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Industrial region, west-central California. Roughly bounded by San Francisco Bay on the north, the Santa Cruz Mountains on the west, and the Diablo Range on the east, it takes its (unofficial) name from the extensive use of silicon in the region's electronics industries. The U.S. government invested heavily in the region's industry following World War II. A second economic surge occurred with the proliferation of personal computers in the 1980s, and a third surge followed the growth of the Internet in the 1990s.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Silicon Valley, visit Britannica.com.