Intel Co-Founder Gordon Moore, Tech Pioneer Behind Moore’s Law, Dies At 94

Moore, who along with former Fairchild alumni Robert Boyce co-founded Intel and in the process shaped the IT industry, was best known for Moore’s Law which states that the number of components in an integrated circuit would double every two years.


Intel co-founder Gordon Moore

Gordon Moore, who along with Robert Noyce founded Intel Corp. and on the way shaped the entire IT industry as we know it today, has died at the age of 94.

Intel and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Friday said that Moore died Friday at his home in Hawaii.

Moore was born on Jan. 3, 1929 in San Francisco.

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While Noyce was Intel’s first CEO, Moore served as Intel’s executive president from the company’s founding until 1975, when he took over as president. Two years later, he was named Intel chairman and CEO. In 1987, he passed the CEO baton to Andrew “Andy” Grove, who joined Intel the day it was founded but was not a co-founder.

Moore is best known as the person behind the observation known as Moore’s Law.

Moore, who before co-founding Intel, was a co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor, the company most responsible for making possible what is now known as Silicon Valley. Fairchild Semiconductor was the first company to develop diffused silicon transistors before going on to develop the world’s first commercially viable integrated circuits.

While at Fairchild, Moore in 1965 said that the number of components in an integrated circuit would double every year, and that it would do so for at least a decade. That notion became known as Moore’s Law. A decade later, Moore revised his forecast to say the number of components would double every two years.

While some in the IT industry, most notably Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang have stated that Moore’s law is no longer applicable, as of now it still appears to be a constant. However, that constant may be somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy given that Moore’s Law is used as a guide for development.

Noyce died at age 62 on June 3, 1990. Grove passed away seven years and one day before Moore did.

Moore had a huge impact on the IT industry, said John Woodall, vice president of solutions architecture West at General Datatech, a Dallas-based solution provider and MSP.

“Wow!” Woodall told CRN via text message. “He shaped our industry with an understanding of what the physical bounds were but knowing that progress was inevitable. He was a visionary that stood out in a sea of visionaries. He was a philanthropist, and helped build the world that now more than ever moves at the speed of thought. What an amazing legacy he had left us with.”

Moore brought order to an industry that needed it, said Mark Gonzalez, regional vice president of sales at ePlus, a Herndon, Va.-based solution provider.

“The IT world was full of unpredictability and hypotheses before Gordon,” Gonzalez told CRN via text message. “He brought order and predictability into an otherwise chaotic industry. Few men can claim to have said something so profound that it changed an entire industry forever and [that] a law was named after him - in life. Gordon Moore was such a giant among men. With his passing, somehow today seems like a less predictable world.”

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said in a statement that 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,” Gelsinger said. “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.”