Monday, March 27, 2023

Gordon Moore, RIP

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (Hacker News, MacRumors):

By 1950, after transferring to the University of California at Berkeley from San Jose State University, Gordon had earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He and Betty were married that same year at a small church in Santa Clara, and set out together for Pasadena, where he was awarded his Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1954.

After graduating from Caltech, Gordon moved east for a job in research with the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. In early 1956, he was recruited west again by William Shockley, the soon-to-be Nobel Laureate who had, with his team at Bell Labs, invented the transistor. By 1957, Shockley’s abrasive management approach and fluid direction for Shockley Semiconductor prompted Gordon and seven of his colleagues to exit the company and form Fairchild Semiconductor.


Eleven years later, Moore and Noyce co-founded Intel.

Holcomb B. Noble and Katie Hafner:

Mr. Moore had wanted to be a teacher but could not get a job in education. He later called himself an “accidental entrepreneur” because he became a billionaire as a result of an initial $500 investment in the fledgling microchip business, which turned electronics into one of the world’s largest industries.

And it was he, his colleagues said, who saw the future. In 1965, in what became known as Moore’s Law, he predicted that the number of transistors that could be placed on a silicon chip would double at regular intervals for the foreseeable future, thus increasing the data-processing power of computers exponentially.

Walden Kirsch:

By all accounts, Moore was neither brash nor in-your-face like Grove. Nor was he charismatic and high-energy like Noyce. The “law” that bears his name was not self-proclaimed, but popularized by a Cal Tech professor in the mid-1970s. As one measure of his modesty, Moore once confessed to biographer Leslie Berlin that he was “embarrassed to have it called Moore’s Law for a long time.”

Update (2023-04-04): EE Times (via Om Malik):

In tribute to his visionary mind and work, we are reviving below an interview he gave EE Times after receiving the EE Times Annual Creativity in Electronics (ACE) Award for his lifetime achievement at a ceremony in San Francisco on March 9, 2005. Moore sat down with EE Times editors to discuss the industry’s past, present and future.

Thank you, Gordon Moore, for inspiring generations of engineers and paving the way for the future of the semiconductor industry.

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