HomeTechnologyGordon Moore, Intel Co-Founder, Dies At 94

Gordon Moore, Intel Co-Founder, Dies At 94

Intel on Friday announced that the company co-founder Gordon Moore died on March 24, at the age of 94. Moore is credited for setting the course for the future of the semiconductor industry. The foundation reported that Moore died peacefully on Friday surrounded by family at his home in Hawaii.

Moore and Robert Noyce founded Intel in July 1968. Moore initially served as executive vice president until 1975, then he became president of Intel. In 1979, Moore was named chairman and CEO of Intel, posts he held until 1987. In 1997, Moore became chairman emeritus, stepping down in 2006.

Moore’s Law was born out of his famous prediction that computing power would double every two years (later changed to every year). That “law” shaped the PC revolution and served as the foundation for the industry of computer processors. Moore wrote in a paper that integrated circuits would lead “to such wonders as home computers – or at least terminals connected to a central computer – automatic controls for automobiles, and personal portable communications equipment”.

During his lifetime, Moore also dedicated his focus and energy to philanthropy, particularly environmental conservation, science, and patient care improvements, Intel said in a press release. Along with his wife, Moore established the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO, said, “Gordon Moore defined the technology industry through his insight and vision. He was instrumental in revealing the power of transistors, and inspired technologists and entrepreneurs across the decades. We at Intel remain inspired by Moore’s Law, and intend to pursue it until the periodic table is exhausted. Gordon’s vision lives on as our true north as we use the power of technology to improve the lives of every person on Earth. My career and much of my life took shape within the possibilities fueled by Gordon’s leadership at the helm of Intel, and I am humbled by the honor and responsibility to carry his legacy forward.”

Google CEO Sunder Pichai also paid his tribute to Moore. He tweeted, “RIP Gordon Moore. His vision inspired so many of us to pursue technology, was an inspiration to me. Thoughts with his family and everyone at Intel.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “The world lost a giant in Gordon Moore, who was one of Silicon Valley’s founding fathers and a true visionary who helped pave the way for the technological revolution. All of us who followed owe him a debt of gratitude. May he rest in peace.”

How Gordon Moore Contributed To Rise Of Semiconductor Industry 

Gordon Moore was born in San Francisco on January 3, 1929, to Walter Harold and Florence Almira “Mira” (Williamson) Moore. Moore was educated at the University of California at Berkeley, and the California Institute of Technology, where he was awarded a PhD in chemistry in 1954.

He started his research career at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland. He returned to California in 1956 to join Shockley Semiconductor. It was the first semiconductor company established in what would become Silicon Valley. William Shockley the founder of Shockley Semiconductor was also the co-inventor of the transistor. 

In 1957, Moore co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor, a division of Fairchild Camera and Instrument, along with Robert Noyce and six other colleagues from Shockley Semiconductor. At Fairchild Semiconductor, Moore played a central role in the first commercial production of diffused silicon transistors and later the world’s first commercially viable integrated circuits (IC). 

Eleven years later, Moore and Noyce co-founded Intel. Moore and Noyce also hired future Intel CEO Andy Grove as the third employee, and the three of them built Intel into one of the world’s great companies.

In addition to Moore’s seminal role in founding two of the world’s pioneering technology companies, he famously forecast in 1965 that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would double every year – a prediction that came to be known as Moore’s Law.

“All I was trying to do was get that message across, that by putting more and more stuff on a chip we were going to make all electronics cheaper,” Moore said in a 2008 interview.

With his 1965 prediction proven correct, in 1975 Moore revised his estimate to the doubling of transistors on an integrated circuit every two years for the next 10 years. Regardless, the idea of chip technology growing at an exponential rate, continually making electronics faster, smaller, and cheaper, became the driving force behind the semiconductor industry and paved the way for the ubiquitous use of chips in millions of everyday products.

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