A UM-StL page on access to the Silicon River in Missouri
Much of the silicon for our digital age has been grown with techniques refined near the junction of the two largest rivers in the U.S. These waters contact past and future silicon flow at many other places too, making Missouri a nice place to hop in.
The first, and largest US-based, manufacturer of
for giga-scale integrated circuits had its humble beginnings in 1959
in a field
near the intersection of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, in St.
Peters Missouri. This manufacturer began as a small part
of Monsanto, which itself
had begun decades earlier by manufacturing aspirin on the edge of
the Mississippi. Although Monsanto sold the silicon company
(called MEMC Electronic Materials) to the German Company Huls in the
mid-1980's, MEMC (now owned and
managed by U.S. based Texas Pacific Group) has continued
to invest in our region by siting both their new world-headquarters,
and their large-diameter wafer research and development efforts,
in the Missouri soil from which it began.
The latter two institutions, Missouri University, the University of Missouri-KC, and Parks College of St. Louis University, also teach techniques of circuit design and fabrication put to use by organizations involved in the building of devices on silicon wafers (such as Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intel, Micron Technology, Midwest Microelectronics in Kansas City, Motorola, and Texas Instruments). Lastly, researchers involved in the managing of defects in VLSI silicon on the microscopic scale have pooled resources between institutions (like MEMC, Washington University, Monsanto, and UM-StL) to solve a wide variety of information-technology, and other materials, problems while at the same time equipping students to be resourceful employees in the electronics industry. The private-sector/federally funded Center for Molecular Electronics Building at UM-StL is perhaps the most recent example in this context.
The Missouri-wide Silicon River Initiative (which inspired this page) is designed to show state support for the nurturing of this river by putting to work effective and efficient incentives, both for Missouri participants to collaborate and for outside organizations to join in. The logo below will link to further resources on that initiative itself.
On 28 May, 1997, in Columbia Missouri, short presentations were given on the Silicon River resource inventory by Stan Salva (Midwest Microelectronics), and on University capabilities by W. C. Nunnally (MU-Columbia), C. H. Wu (UM-Rolla), Barry Spielman (Washington U Engineering), Phil Fraundorf (UM-StL & Washington U Physics), and Roobik Gharagagi (Parks College-SLU). The attendees were also addressed by group organizer Marcia Mellitz (UM-StL Emerging Technologies), William Simon (SLU), and Dennis Roedemeier (Missouri Dept. of Economic Development).
We are currently collecting web links to silicon river participants. What follows is an outline of some possible river resource categories. Please send suggestions for both links, and category logic, to email@example.com. One possible strategy for assigning a given resource to a given category is illustrated in the figure below:
A. Boat & Bait Shop
Based Elsewhere in the U.S.
Czochralski Crucibles from General Electric Quartz