UNDERSTANDING SILICON VALLEY
About Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley refers to a region in the South San Francisco Bay Area, made notable by the number of technology companies which started and are are headquartered there. The term rose to prominence in the 1970’s to in reference to the region’s development of and technological reliance on the silicon transistor, used in all modern microprocessors.
Currently one of the wealthiest regions in the world, the Silicon Valley is known as a global center of technological innovation. The Silicon Valley centers around the region’s largest city, San Jose. In 2015, the Brookings Institution ranked San Jose third in the world in per-capita gross domestic product, behind Zurich, Switzerland and Oslo, Norway. In May 2012, the New York Times reported that 14% of households in Santa Clara County and neighboring San Mateo County earn more than $200,000 per year.
Many high-profile technology companies have been founded in the Silicon Valley, making the region attractive target for venture capitalist investors. In 2017, the most valuable companies headquartered in the Silicon Valley include Alphabet (formerly known as Google), Apple, Chevron, Cisco Systems, Facebook, Intel, Netflix, Nvidia, Oracle, Visa and Wells Fargo. As of 2018, 39 Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered in the Silicon Valley.