RCA research labs

Mike O'Dell mo at ccr.org
Tue Dec 26 21:02:49 CST 2006

when RCA was shopping it around, they couldn't find any takers at anything
like their price.  eventually it went for a pittance to SRI who operated
it for a while but got tired of it not making Big Bucks from  Big Gubmint
Contracts and went looking to get rid of it, er, "spin it off".
I don't remember the details of the transaction but when SRI set it free
was when it became Sarnoff Corp. the last time i knew what they were doing
was during the spin-off from SRI - they were big into video compression
and i think some of the HD video codecs make patent royalties for Sarnoff.

There was a while in the late 80s & early 90s when one of the big
Japanese electronics companies had a lab in Princeton, but it
was completely distinct from Sarnoff. I think it was Panasonic
(or their parent) but after a while and no killer products emerged,
they decided this "research" thing was too expensive and they
closed the lab.

there are still a couple of opto-electronics companies in the
Princeton area, started by Princeton faculty types. we've looked
at a couple but didn't invest in them.


hal feinstein wrote:
> No doubt you know about the demise of America's bestcommunications and 
> electronics laboratories.  TheBell System had Bell Lab and RCA had RCA 
> Laboratories.Under the rubric of "free trade" these laboratories, their 
> staffsand patents were sold off to the highest bidder.  I wondered 
> which/keretzu/ RCA labs disappeared into.    Surprisingly,a piece 
> remains, now called Sarnoff Corporation.This URL has a nice history RCA 
> Labs and Sarnoff Corp:
> http://www.sarnoff.com/about/history/index.asp
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