Digital Collections

Oral history interview with Dov Frohman

  • 2006-May-10
  • 2006-Jun-06
  • 2006-Jun-12

Dov Frohman begins the interview by describing his early separation from his parents in the Netherlands due to World War II. After moving between several orphanages, Frohman was adopted by relatives and attended primary and secondary schools in Israel. Fascinated by electrons, Frohman attended the Technion University and majored in electrical engineering. After working for a brief stint in Israel, Frohman moved to the United States to pursue a master's degree in EE at the University of California, Berkeley. Frohman then described accepting and working at Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation for two years before returning to Berkeley as a part-time student to complete his PhD program. After obtaining his doctoral degree in computer sciences, Frohman joined Intel, a start-up founded by former Fairchild employees. While at Intel Frohman was assigned to investigate instability problems in MOS (metal-oxide semiconductor) memories that led to the invention of EPROM (erasable-programmable read only memory). With EPROM gaining commercial success, Frohman spent a year as visiting professor at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology before returning to Intel in the United States. Fueled by his lifelong desire to return to Israel, Frohman convinced Gordon Moore and other Intel executives to invest in a development center in Jerusalem. Frohman then spent the next seven years teaching applied physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem while consulting for Intel Israel. The Intel investment was a success and at 1981 Frohman took a leave of absence from the University and became the first manager of Intel Israel's new fabrication plant. As Intel Israel's operations expanded, Frohman's role expanded as well to become Manager of Intel Israel and Vice President of the Microprocessor Products Group within Intel. Frohman concludes the interview by offering impression of the role Intel played in development of the semiconductor and technology-based industries in Israel; tips on maintaining open communications between Intel Israel and Intel headquarters in Santa Clara, California, and final reflections on Gordon Moore.

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