Intel and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation have announced this evening that Gordon Moore, Intel’s famous co-founder and grandfather to much of the modern chip industry, has passed away. According to the company he passed peacefully at his home in Hawaii, surrounded by his family.

One of the original titans of the modern technology industry, Gordon Moore had a long and illustrious career in the then-nascent silicon chipmaking industry. Arguably best known for coining what developed into the eponymous Moore’s Law, Moore became a highly respected engineer and leader over his many years working at Fairchild Semiconductor, and later Intel. His long tenure also saw him collect numerous industry awards, as well as a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Gordon Moore started his technology career under William Shockley, the co-inventor of the transistor and founder of Shockley Semiconductor. He would then go on to work on silicon transistors and the first commercially viable integrated circuits at Fairchild Semiconductor – a contentious act that saw them labeled as the “traitorous eight”. Finally, in 1968, Moore and fellow traitor Robert Noyce would go on to found Intel, Moore’s longest and most influential period of work.

Between then and his retirement from Intel in 1997, when he stepped down as Intel’s chairman and became chairman emeritus, Moore oversaw the rise of a company that became, for many years, the undisputed leader of the microprocessor industry. During this time Intel launched its scores of groundbreaking products, including Intel’s initial memory products, of course, the Intel 8086 processor, the first of what became Intel’s critical x86 CPU lineup. After starting at Intel as an Executive VP, Moore would eventually go on to become president, and finally CEO of the company in 1979, serving in that position until 1987.

Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel Corporation, is interviewed by Tom Friedman in 2015 during 50th anniversary ceremonies of Moore's Law. Moore co-founded Intel Corporation in July 1968 and served the company as executive vice president, president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board. (Credit: Walden Kirsch/Intel Corporation)
Moore In 2015, Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Moore's Law

In 1965, Gordon Moore coined a phrase that later became Moore’s Law, stating that the number of components (transistors) in a circuit doubles every 12 months. This was later revised to 24 months in 1975. The phrase has been a mainstay when discussing the newest generation of hardware, and was the benchmark that many chip and fab developments were measured against for many years.

Following his retirement from Intel, Moore founded his Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation alongside his wife in 2000.  The foundation, which is still active, has to date donated more than $5.1 billion to charitable causes in fields of fields science, medicine, and environmental conservation.

Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO, said, “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. 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.”

While long since retired from Intel, Moore’s presence at the company has (and will) continue in a few different ways. Most recently, Intel renamed it’s Ronler Acres campus in Hillsboro, Oregon as the Gordon Moore Park at Ronler Acres. As well, the company maintains his desk at their Santa Clara headquarters, which our own Dr. Ian Cutress had a chance to visit in 2019.

Gordon Moore is survived by his wife of 73 years, Betty Moore, sons Kenneth and Steven, and four grandchildren.

Source: Intel

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  • Hifihedgehog - Saturday, March 25, 2023 - link

    My condolences to the loved ones of this silicon-studded pioneer in chipmaking. I cannot help but think however that his passing is a foreshadowing of the end of Intel's legacy as a leading innovator.
  • lmcd - Saturday, March 25, 2023 - link

    You actually can help it, at least for one posts' comment section!
  • Hifihedgehog - Saturday, March 25, 2023 - link

    Come again? I wrote an idiom.
  • mukiex - Saturday, March 25, 2023 - link

    Damn. Rough news.
  • WaltC - Saturday, March 25, 2023 - link

    Moore's law. Never actually a "law," but an opinion--a temporary observation/speculation at best based on the SoA tech when Moore voiced his observation. Unfortunately, Intel has used the phrase as marketing fluff for many years. He lived a full life, and a longer one than most. One of the genuine pioneers. RIP.
  • Threska - Saturday, March 25, 2023 - link

    Rule of thumb is more like it.
  • Silver5urfer - Saturday, March 25, 2023 - link

    A Legend, Mr. Gordon Moore.

    The old Intel and the many real chads of Semi conductor foundation are a part of that Intel. A transformation of America has changed the fate of the corporation forever. The good old days, I believe Mr. Moore and others had a fullest life back in that time in CA, USA.

    On a side note. All the Semi corporations know that Moore's Law is still alive. Intel does mention it so many times but that Nvidia CEO is just honorless by mentioning how it is dead and how his TAA utilizing DLSS upscaler GPUs are worth the unfair pricing.
  • 12xu - Saturday, March 25, 2023 - link

    he seemed like a good guy. when i joined intel in 1995, my cube was right next to his. in fact, the picture shown in this article shows where my cube was - by pole g4!

    of course, moore's law isn't a law. from

    Moore’s law isn’t really a law in the legal sense or even a proven theory in the scientific sense (such as E = mc2). Rather, it was an observation by the late Gordon Moore in 1965 while he was working at Fairchild Semiconductor: the number of transistors on a microchip (as they were called in 1965) doubled about every year.
  • Threska - Sunday, March 26, 2023 - link

    Big discussion on that.
  • 12xu - Sunday, March 26, 2023 - link

    nothing new in this video and the comments underneath it.

    oddly enough, moore's law does meet the definition of a 'law' - Law: A descriptive generalization about how some aspect of the natural world behaves under stated circumstances.

    so i stand corrected, if we are to believe

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