Gordon Moore, a microprocessor pioneer and cofounder of Intel, which was once the world’s largest semiconductor maker, died on Friday at the age of 94, according to Intel.
Moore was a titan in the modern era’s technical change, assisting corporations in bringing ever more powerful chips to ever smaller computers.
He cofounded Intel in July 1968 as an engineer, eventually becoming president, chief executive, and chairman of the board.
Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, said Moore died “surrounded by family at his home in Hawaii.”
In its early days, Intel was known for continuous innovation, growing to become one of the biggest, most important companies in technology.
Moore first proposed the notion that became known as “Moore’s Law” in a 1965 essay. It predicted that the power of integrated circuits will nearly double every year. He later changed the rule to make the doubling happen every two years.
The axiom held true for decades and became synonymous with the modern world’s rapid rate of technological progress.
“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.
Following receiving his PhD from CalTech, Moore and a colleague joined Fairchild Semiconductor Laboratories in 1957, one of the first companies to produce commercially viable transistors and integrated circuits.
As the corporation flourished, the seeds for the development of the peninsula of land south of San Francisco into what is now known as Silicon Valley were sown.
Moore and longstanding colleague Robert Noyce formed their own company in 1968, taking along a third, Andy Grove, who would go on to become Intel’s CEO.
Moore retired from Intel in 2006.
– ‘Silicon Valley’s founding father’ –
Over his lifetime, Moore donated more than $5.1 billion to charitable causes through the foundation he set up with his wife of 72 years, Betty.
“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,” said Harvey Fineberg, president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Leaders of Intel heaped tribute on Moore.
“He was instrumental in revealing the power of transistors, and inspired technologists and entrepreneurs across the decades,” said Intel chief executive Pat Gelsinger.
“He leaves behind a legacy that changed the lives of every person on the planet. His memory will live on,” Gelsinger added on Twitter.
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.”
“All of us who followed owe him a debt of gratitude,” Cook said on Twitter. “May he rest in peace.”