Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, author of “Moore’s Law” that helped fuel the computing revolution, dies at 94

Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, a pioneer in the semiconductor industry whose “Moore’s Law” predicted steady increases in computing power for decades, died Friday at age 94, the company announced.

Intel (INTC) and Moore’s philanthropic foundation said he died surrounded by family at his home in Hawaii.

Moore co-founded Intel in 1968 and was the rolled-up engineer of a triumvirate of technology luminaries who eventually put “Intel Inside” processors in over 80% of the world’s PCs.

In an article he wrote in 1965, Moore noted that, thanks to improvements in technology, the number of transistors on microchips had roughly doubled every year since the invention of integrated circuits a few years earlier.

His prediction that the trend would continue became known as “Moore’s Law” and, later amended to every two years, helped push Intel and rival chipmakers to aggressively target their research and development resources to ensure that those rule of thumb came out.

“Integrated circuits will lead to miracles as home computers — or at least terminals connected to a central computer — automatic controls for automobiles and personal portable communication devices,” Moore wrote in his paper, two decades before the PC revolution and more than 40 years old. year ago. years before Apple launched the iPhone.

After Moore’s article, chips became more efficient and cheaper at an exponential rate, fueling much of the world’s technological advancements for half a century and bringing not only personal computers to market, but also the Internet and Silicon Valley giants, as Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB) And Google (GOOG).

“It sure is nice to be in the right place at the right time,” said Moore in an interview around 2005. “I was very lucky to get into the early stages of the semiconductor industry. moment. where we couldn’t make a single silicon transistor until the time we put 1.7 billion on one chip! It’s been a phenomenal ride.”

In recent years, Intel rivals such as Nvidia (NVDA) have argued that Moore’s law no longer holds because improvements in chip manufacturing have slowed.

But despite production disruptions that have caused Intel to lose market share in recent years, current CEO Pat Gelsinger has said he believes Moore’s Law still holds as the company invests billions of dollars in turnaround.

‘Accidental Entrepreneur’

Although he predicted the PC movement, Moore told Forbes magazine that he didn’t buy a home computer himself until the late 1980s.

Born in San Francisco, Moore earned a Ph.D. in chemistry and physics in 1954 from the California Institute of Technology.

He went to work at the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, where he met future Intel co-founder Robert Noyce. They were part of the “treacherous eight” and left in 1957 to launch Fairchild Semiconductor. In 1968, Moore and Noyce left Fairchild to found the memory chip company that would soon be called Intel, short for Integrated Electronics.

Moore and Noyce’s first hire was another Fairchild colleague, Andy Grove, who would lead Intel through much of its explosive growth in the 1980s and 1990s.

Moore described himself to Fortune magazine as an “accidental entrepreneur” who had no burning urge to start a business — but he, Noyce, and Grove formed a powerful partnership.

While Noyce had theories on how to solve chip engineering problems, Moore was the person who rolled up his sleeves and spent countless hours tweaking transistors and refining Noyce’s broad and sometimes ill-defined ideas, efforts that often paid off . Grove joined the group as Intel’s operations and management expert.

Moore’s obvious talent also inspired other engineers who worked for him, and under his leadership and that of Noyce, Intel invented the microprocessors that would open the way to the personal computer revolution.

He served as executive president until 1975, although he and CEO Noyce considered themselves equals. Moore served as chairman and CEO from 1979 to 1987 and remained chairman until 1997.

In 2023, Forbes magazine estimated his net worth at $7.2 billion.

A longtime sport fisherman, Moore pursued his passion around the world and in 2000, he and his wife, Betty, established a foundation focused on environmental causes. The foundation, which took on projects such as protecting the Amazon basin and salmon streams in the US, Canada and Russia, was funded by Moore’s donation of about $5 billion in Intel stock.

He also donated hundreds of millions to his alma mater, the California Institute of Technology, to keep it at the forefront of technology and science, and supported the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence project known as SETI.

Moore received a Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the country, from President George W. Bush in 2002. He and his wife had two children.






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