Victor Grinich

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Victor Grinich
Victor Grinich.jpg
Born (1924-11-26)November 26, 1924
Aberdeen, Washington
Died November 4, 2000(2000-11-04) (aged 75)
Mountain View, California
Alma mater University of Washington
Stanford University
Occupation Co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor
Professor at Stanford & UC Berkeley
Children Nicholas P. Grinich
Anita Grinich
Philip Grinich

Victor Henry Grinich (November 26, 1924 - November 4, 2000) was a pioneer in the semiconductor industry and a member of the "traitorous eight" that founded Silicon Valley.

Early life and education[edit]

His parents were Croatian immigrants and his original name was Victor Grgurinović. He was born in Aberdeen, Washington. Victor served in the United States Navy during World War II. To make his last name easier to pronounce during military roll calls, he officially changed it to "Grinich".

Grinich received a Bachelor's degree from the University of Washington in 1945 and a Master's degree in 1950, and then earned a Ph.D. in 1953 from Stanford University.[1]


Initially a researcher at SRI International, he worked at the seminal Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory of Beckman Instruments, and then left with other disgruntled members of the "traitorous eight" to create the influential Fairchild Semiconductor corporation.[2] Among the physicists, mathematicians and metallurgists in the group, Mr. Grinich was the only electrical engineer.[3] At Fairchild he set up the test lab and other electronic systems where he was responsible for device characterization and applications. His department grew into the important Fairchild Instrumentation business.

Grinich left Fairchild in 1968 to study computer science while teaching electrical engineering at UC Berkeley. He later taught at Stanford University as well. [4] In 1975, he published a textbook, Introduction to Integrated Circuits.[5]

In 1978, he was appointed chief executive officer of Identronix, a company that pioneered Radio-frequency identification systems, which are now used extensively in anti-theft tags.

In 1985, Grinich founded and became CEO of Escort Memory Systems to commercialize RFID tags for industrial applications. EMS was acquired by Datalogic in 1989.[6]

In 1993, he co-founded Arkos Design, a manufacturer of emulators. The company was acquired by Synopsys in 1995.[7] Grinich retired in 1997.


Grinich died of prostate cancer in 2000.


  1. ^ "Alumni Profiles, Victor Grinich". University of Washington. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Winslow, Ward; John R. McLaughlin, Leigh A. Weimers, Wardell V. Winslow (2008). Silicon Valley: 110 Year Renaissance. Palo Alto, California: Santa Clara Valley Historical Association. p. 54. ISBN 0-9649217-4-X. 
  3. ^ Gaither, Chris (November 11, 2000). "Victor Grinich, 75, Co-Founder Of Upstart Electronics Company". New York Times. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Silicon Engine | People". Computer History Museum. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Victor H. Grinich, Horace G. Jackson (1975). Introduction to integrated circuits. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-024875-3. 
  6. ^ "Company Overview of Escort Memory Systems". 
  7. ^ "Synopsys Acquires Arkos; Technology Supports High-Speed HDL Validation.".