985: Richard Stallman founds the non-profit organization "Free Software Foundation" (FSF)
1985: Hewlett Packard introduces the LaserJet, a printer for the home market
1985: Jobs and Wozniak leave Apple
(Jul 1985: Aldus introduces PageMaker for the Macintosh, the first system for desktop publishing)
1985: A crisis in the semiconductor industry is brought about by the dumping of cheaper Japanese products
(1985: Richard Stallman releases a free operating system, "GNU")
1985: Warren Robinett, Scott Fisher and Michael McGreevy of NASA Ames build the "Virtual Environment Workstation" for virtual-reality research, incorporating the first dataglove and the first low-cost head-mounted display
(1985: Microsoft ships the "Windows" operating system)
(1985: Jim Kimsey founds Quantum Computer Services (later renamed America Online) to provide dedicated online services for personal computers)
1985: The Arpanet is renamed Internet
1985: Jaron Lanier founds VPL Research, the first company to sell Virtual Reality products
1985: Robert Sinsheimer organizes a meeting in Santa Cruz of biologists to discuss the feasibility of sequencing the entire human genome
1986: Apple's co-founder Steve Jobs buys Lucasfilms' Pixar, that becomes an independent film studio run by Ed Catmull
1986: A book by Eric Drexler popularizes the term "nanotechnology"
(1986: Phil Katz invents the zip compression format for his program Pkzip)
(1986: A virus spread among IBM PCs, nicknamed "Brain")
1986: Larry Harvey starts the first "Burning Man" on Baker Beach in San Francisco
1986: Judy Malloy publishes the computer-mediated hyper-novel "Uncle Roger" on the WELL
1986: Renzo Piano builds the California Academy of Science in San Francisco
1986: Yuan Lee of the Lawrence Berkeley Labs is awarded the Nobel Prize
1987: Chris Langton coins the term "Artificial Life"
1987: Jerry Kaplan and others found GO Corporation to manufacture portable computers with a pen-based user interface
1987: David Duffield and Ken Morris found PeopleSoft to manufacture Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications
(1987: The JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) format is introduced)
(1987: Linus Technologies introduces the first pen-based computer, WriteTop)
1987: Bill Atkinson at Apple creates the hypermedia system HyperCard
(1987: Uunet becomes the first commercial Internet Service Provider, ISP)
1988: "Morris", the first digital worm, infects most of the Internet
1988: Steven Benner organizes the conference "Redesigning the Molecules of Life', the first major conference on synthetic biology
(1988: 1988: Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) that provids broadband on a phone line is invented by Bellcore)
(1988: 3D Systems introduces the first 3D printer)
1989: UC Berkeley introduces the "BSD license", one of the first open-source licences
1989: Adobe releases Photoshop
(1989: Barry Shein founds the first Internet Service Provider, "The World", in Boston)
1990: Richard Taylor of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics and William Sharpe of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics
1990: Between 1970 and 1990 the population of San Jose has almost doubled, from 445,779 to 782,248
(1990: Dycam introduces the first digital camera, Model 1)
(1990: Microsoft announced that it will stop working on OS/2)
(1990: The "Human Genome Project" is launched to decipher human DNA)
1990: Michael West founds the biotech company Geron that pioneers commercial applications of regenerative medicine
(1990: Tim Berners-Lee of CERN invents the HyperText Markup Language "HTML" and demonstrates the World-Wide Web)
(1990: The first Internet search engine, "Archie", is developed in Montreal)
1990: LaRoche acquires a majority stake in Genentech
(1991: The World-Wide Web debuts on the Internet)
(1991: United Technologies Corporation becomes the first company to market a fuel-cell system)
(1991: Microsoft has revenues of $1,843,432,000 and 8,226 employees)
(1991: Finnish student Linus Torvalds introduces the Linux operating system, a variant of Unix)
(1991: Paul Lindner and Mark McCahill of the University of Minnesota release "Gopher", a software program to access the World-Wide Web)
1991: Pei-Yuan Wei introduces a "browser" for the world-wide web, Viola
Dec 1991: Apple introduces QuickTime
1992: Macromedia is founded in San Francisco
1992: Timothy May founds the "cypherpunks" forum
1992: Intel is the world's largest semiconductor company
1992: The "Information Tapestry" project at Xerox PARC pioneers collaborative filtering
(1992: The Electronic Visualization Lab at the University of Illinois Chicago creates a "CAVE" ("Cave Automatic Virtual Environment"), a surround-screen and surround-sound virtual-reality environment (graphics projected from behind the walls that surround the user)
(1992: SAP launches R/3, moving its ERP system from mainframe to a three-tiered client-server architecture and to a relational database)
1992: Gary Becker of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics
1992: Calgene creates the "Flavr Savr" tomato, the first genetically-engineered food to be sold in stores
(1992: Jean Armour Polly coins the phrase "Surfing the Internet")
(1992: Thomas Ray develops "Tierra", a computer simulation of ecology)
(1992: (The first text message is sent from a phone)
1993: Stanford University's professor Jim Clark hires Mark Andreesen
1993: Condoleezza Rice becomes Stanford's youngest, first female and first non-white provost
1993: Thomas Siebel founds Siebel for customer relationship management (CRM) applications
1993: Steve Putz at Xerox's PARC creates the web mapping service Map Viewer
1993: The first "Other Minds Festival" for avantgarde music is held in San Francisco
1993: Broderbund introduces the videogame "Myst"
1993: Adobe Systems introduces Acrobat and the file format PDF (or Portable Document Format)
1993: Marc Andreessen develops the first browser for the World Wide Web (Mosaic)
1994: John Harsanyi of UC Berkeley is awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics
(1994: Mark Pesce introduces the "Virtual Reality Modeling Language" or VRML)
1994: The "Band of Angels" is founded by "angels" to fund Silicon Valley startups
(1994: University of North Carolina's college radio station WXYC becomes the first radio station in the world to broadcast its signal over the Internet)
1994: The search engine Architext (later Excite) debuts
1994: There are 315 public companies in Silicon Valley
Jan 1995: Stanford student Jerry Yang founds Yahoo
1995: Salon is founded by David Talbot
1995: Steve Kirsch's Infoseek pioneers "cost-per-impression" and "cost-per-click" advertising
1995: Netscape, the company founded by Marc Andreesen, goes public even before earning money and starts the "dot.com" craze and the boom of the Nasdaq
(1995: Microsoft introduces Internet Explorer and starts the browser wars)
1995: John Lasseter's "Toy Story" is the first feature-length computer-animated film
(1995: The MP3 standard is introduced)
1995: Mario Botta builds the Modern Museum of Art in San Francisco
1995: Martin Perl of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
(1995: The Sony Playstation is introduced)
(1995: Jacques Mattheij pioneers live video streaming over the Internet)
1995: Ward Cunningham creates WikiWikiWeb, the first "wiki", a manual on the internet maintained in a collaborative manner
1995: SUN launches the programming language Java
1995: Craig Newmark starts craigslist.com on the Internet, a regional advertising community
(1995: Amazon.com is launched on the web as the "world's largest bookstore", except that it is not a bookstore, it is a website)
1995: The At Home Network (@Home) is founded by William Randolph Hearst III
1996: Sabeer Bhatia launches Hotmail, a website to check email from anywhere in the world
(1996: Dell begin selling its computers via its website)
(1996: Nokia introduces the first "smartphone")
1996: Steve Jobs rejoins Apple
1996: Jeff Hawkins invents the Palm Pilot, a personal digital assistant
1996: Stewart Brand and Danny Hillis establish the "Long Now Foundation"
1996: Douglas Osheroff of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
1996: Macromedia introduces Flash
(1996: The first DVD player is introduced by Toshiba)
(1996: GeoSystems Global launches the web mapping service MapQuest that also provides address matching)
(1996: The Apache HTTP Server is introduced, an open-source web server)
(1996: 1996: Monsanto acquires Calgene
1996: Sydney Brenner founds the Molecular Sciences Institute in Berkeley
1996: Brent Townshend invents the 56K modem
(1997: Andrew Weinreich creates SixDegrees.com, the first social networking website)
(1997: US West launches the first commercial DSL service in Phoenix)
1997: Reed Hastings founds Netflix to rent videos via the Internet
1997: The XML standard for exchanging documents on the World-Wide Web is introduced
(1997: Myron Scholes of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics
1997: Steven Chu of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
1997: Evite is founded by Stanford engineering students Al Lieb and Selina Tobaccowala
(1997: The total revenues for ERP software market is $7.2 billion, with SAP, Baan, Oracle, J.D. Edwards, and PeopleSoft accounting for 62% of it)
1998: Stanford's scientist Mendel Rosenblum and others found Vmware
1998: TiVo is launched in San Francisco
1998: NuvoMedia introduces the Rocket eBook, a handheld device to read ebooks
1998: Netscape makes its browser Navigator available for free in january 1998.
1998: Chinese and Indian engineers run about 25% of Silicon Valley's high-tech businesses, accounting for $16.8 billion in sales and 58,000 jobs
1998: SoftBook Press releases the first e-book reader
1998: Saul Perlmutter's team at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab discovers that the expansion of the universe is accelerating
1998: Celera, presided by Craig Venter of "The Institute for Genomic Research" (TIGR), is established to map the human genome (and later relocated to the Bay Area)
1998: Netscape launches the open-source project "Mozilla" of Internet applications
1998: Robert Laughlin of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
1998: America Online acquires Netscape
1998: Pierre Omidyar founds eBay, a website to auction items
1998: Two Stanford students, Larry Page and Russian-born Sergey Brin, launch the search engine Google
1998: Yahoo, Amazon, Ebay and scores of Internet-related startups create overnight millionaires
Dec 1998: Peter Thiel and Max Levchin found Confinity
(1998: Jorn Barger in Ohio coins the term "weblog" for webpages that simply contain links to other webpages)
(1998: Jim Gray creates the web mapping service TerraServer that also offers satellite images)
(1998: Bob Somerby starts "The Daily Howler", the first major political blog)
(1998: Taiwanese computer manufacturer Acer opens Acer Technology Ventures to invest in Silicon Valley startups
1999: Between 1998 to 1999 venture capital investments in Silicon Valley firms increases more than 90% from $3.2 billion to $6.1 billion
(1998: Steve Mann builds the first smartwatch)
1999: Google has 8 employees
(1999: Total revenues for supply-chain software are $3.9 billion, with i2 owning 13% of the market)
1999: Siebel owns almost 50% of the CRM market
1999: Blogger.com allows people to create their own "blogs", or personal journals
1999: Marc Benioff founds Saleforce.com to move business applications to the Internet, pioneering cloud computing
1999: Philip Rosedale founds Linden Lab to develop virtual-reality hardware
1999: The world prepares for the new millennium amidst fears of computers glitches due to the change of date (Y2K)
(1999: The recording industry sues Shawn Fanning's Napster, a website that allows people to exchange music)
1999: 100 new Internet companies are listed in the USA stock market
1999: The USA has 250 billionaires, and thousands of new millionaires are created in just one year
(1999: Microsoft is worth 450 billion dollars, the most valued company in the world, even if it is many times smaller than General Motors, and Bill Gates is the world's richest man at $85 billion)
1999: At Home acquires Excite, the largest Internet-related merger yet
(1999: A European consortium introduces the Bluetooth wireless standard invented by Ericsson)
1999: A panel on "Big Data" is held at the Visualization Conference in San Francisco
2000: The NASDAQ stock market crashes, wiping out trillions of dollars of wealth
2000: Victoria Hale, a former Genentech scientist, starts the first non-profit pharmaceutical company, the Institute for OneWorld Health
2000: Venture-capital investment in the USA peaks at $99.72 billion or 1% of GDP, mostly to software (17.4%), telecommunications (15.4%), networking (10.0%) and media (9.1%)
2000: 32% of Silicon Valley's high-skilled workers are foreign-born, mostly from Asia
(2000: Software and services account for 50% of IBM's business)
2000: Daniel McFadden of UC Berkeley is awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics
2000: There are 417 public companies in Silicon Valley
2000: 10 billion email messages a day are exchanged over the Internet
2000: Confinity and X.com merge to form Paypal, a system to pay online
2000: The government-funded Human Genome Project and the privately-funded Celera jointly announce that they have decoded the entire human genome
(2000: Dell has the largest share of worldwide personal computer sales)
Oct 2001: Apple launches the iPod
Dec 2001: Listen.com launches Rhapsody, a service that provides streaming on-demand access to a library of digital music
2001: KR Sridhar founds Bloom Energy to develop fuel-cell technology
2001: Nanosys is founded in 2001 to develop nanotechnology
2001: Semir Zeki founds the Institute of Neuroesthetics
2001: Joseph Stiglitz of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics
2001: George Akerlof of UC Berkeley is awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics
2001: Jimmy Wales founds Wikipedia, a multilingual encyclopedia that is collaboratively edited by the Internet community
2001: Hewlett-Packard acquires Compaq
2002: Ebay acquires Paypal and Paypal cofounder Elon Musk founds SpaceX to develop space transportation
2002: Friendster is launched in Morgan Hill by Jonathan Abrams
2002: Bram Cohen unveils the peer-to-peer file sharing protocol BitTorrent
2002: Sydney Brenner is awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine
2002: Codexis is founded to develop biofuels
(2003: Skype is founded in Europe by Niklas Zennstroem and Janus Friis to offer voice over IP, a system invented by Estonian engineers)
2003: Matt Mullenweg launches a platform for people to create their own website or blog, Wordpress
2003: Linden Lab launches "Second Life", a virtual world accessible via the Internet
2003: Amyris Biotechnologies is founded to produce renewable fuels
2003: Christopher Voigt founds a lab at UC San Francisco to program cells like robots to perform complex tasks
2003: Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning found Tesla to build electrical cars
(2003: The first synthetic biology conference is held at the MIT)
2004: Mark Zuckerberg founds the social networking service Facebook at Harvard University (soon relocated to Palo Alto)
2004: Mozilla releases the browser Firefox, created by Dave Hyatt and Blake Ross
(2004: Drew Endy of MIT founds Codon Devices to commercialize synthetic biology)
2004: Oracle buys PeopleSoft
2004: Google launches a project to digitize all the books ever printed
2004: UC Berkeley establishes a Center for New Media
2004: Vinod Khosla of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers founds Khosla Ventures to invest in green-technology companies
2005: Adobe acquires Macromedia
2005: San Jose's population of 912,332 has passed San Francisco, and San Jose is now the tenth largest city in the USA
2005: Andrew Ng at Stanford launches the STAIR project (Stanford Artificial Intelligence Robot)
2005: Oracle acquires Siebel
2005: Gina Bianchini founds Ning
2005: Google launches the web mapping system Google Earth that also offers three-dimensional images of terrain
2005: More than 50% of all jobs outsourced by Silicon Valley companies go to India
2005: UC San Francisco opens the "Institute for Human Genetics"
2005: The Letterman Digital Arts Center opens in San Francisco
(2005: Sales of notebook computers account for 53% of the computer market)
2005: Yahoo, Google, America OnLine (AOL) and MSN (Microsoft's Network) are the four big Internet portals with a combined audience of over one billion people worldwide
2005: Silicon Valley accounts for 14% of the world's venture capital
2005: 52.4% of Silicon Valley's high-tech companies launched between 1995 and 2005 have been founded by at least one immigrant
(2005: Total revenues of ERP software are $25.5 billion, with SAP making $10.5 billion and Oracle $5.1 billion)
2005: Ebay acquires Skype
May 2005: Solar-energy company Solyndra is founded
2005: SUN's founder Bill Joy joins venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to invest in green technology
Nov 2005: Former Paypal employees Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim launch YouTube
(2005: Adrian Bowyer's RepRap for 3D printing)
2006: Jack Dorsey creates the social networking service Twitter
2006: The Bay Area is the largest high-tech center in the USA with 386,000 high-tech jobs
2006: YouTube is bought by Google for $1.65 billion
2006: Jay Keasling inaugurates the world's first Synthetic Biology department at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
2006: Lyndon and Peter Rive found SolarCity
2006: The first Zer01 Festival is held in San Jose
2006: Roger Kornberg of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Andrew Fire of Stanford University is awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, and George Smoot of the Lawrence Berkeley Labs is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
2006: Tesla Motors introduces the Tesla Roadster, the first production automobile to use lithium-ion battery cells
2006: The world-wide web has 100 million websites
2006: Google acquires YouTube
2006: Walt Disney acquires Pixar
2006: Scott Hassan founds Willow Garage to manufacturer robots for domestic use
Jan 2007: 48% of Apple's revenues come from sales of the iPod
Jun 2007: Apple launches the iPhone
2007: Forrester Research estimates that online retail sales in the USA reached $175 billion
(2007: Safaricom launches the mobile payment system M-Pesa in Kenya)
2007: The biotech company iZumi Bio is founded to develop products based on stem-cell research
2007: The biotech company iPierian is founded to develop products based on cellular reprogramming
(2007: Knome introduces the first commercially available human genome sequencing)
2008: Piero Scaruffi organizes the first Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendesvouz or LASER in San Francisco
2008: Airbnb is founded in San Francisco
2008: The Silicon Valley has 2.4 million (less than 1% of the USA's population) generating more than 2% of the USA's GDP, with a GDP per person of $83,000
2008: Microsoft Windows owns almost 90% of the operating system market for personal computers, while Google owns almost 70% of the Internet search market
2008: For a few months San Francisco issues marriage license to same-sex couples
2008: Venture capitalists invest $4 billion into green-tech startups in 2008, which is almost 40% of all USA investments in high-tech
2008: Taiwanese conglomerate Quanta invests into Silicon Valley startups Tilera and Canesta
2008: Hewlett-Packard puchases Electronic Data Systems in a shift towards services
2008: 20% of smartphones in the world use an operating system made in Silicon Valley (Symbian 47%, Blackberry 20%, Windows 12%)
2008: There are 261 public companies in Silicon Valley
2009: Oracle buys SUN
2009: Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp launch the smartphone app Uber
(2009: Satoshi Nakamoto introduces the digital currency Bitcoin)
Aug 2009: Google's market value is more than $140 billion
2009: BitTorrent accounts for at least 20% of all Internet traffic
2009: Facebook has 150 million users in january and grows by about one million users a day, the fastest product ever to reach that many users in five years
2009: President Barack Obama appoints Steve Chu, director of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, to be Secretary of Energy
2009: Tesla Motors obtains a $465-million loan from the USA government to build the Model S, a battery-powered sports sedan
2009: Elizabeth Blackburn of UC San Francisco shares the Nobel prize in Medicine and Oliver Williamson of UC Berkeley shares the Nobel prize in Economics
2009: Thomas Siebel founds energy startup C3 LLC
2009: Xerox puchases Affiliated Computer Services in a shift towards services
2009: Microsoft is the largest software company in the world with revenues of $50 billion, followed by IBM with $22 billion, Oracle with $17.5 billion, SAP with $11.6 billion, Nintendo with $7.2 billion, HP with $6.2 billion, Symantec with $5.6 billion, Activision Blizzard with $4.6 billion, Electronic Arts with $4.2 billion, Computer Associates with $3.9 billion, and Adobe with $3.3 billion.
2010: Google is worth $180 billion
Mar 2010: YouTube broadcasts the Indian Premier League of cricket live worldwide
Mar 2010: Apple is worth $205 billion, third in the USA after Exxon and Microsoft
Apr 2010: HP purchases Palm, a struggling smartphone maker
Apr 2010: The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory plans to simulate the nuclear fusion of a star (more than 100 million degrees Celsius, hotter than the center of the sun) with the world's most powerful laser, called the National Ignition Facility
Apr 2010: Microsoft's IE has 59.9% of the browser market, followed by Firefox with 24.5% and Google Chrome with 6.7%
Apr 2010: Apple introduces the tablet computer iPad that sells one million units in less than one month
May 2010: SAP buys Sybase
May 2010: Craig Venter and Hamilton Smith reprogram a bacterium's DNA
Jul 2010: Facebook has 500 million users
2010: The smarphone market grows 55% in 2010, with 269 million units sold worldwide
2011: Apple's Siri
Mar 2012: Pinterest becomes the third largest social network in the USA, surpassing LinkedIn and Tagged
May 2012: Facebook goes public, the biggest high-tech IPO in history
May 2012: SpaceX launches the first commercial flight to the International Space Station
2013: 92% of smartphones in the world use an operating system made in Silicon Valley (Android 75%, iOS 17%, Windows 3%, Blackberry 3%, Symbian less than 1%)
(2013: Microsoft buys Nokia's mobile-phone business)
2013: 61.5% of traffic on the Web is not human
2013: 90% of the world's data have been created in the last two years
2013: Worldwide sales of smartphones pass one billion units, while sales of personal computers decline by 9.8%
2014: Facebook has 1.3 billion members, Google owns 68% of the searches in the USA and more than 90% in Europe, Amazon owns more than 50% of the book market in the USA, LinkedIn has 300 million members, Alibaba controls 80% of e-commerce in China
2014: Facebook acquires Oculus (virtual reality)
2014: Google acquires DeepMind (artificial intelligence)
2015: There are 144 unicorns with a total value of $505 billion in the USA
2015: 224.3 million tablets are shipped in 2015, a decline of 8% from 2014
2016: Alphabet (Google) passes Apple to become the most valuable company in the world ($558 billion vs $535 billion in January)
2016: Niantic and Nintendo introduce the augmented-reality game Pokermon Go
2016: For the first time more users around the world are accessing the internet from mobile devices than from desktop computers
2016: Tesla`s Gigafactory to produce battery cell opens in Nevada
(Copyright © 2016 Piero Scaruffi)