Intel Co-Founder Gordon Moore Dead at 94

Photo by Michelle Andonian (CC BY-ND 2.0) via Flickr
Gordon Moore

Originator of ‘Moore’s Law’ left a massive footprint in Oregon.

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Intel co-founder Gordon Moore died Friday at the age of 94 at his home in Hawaii, according to an announcement made by the company and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Moore founded Intel with Robert Noyce in July 1968 and served as the company’s executive vice president until 1975, when he became president. In 1979 Moore became chairman of the board and chief executive officer; he held those posts until 1987, when he resigned as CEO but continued as chairman. In 1997 he became chairman emeritus.

In 1965 Moore forecast that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would double every year; in 1975 he revised the estimate to every two years for the next 10 years. But the idea that electronics would continue to get cheaper, faster and smaller was borne out and dubbed Moore’s Law.

“All I was trying to do was get that message across, that by putting more and more stuff on a chip, we were going to make all electronics cheaper,” Moore said in a 2008 interview.

Moore was born in San Francisco and spent most of his life in California but leaves a massive footprint in Oregon. The company’s Hillsboro campus, established in the mid-1970s, employs 21,000 people — making Intel Oregon’s largest private employer.

In 2022 Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger announced that Intel’s Ronler Acres campus in Oregon would be renamed Gordon Moore Park at Ronler Acres. The RA4 building that’s home to much of Intel’s Technology Development Group was also renamed The Moore Center, along with its cafe, The Gordon.

“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,” Gelsinger said in a statement released jointly by the company and foundation Friday. “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.”

Before they established Intel, Moore and Noyce participated in the founding of Fairchild Semiconductor in San Jose, Calif., where they were involved in the first commercial production of diffused silicon transistors and, later, the world’s first commercially viable integrated units. Prior to that, they worked together under William Shockley, the founder ofShockley Semiconductor, which was the first semiconductor company established in the area that would eventually be dubbed the Silicon Valley.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which Moore founded with his wife in 2000, donated more than $5.1 billion to charitable causes. Its beneficiaries include the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, the University of Washington eScience Institute and the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

“Those of us who have met and worked with Gordon will forever be inspired by his wisdom, humility and generosity,” foundation president Harvey Fineberg said in the foundation’s statement. “Though he never aspired to be a household name, Gordon’s vision and his life’s work enabled the phenomenal innovation and technological developments that shape our everyday lives. Yet those historic achievements are only part of his legacy. His and Betty’s generosity as philanthropists will shape the world for generations to come.”

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