Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, creator of 'Moore's Law,' dies at 94
Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, died at 94.
Gordon Moore, Intel's co-founder, was a pioneer in semiconductor technology. His "Moore's Law", which predicted an increase in computing power over the decades, was announced by the company on Friday.
Moore and Intel's family foundation for philanthropic support said that he died in the company of his family at their home 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Nvidia and Intel rivals have claimed that Moore's Law is no longer valid as chip manufacturing has slowed down.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 to Forbes magazine 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.
Moore's evident talent inspired others engineers who worked for him. Under Noyce's leadership Intel created the microprocessors that would lead to the personal computer revolution.
Although he was the executive president from 1979 to 1987, he and CEO Noyce were considered equals. Moore served as chairman and CEO from 1979 to 1987, and he was still chairman in 1997.
Forbes magazine put his net worth at $7.2 Billion in 2023.
Moore was an avid sport fisherman who pursued his passion around the globe. In 2000, he and Betty started a foundation to support environmental causes. Moore donated $5 billion worth of Intel stock to fund the foundation. This included projects like protecting the Amazon River basin or salmon streams in America, Canada, and Russia.
To keep his alma mater, California Institute of Technology at the forefront of science and technology, he also donated hundreds of millions and supported the Search for Extraterrestrial intelligence project, known as SETI.
In 2002, President George W. Bush awarded Moore the Medal of Freedom. This is the highest civilian honor in the country. He was married to his second wife, and they had two children.