April 11, 2005 – Albert Soffa, 84, co-founder of semi equipment supplier Kulicke & Soffa Industries (K&S), died Sunday, April 10. While working as a patent engineer at Proctor Electric (now Proctor-Silex), Soffa met Frederick W. Kulicke, Jr., and in 1951 they formed what became Kulicke & Soffa Manufacturing Company. The startup became known for developing a machine for making transistors — noted universally as the first wire and die bonder — for Bell Labs. K&S chairman and CEO Scott Kulicke commented that “Al Soffa was one of the true pioneers in the development of modern semiconductor equipment.”
Soffa became president of K&S in 1962 and chairman in 1967. Among his achievements was winning the SEMI award in 1985 for his contributions to advances in wire-bonding technology. His interest in development of future technologies was evident in his pursuits. After his retirement in 1986, Soffa actively participated in professional, educational, and philanthropic organizations, including the Ben Franklin Technology Partnership of Southeastern Pennsylvania, which supports new technology startups in the region.