SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel Corp., set the breakneck pace of progress in the digital age with a simple 1965 prediction of how quickly engineers would increase the capabilities of computer chips. He was 94 years old.
Moore died Friday at his home in Hawaii, according to Intel and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Moore, who had a Ph.D. In chemistry and physics, he made his famous observation—now known as “Moore’s Law”—three years before he helped found Intel in 1968. fields.
The forecast, which Moore said he made on graph paper, based on what was happening with chips at the time, said that the power and complexity of integrated circuits would double every year.
Strictly speaking, Moore’s observation was about the doubling of transistors on a semiconductor. But over the years, it has been used in hard drives, computer monitors and other electronic devices, proving that roughly every 18 months a new generation of products makes their predecessors obsolete.
It has become the standard for progress and innovation in the tech industry.
“This is the human spirit. That’s what created Silicon Valley,” said Carver Mead, a retired Caltech computer scientist who coined the term “Moore’s Law” in the early 1970s. “This is the real thing.”
Moore later became known for his philanthropy when he and his wife founded the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which focuses on environmental protection, science, patient care and projects in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since its inception in 2000, it has donated more than $5.1 billion to charitable causes.
“Those of us who met and worked with Gordon will forever be inspired by his wisdom, humility and generosity,” Foundation President Harvey Feinberg said in a statement.
Moore was born in California in 1929. As a boy, he loved the chemistry set.
After receiving his Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology in 1954, he briefly worked as a researcher at Johns Hopkins University.
His entry into microchips began when he went to work with William Shockley, who shared the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention of the transistor. Less than two years later, Moore and seven colleagues left the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory after growing tired of the practice of managing his name.
The defection by the “Traitorous Eight,” as the group came to be known, planted the seeds for Silicon Valley’s renegade culture, in which engineers who disagreed with their colleagues were not afraid to become rivals.
In 1957, Shockley’s defectors formed Fairchild Semiconductor, which became one of the first companies to produce an integrated circuit, a refinement of the transistor.
Fairchild supplied the chips that went into the first computers used by astronauts in spaceships.
In 1968, Moore and Robert Noyce, one of the eight engineers who left Shockley, struck again. With $500,000 of their own money and the backing of venture capitalist Arthur Rock, they founded Intel, a name based on a portmanteau of the words “integrated” and “electronics.”
Moore became Intel’s CEO in 1975. His term as CEO ended in 1987, and he was thought to have stayed on as chairman for another 10 years. He was Honorary Chairman from 1997 to 2006.
He received the National Medal of Technology from President George W. Bush in 1990 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2002.
Despite his wealth and recognition, Moore remained known for his modesty. In 2005, he referred to Moore’s Law as “a lucky guess that received far more publicity than it deserved.”
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Betty, sons Kenneth and Steven, and four grandchildren.
Copyright 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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