IN THE BEGINNING

Bedford Heights was built by Texas Instruments in 1960. The building was installed with a cyclone proof roof, being a blue print lifted from the Texas Headquarters at that time in Dallas. External window glazing was replaced in the 1980’s. In 1999 the building was transformed into fully managed office spaces ranging from 180 to 28,000 ft2.

THE INVENTION OF THE MICRO-CHIP

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 3,000 million dollars. Jack Kilby, now working for T I as a consultant, continues to produce ideas which may in the future prove to have been seminal — among these a solar convention cell which combines the production of electricity and the storage of energy within a single unit.

THE FUTURE

Bedford Heights was bought by Verve Developments 2014, who are embarking on a programme of improvements to enhance the space. The developer has instigated a phased programme of improvement and refurbishment throughout the building which will include a new entrance and reception.

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