Gordon Moore, who co-founded Intel Corporation and designed and manufactured the semiconductor chips used to power computers, died Friday in Hawaii. He was 94.
His death was announced in a joint news release by Intel and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. No cause was given.
In 1965, Moore predicted that computer power would double each year for a decade, an assertion he modified to every two years during the 1970s, The Washington Post reported. His prediction that computer capacity would grow was called Moore’s Law, according to the newspaper.
Moore, who had a Ph.D. in chemistry and physics, made his prediction three years before he helped start Intel with Robert Noyce in 1968, The New York Times reported.
Moore and Noyce advocated the use of the thin chips of silicon, which helped computers operate faster and with more efficiency, according to the newspaper.
The introduction of silicon through Intel allowed U.S. manufacturers to overtake the Japanese in the computer data processing field, the Times reported. By the 1990s, Intel had placed its microprocessors in 80% of computers made worldwide.
“It’s what made Silicon Valley,” Carver Mead, a retired California Institute of Technology computer scientist,” told the AP 40 years after he dubbed the process “Moore’s Law,” the Post reported.
“Innovation in electronics has as much to do with vision as it does with tinkering, and Gordon Moore saw the future better than anyone in the last 50 years,” Michael S. Malone, author of “The Intel Trinity,” a 2014 history of the company, told the newspaper. “The industry didn’t measure its performance by Moore’s Law. It designed and targeted its goals based on it, turning the law into a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
In 1971, Intel introduced the first integrated circuit, the Post reported. The microprocessor had 2,300 transistors on a 12-square-millimeter of silicon — smaller than the size of a thumbnail, according to the newspaper.
Moore was born in California in 1929, according to the AP. He received his doctorate from the California University of Technology in 1954 and worked briefly as a researcher at Johns Hopkins University.
Moore then worked for William Shockley, who shared the Nobel Prize for physics in 1956 for inventing the transistor. Two years later, Moore and seven colleagues left Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, according to the news organization.
After helping to found Intel, Moore served as the company’s chief executive from 1975 to 1987, the Times reported. He remained as the company’s chairman until 1997, according to the newspaper.
“Those of us who have met and worked with Gordon will forever be inspired by his wisdom, humility and generosity,” Harvey Fineberg, president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, said in a statement. “Though he never aspired to be a household name, Gordon’s vision and his life’s work enabled the phenomenal innovation and technological developments that shape our everyday lives. Yet those historic achievements are only part of his legacy. His and Betty’s generosity as philanthropists will shape the world for generations to come.”
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