Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel and a pioneer in the microprocessor industry, passed away at the age of 94. Moore was a significant figure in the technological transformation of the modern age, helping companies bring ever more powerful chips to smaller and smaller computers. He co-founded Intel in July 1968 and served as its president, chief executive, and chairman of the board. In 1965, Moore observed that the number of transistors on microchips had roughly doubled every year since integrated circuits were invented a few years before. His prediction that the trend would continue became known as “Moore’s Law,” which helped push Intel and rival chipmakers to aggressively target their research and development resources to make sure that rule of thumb came true.
Moore’s article led to chips becoming more efficient and less expensive at an exponential rate, driving much of the world’s technological progress for half a century. It allowed the advent of not just personal computers but also the internet and Silicon Valley giants like Apple, Facebook, and Google. Despite manufacturing stumbles that caused Intel to lose market share in recent years, current Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger has said he believes Moore’s Law still holds as the company invests billions of dollars in a turnaround effort.
Over his lifetime, Moore donated more than $5.1bn to charitable causes through the foundation he set up with his wife of 72 years, Betty. Leaders of Intel heaped tribute on Moore, with Gelsinger stating that he was instrumental in revealing the power of transistors and inspired technologists and entrepreneurs across the decades. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a tweet that Moore’s vision “inspired so many of us to pursue technology,” while Apple CEO Tim Cook called him “one of Silicon Valley’s founding fathers.”
Moore’s legacy is world-changing, enabling phenomenal innovation and technological developments that shape our everyday lives. His memory will live on, and all of us who followed owe him a debt of gratitude.