Gordon Moore, Intel co-founder, author of Moore’s Law, dies at 94

March 27, 2023
In addition to co-founding Intel in 1968, Moore was among the founders of Fairchild Semiconductor as a division of Fairchild Camera and Instrument in 1957.

Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel and Fairchild Semiconductor as well as creator of “Moore’s Law,” died March 24, 2023, at the age of 94. Intel and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which Moore and his wife, Betty, founded in 2000, announced Moore’s death that day, stating he died peacefully at his home in Hawaii. The cause of death was not revealed.

Moore and Robert Noyce founded Intel (originally as NM Electronics) in July 1968, with Moore assuming the role of executive vice president. He became president in 1975 and chairman of the board and chief executive officer in 1979. He gave up the CEO role in 1987, then became chairman emeritus in 1997. He stepped down from that position in 2006.

Before co-founding Intel, Moore and Noyce were among the founders of Fairchild Semiconductor as a division of Fairchild Camera and Instrument in 1957. While there, they helped bring about the first commercial production of diffused silicon transistors and later the world’s first commercially viable integrated circuits. Prior to Fairchild, Moore and Noyce worked together under William Shockley, the co-inventor of the transistor and founder of Shockley Semiconductor.

In 1965, while still at Fairchild, Moore predicted in an article in Electronics Magazine that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would double every year for at least the next decade. The prediction proved so accurate that it was dubbed Moore’s Law. Moore revised his prediction in 1975, slowing the growth rate to doubling every two years for the succeeding 10 years.

“Gordon Moore defined the technology industry through his insight and vision. He was instrumental in revealing the power of transistors, and inspired technologists and entrepreneurs across the decades,” said Pat Gelsinger, Intel’s current CEO. “We at Intel remain inspired by Moore’s Law and intend to pursue it until the periodic table is exhausted. Gordon’s vision lives on as our true north as we use the power of technology to improve the lives of every person on Earth. My career and much of my life took shape within the possibilities fueled by Gordon’s leadership at the helm of Intel, and I am humbled by the honor and responsibility to carry his legacy forward.”

Early life

Gordon Earle Moore was born in San Francisco on January 3, 1929, to Walter Harold and Florence Almira “Mira” (Williamson) Moore. He attended San Jose State University, the University of California at Berkeley, and the California Institute of Technology, where he received a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1954. He started his research career at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland before returning to California in 1956 to join Shockley Semiconductor.

Moore married Betty Irene Whitaker, who survives him, in 1950. Moore is also survived by sons Kenneth and Steven and four grandchildren.

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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