Gordon Moore, co-founder and former CEO of Intel, has deceased at 94 years old. He was the last surviving member of the Intel Trinity, which also included fellow founder Robert Noyce and their first hire Andy Grove. Moore and Noyce previously worked with transistor co-inventor William Shockley before helping found Fairchild Semiconductor. In 1968, the two struck out on their own and founded NM Electronics, which eventually became Intel.
A few years earlier, in 1965, Moore had written an article that considered the miniaturization of computers. To be precise, he predicted that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would double every year, leading to the creation and production of smaller and more powerful chips which, in turn, would enable technological advances. His prediction was dubbed “Moore’s Law”, and it proved to be correct in the years that followed. In 1975 he adjusted his estimate of transistor doubling to every two years, although now top chipmakers to disagree if Moore’s Law still holds.
In 1979, Moore was named chairman of the board and CEO of Intel before relinquishing the latter role in 1987. He apparently mediated between Noyce and Grove, and he and Grove were the ones who decided that Intel would focus on microprocessors instead of continuing its memory business. The rest, as they say, is history. Before Moore left Intel altogether in 2006, he and his wife established the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation with $5 billion in funding. The foundation has supported environmental conservation efforts, primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has made donations to science and technology departments at various educational institutions.
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