Gordon Moore, the co-founder and former CEO of Intel, has passed away at the age of 94. As the last surviving member of the Intel Trinity, Moore, along with fellow founder Robert Noyce and their first hire Andy Grove, played a crucial role in shaping the modern semiconductor industry. Moore and Noyce had previously worked with William Shockley, the co-inventor of the transistor, before founding Fairchild Semiconductor. In 1968, they established NM Electronics, which later became Intel.
In 1965, a few years before founding Intel, Moore penned a paper that foresaw the miniaturization of computers. Specifically, he predicted that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would double every year, resulting in the development and production of smaller, more powerful chips that would drive technological advancements. This prediction, known as “Moore’s Law,” proved accurate in the following years. By 1975, Moore adjusted his estimate for the doubling of transistors to every two years. However, today, top chipmakers disagree on whether Moore’s Law still holds true.
Moore was named chairman of the board and CEO at Intel in 1979 and relinquished the CEO role in 1987. He reportedly served as a mediator between Noyce and Grove, and together with Grove, decided that Intel should focus on microprocessors instead of continuing with its memory business. This decision paved the way for Intel’s future success. Before fully retiring from Intel in 2006, Moore and his wife established the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation with $5 billion in funding. The foundation primarily supported environmental conservation efforts, predominantly in the San Francisco Bay area. Additionally, the foundation donated to various educational institutions’ science and technology departments, furthering research and development in these fields.
Gordon Moore’s passing marks the end of an era, as he was the last surviving member of the Intel Trinity. His contributions to the semiconductor industry, particularly through the formulation of Moore’s Law, have had a profound impact on the evolution of technology. His prediction of the doubling of transistors on integrated circuits led to the creation of increasingly powerful and compact devices, enabling advancements in computing that continue to shape our world today.
Beyond his professional achievements, Moore’s philanthropic efforts, through the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, have left a lasting legacy in the realms of environmental conservation and education. His passing is a significant loss to the technology industry, but his legacy will undoubtedly live on through the advancements and innovations he helped set in motion.