A History of Silicon Valley

This biography is an appendix to my book "A History of Silicon Valley"


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(Copyright © 2009 Piero Scaruffi)

Ralph Ungermann

Ralph Ungermann (California, 1942?) studied electrical engineering at U.C. Berkeley until 1964, and computer architecture at the U.C. Irvine. Initially he worked for Collins Radio but in 1969 he joined Intel, where he became the manager of the 8080 project. In 1974 Ralph Ungermann left Intel with coworker Federico Faggin right after finishing the 8080, taking Shima with them, and, having convinced Exxon to make a generous investment, started his own company, Zilog, which became a formidable competitor of Intel when (july 1976) it unveiled the 8-bit Z80 microprocessor, which was faster and cheaper than the 8080 (designed at transistor level by the same Shima). In 1979 Ungermann and one of his engineers at Zilog, Charlie Bass, formed Ungermann-Bass in Santa Clara to specialize in local-area networks, particularly in Ethernet technology. In 1993 he co-founded First Virtual Communications in Redwood City to develop videoconferencing products. Ungermann also joined the venture-capital firm China Seed Ventures (CSV).
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