Title and Description Page
Early Years 1
Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Moved to Rockford, Illinois, at age eight. Often went to work with father, who was electrical engineer. Always tinkering with things. Attended Catholic boys' school, where he was interested in science and mathematics. Joined Boy Scouts of America to obtain merit badges. Loved water activities, especially water skiing and canoeing. Also interested in Wisconsin's American Indian culture.
College Years 6
Matriculated at University of Wisconsin. Joined Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps. Professor of class in transistors used students' class notes for his textbook, but Flath decided he wanted to be circuit designer. Worked with FORTRAN in early analog computers. Met his wife to be.
After-College Years 10
Went from school immediately to Long Beach, California, to spend two years on a destroyer. After first year returned to Wisconsin to marry. Changed to Civil Engineer Corps and transferred to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, shipyard. Began classes part time at University of New Hampshire with backing from U.S. Navy. Finished Navy years and finished degree full time. Thesis dealt with converting FM signal to AM; from there he got into semiconductors.
Fairchild Semiconductor Years 17
Compared job offers from International Business Machines (IBM) and Fairchild. Accepted position of product engineer at Fairchild. Worked his way up and around the "matrix" structure of Fairchild to become general manager of digital integrated circuits (DIC). "Back of the envelope" approach. Growing competition within company.
Intel Years 39
Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, Andrew Grove leave to form Intel. Leslie Vadasz and Flath join Intel. First product bipolar RAM; then moved to DRAM. Unionization. Moore's Law. Iso-defect curves. Flath went to Intel Japan for three years. Competition with other companies to make EPROM prompted Flath to deal with Mitsubishi for private-label EPROMs Intel could sell as their own. Intel moved into microprocessors. Flath back from Japan, retires. Went into venture capital for some years. Now in community work.