In the 1950s, Gordon Moore began his work with semiconductors and went on to co-found Intel Corporation. He is most notably remembered for his prediction that computer processing power would double every year, which was later revised to every two years. This prediction, now known as Moore’s Law, became a fundamental principle for the computer processor industry and greatly influenced the PC revolution.
Moore had written in a paper two decades prior to the start of the computer revolution, that integrated circuits would pave the way for various technological advancements, such as home computers (or terminals connected to a central computer), automatic controls for automobiles, and personal portable communication devices.
He observed, in the 1965 article, that thanks to technological improvements the number of transistors on microchips had roughly doubled every year since integrated circuits were invented a few years earlier.
His prediction that this would continue became known as Moore’s Law, and it helped push chip makers to target their research to make this come true.
After Moore’s article was published, memory chips became more efficient and less expensive at an exponential rate.
After earning his PhD, Moore joined the Fairchild Semiconductor laboratory which manufactured commercially viable transistors and integrated circuits.
The expansion of that company lay the groundwork for the transformation of the peninsula of land south of San Francisco into what is now known as Silicon Valley.
In 1968 Moore and Robert Noyce left Fairchild to start Intel.
Moore’s work helped drive significant technological progress around the world and allowed for the advent of personal computers and Apple, Facebook and Google.
“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.
The Intel Corporation paid tribute to its co-founder, saying in a tweet: “we lost a visionary”.
Intel’s current CEO Pat Gelsinger said Gordon Moore had defined the technology industry through his insight and vision, and inspired technologists and entrepreneurs across the decades.
“He leaves behind a legacy that changed the lives of every person on the planet. His memory will live on.
“I am humbled to have known him,” Mr Gelsinger said in a tweet.
Moore dedicated his later life to philanthropy, after starting a foundation with his wife Betty that focused on environmental causes, known as the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
Among those causes included protecting the Amazon River basin and salmon streams in the US, Canada and Russia.
“Those of us who have met and worked with Gordon will forever be inspired by his wisdom, humility and generosity,” the foundation’s president Harvey Fineberg said.
In 2002, Moore received the Medal of Freedom – the highest civilian honor in the US – from President George W Bush.