Peter Rose, who passed away March 23rd, was an entrepreneur who stood above many in the early days of our industry. Long before there was a Sergei Brin, Steve Jobs, Larry Page, or Mark Zuckerberg, there were early pioneers of high tech who, with great vision and hard work, created industries of their own. The difference between the great and average ones was the ability to be far more than innovative. The good ones mastered leadership and the skills to build companies. The great ones built entire segments of our industry. Without Peter Rose, much of what we take for granted today would not be here because the industry he created, Ion Implantation, was and is fundamental to the development and manufacture of semiconductors.
Dr. Rose is the father of Ion Implantation because he made the technology a commercial business success, founding the two companies that are the direct lineage of the modern tools used in fabs today. Like any start-up visionary/entrepreneur, it wasn’t easy and was fraught with failure.
A few years ago, I had the distinct honor to get his personal description of this early history on video. Unique in that it is a leadership perspective that starts when he was president of Ion Physics Corporation. In 1971, he founded Extrion which was a division of Varian (at this writing, part of Applied Materials). Varian brought the funding prowess and Peter brought the technical expertise for Extrion to be one of the first companies to profitably monetize the early ion implant market. Then in a story, not unlike the Fairchild brain-drain, he left in 1978 to start-up Nova Associates (now Axcelis Corporation) to build high current ion implanters. The dominance of these two companies is also a story of regional strength, as it all happened on the far North Shore of Boston between Beverly and Gloucester, MA. Dr. Rose’s two companies beat out all competitors in Texas, Europe, and Japan.
Remembering Peter Rose with a conversation on the Creation of an Industry, we talked about the development of the Ion Implant Industry and the business and technical challenges he faced. In it, you will see a man of great integrity who was respected by competitors and loved by many he worked for. His is a man who made a difference.
5 Apr 2017
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