Silicon Valley titan Gordon Moore, one of the co-founders of chip-maker Intel and the creator of Moore’s Law, has passed away at age 94.
Intel and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announced that Gordon Moore died peacefully on Friday, “surrounded by family at his home in Hawaii”.
Moore and his longtime colleague Robert Noyce founded Intel in July 1968.
Prior to establishing Intel, Moore and Noyce participated in the founding of Fairchild Semiconductor, where they played central roles in the first commercial production of diffused silicon transistors and later the world’s first commercially viable integrated circuits.
At Intel, Moore initially served as executive vice president until 1975, when he became president.
In 1979, Moore was named chairman of the board and chief executive officer, posts he held until 1987, when he gave up the CEO position and continued as chairman. In 1997, Moore became chairman emeritus, stepping down in 2006.
During his lifetime, Moore also dedicated his focus and energy to philanthropy, particularly environmental conservation, science and patient care improvements.
Along with his wife of 72 years, he established the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which has donated more than $5.1 billion to charitable causes since its founding in 2000.
“Those of us who have met and worked with Gordon will forever be inspired by his wisdom, humility and generosity,” said Harvey Fineberg, foundation president.
Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO, said that Gordon Moore was instrumental in revealing the power of transistors, and inspired technologists and entrepreneurs across the decades.
“We at Intel remain inspired by Moore’s Law and intend to pursue it until the periodic table is exhausted,” he noted.
In addition to Moore’s seminal role in founding two of the world’s pioneering technology companies, he famously forecast in 1965 that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would double every year — a prediction that came to be known as Moore’s Law.
“All I was trying to do was get that message across, that by putting more and more stuff on a chip we were going to make all electronics cheaper,” Moore said in a 2008 interview.
With his 1965 prediction proven correct, in 1975 Moore revised his estimate to the doubling of transistors on an integrated circuit every two years for the next 10 years.
“Regardless, the idea of chip technology growing at an exponential rate, continually making electronics faster, smaller and cheaper, became the driving force behind the semiconductor industry and paved the way for the ubiquitous use of chips in millions of everyday products,” said the foundation.
In 2022, Gelsinger announced the renaming of the Ronler Acres campus in Oregon — where Intel teams develop future process technologies — to Gordon Moore Park at Ronler Acres.
Gordon Moore was born in San Francisco in 1929. He was educated at San Jose State University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the California Institute of Technology, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1954.
He received the National Medal of Technology from then President George H.W. Bush in 1990, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour, from then President George W. Bush in 2002.
In 1950, Moore married Betty Irene Whitaker, who survives him. Moore is also survived by sons Kenneth and Steven and four grandchildren.
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