In 1977, when he was 22 years old, inventor Alex Lidow had the sort of eureka moment most techies would kill for. While in graduate school at Stanford, Lidow co-invented, along with Thomas Herman, a type of device called the HEXFET power MOSFET that would make his family’s old company, International Rectifier, more than $930 million in royalties. And it turned Lidow’s grandfather, a Lithuanian Holocaust survivor, and his father, who fled Berlin in 1937, into important players in the hardware industry.
Now, with the winds of history at his back, Lidow is embarking on a new mission: He’s trying to do nothing less than upend the tech industry’s reliance on silicon.
Last modified: April 12, 2017