Downtown San Jose, dubbed "Capital of Silicon Valley".
The driveway to The 88 Condominium Building in Downtown San Jose as seen with uplit palms. Silicon Valley is the southern region of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California, in the United States. The region, whose name derives from the Santa Clara Valley in which it is centered, is home to many of the world's largest technology corporations as well as thousands of small startups. The term originally referred to the region's large number of silicon chip innovators and manufacturers, but eventually came to refer to all the high-tech businesses in the area; it is now generally used as a metonym for the American high-tech sector. Despite the development of other high-tech economic centers throughout the United States and the world, Silicon Valley continues to be the leading hub for high-tech innovation and development, accounting for one-third (1/3) of all of the venture capital investment in the United States. Geographically, the Silicon Valley encompasses all of the Santa Clara Valley including the city of San Jose (and adjacent communities), the southern Peninsula Valley, and the southern East Bay. However, with the rapid growth of technology jobs in the San Francisco metropolitan area, the traditional boundaries of Silicon Valley have expanded north to include the rest of San Mateo County and the City and County of San Francisco, as well as parts of Marin County. Contents [hide] * 1 Origin of the term * 2 History * 2.1 Social roots of information technology revolution * 2.2 Roots in radio and military technology * 2.3 Stanford Industrial Park * 2.4 Silicon transistor and birth of the Silicon Valley * 2.5 Law firms * 2.6 Venture capital firms * 2.7 The rise of software * 2.8 Internet bubble * 3 Economy * 4 Media * 5 Notable companies * 6 Notable government facilities * 7 Universities and colleges * 8 Cities * 9 See also * 10 References * 11 Further reading * 12 External links|  Origin of the term
The term Silicon Valley was coined by Ralph Vaerst, a successful Central California entrepreneur. Its first published use is credited to Don Hoefler, a friend of Vaerst's, who used the phrase as the title of a series of articles in the weekly trade newspaper Electronic News. The series, entitled "Silicon Valley in the USA", began in the paper's issue dated January 11, 1971. The term did not become widely known and used, however, until the early 1980s, essentially synonymous with the introduction of the IBM PC and numerous related hardware and software products to the consumer market. Valley refers to the Santa Clara Valley, located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay, while Silicon refers to the high concentration of companies involved in the making of semiconductors (silicon is used to create most semiconductors commercially) and computer industries that were concentrated in the area. These firms slowly replaced the orchards which gave the area its initial nickname, the Valley of Heart's Delight.  History
"Perhaps the strongest thread that runs through the Valley's past and present is the drive to "play" with novel technology, which, when bolstered by an advanced engineering degree and channeled by astute management, has done much to create the industrial powerhouse we see in the Valley today."
Looking west over northern San Jose (downtown is at far left) and other parts of Silicon Valley Stanford University, its affiliates, and graduates have played a major role in the development of this area. Some examples include the work of Lee De Forest with his invention of a pioneering vacuum tube called the Audion and the oscilloscopes of Hewlett-Packard. A very powerful sense of regional solidarity accompanied the rise of Silicon Valley. From the 1890s, Stanford University's leaders saw its mission as service to...