Intel Corp (INTC.O. ) Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel Corp , has died at the age 94. He was a pioneer in semiconductor technology and his “Moore’s Law”, which predicted an increase in computing power over the decades, was announced by the company.
Moore and Intel’s family foundation for philanthropy said that he died in the company of his family in Hawaii.
Moore co-founded Intel in 1968. He was part of a trio of technology luminaries who eventually placed “Intel Inside” processors in over 80% of all the world’s personal computer systems.
Moore wrote an article in 1965 that pointed out that the number of transistors in microchips has roughly doubled each year since integrated circuits were first invented.
Moore’s Law, his prediction that this trend would continue, was later referred to as “Moore’s Law”. It was amended to every two-years to reflect the fact that Intel and other chipmakers were able to more aggressively target their research, development, and production resources in order to ensure that Moore’s Law became a reality.
Moore wrote that integrated circuits would lead to “miracles” such as home computers, or terminals connected to one central computer, automatic controls for automobiles and personal portable communication equipment. This was two decades before the PC revolution, and 40 years before Apple introduced the iPhone.
Moore’s article led to chips becoming more efficient and cheaper at an exponential rate. This helped drive much of the technological progress in the world for the past half century. It also allowed the advent of personal computers as well as the internet and Silicon Valley giants such Apple, Facebook, and Google.
Moore stated that it was a pleasure to be in the right place at a good time. This interview was conducted around 2005. “It was a great opportunity to enter the semiconductor industry at its infancy. It was a great opportunity to learn and grow, from the point where there were no silicon transistors to the point where there were 1.7 billion on one chip. It’s been an amazing ride.”
Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O), Intel’s rival, has argued that Moore’s Law is no longer valid as chip manufacturing improvements have slowed down.
However, despite recent market share losses in Intel’s manufacturing sector, Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger stated that Moore’s Law is still valid as Intel invests billions in a turnaround plan.
Moore admitted that even though he had predicted the PC revolution, he didn’t buy a computer at home until the 1980s.
Moore, a native of San Francisco, earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry and Physics at the California Institute of Technology in 1954.
He began his career at the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, where he met Robert Noyce, future cofounder of Intel. They were part of the “traitorous 8” and left in 1957 to start Fairchild Semiconductor. Moore and Noyce quit Fairchild in 1968 to form the memory chip company Intel.
Moore and Noyce were first to hire Andy Grove, a Fairchild colleague who would be leading Intel’s explosive growth through the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.
Fortune magazine described Moore as an “accidental entrepreneur”, but Grove, Noyce, and Moore formed a formidable partnership.
Moore, despite Noyce having theories on how to solve chips engineering problems, was the one who worked tirelessly and reworked Noyce’s vague ideas. These efforts often paid off. Grove was the operations and management specialist for Intel.