IN THE BEGINNING

Bedford Heights was built by electronics giant Texas Instruments in 1960. The building was designed with a cyclone proof roof, a blueprint from the Texas Instruments Headquarters in Dallas at the time. External window glazing was replaced in the 1980s. In 1999, the building was converted into fully managed office spaces ranging from 180 to 28,000 ft2.

THE TRANSFORMATION

Bedford Heights was acquired by Verve Developments Ltd in 2014, who set about initiating a programme of refurbishments to significantly improve the building. This has resulted in a brand new entrance and reception, landscaped outside spaces, a beautifully designed lounge and the Graze Café, transforming Bedford Heights into Bedford’s most desirable business address.

THE INVENTION OF THE MICROCHIP

In 1958 electronics engineer Jack Kilby was working in the Dallas laboratories of Texas Instruments to devise a better way of assembling complex electronic modules for use in military equipment. This was at the dawn of the space era and small size combined with extreme reliability were supreme requirements for such modules.

Since many of the individual components could be made from similar basic semiconductor materials it occurred to Kilby that it might be possible to form them simultaneously in a single piece of semiconductor.

Within a comparatively short time he had produced a working device, a simple phase-shift oscillator, on a small block of germanium.

This invention — for which he was later to be awarded one of the USA’s highest awards, the National Medal of Science — became the forerunner of the silicon chip which may now contain over 100,000 electronic components on a piece of silicon less than 1/4 inch square and which lies at the root of the spectacular advances made in nearly all branches of modern electronic technology.

Texas Instruments has become the world’s largest supplier of integrated circuits with corporate annual sales of more than $3,000m. In 2000, five years before his death, Jack Kilby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.