Documentaries 🎬

The must-see documentaries about the chip industry

(Updated 21 October 2023)

I’ve been compiling the definitive list of must-see documentaries about the chip industry (with a little help from my curious clan). The list captures longer-form film documentaries (>45 mins) about key moments, innovations, players and pioneers. My personal rating has been added, ranging from 🍿 to a must-see 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿. 🤓Something missing? Drop me a line.

Silicon Valley

2014 | PBS | Available on the American Experience website and YouTube | 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿

The story about the pioneering American minds behind the microchip and Silicon Valley.

The Secret of ASML

2022 | VPRO’s Backlight | Available on VPRO website | 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿

Documentary about the people, culture and technology of ASML, the Dutch high tech company that makes the world’s most advanced chip machines.

The Podfather

2009 | BBC | 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿

Documentary telling the story of silicon chip inventor Robert Noyce, godfather of today’s digital world, and how he defined Silicon Valley’s unconventional, innovative culture.

Shima Kosaku Asian Entrepreneurs - TSMC and Morris Chang

2013 | Available on YouTube | 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿

NHK WORLD JAPAN’s Shima Kosaku (partly animated!) episode about TSMC and Morris Chang. Subbed in English.

🍿 Something Ventured

2011 | Available on AppleTV+ | 🍿🍿🍿

The story of how a few individuals built an industry that would go on to finance nearly all of the major advancements in technology in the past 50 years with companies such as Atari, Genentech, Apple, Intel and more.

🍿 TRIUMPH OF THE NERDS: The Rise of Accidental Empires

1996 | Originally aired on PBS, now on Amazon Prime and YouTube | 🍿🍿🍿🍿

For those who can't imagine a world without laptops and smartphones, TRIUMPH OF THE NERDS is a fascinating vintage 1996 series that reveals how the personal computing revolution happened. From the rise of Apple and Microsoft, to the fall of corporate giants like IBM, TRIUMPH OF THE NERDS explores who were the winners and losers in the race to dominate the personal computing market.