Semiconductor maker Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, the originator of a theory on the technological evolution of computer chips, died Friday at the age of 94, according to his former company.
In 1968, this doctor of chemistry created NM Electronics in collaboration with physicist Robert Noyce, nicknamed the “mayor of Silicon Valley”. A few months later, the two men bought the Intel name for 15,000 dollars. Gordon Moore served as the company’s CEO from 1979 to 1987.
In 1971, Intel markets the first microprocessor, the equivalent of a computer on a chip, a programmable processor which contains several thousand transistors, a revolution.
Intel is now the largest semiconductor maker in the United States and the third largest in the world by revenue, behind South Korea’s Samsung and Taiwan’s TSMC.
In 1965, while working for another company, Fairchild Semiconductor, Gordon Moore predicted, in an article published by Electronics magazine, that the density of transistors in microprocessors would double every year.
He will modify his projection in 1975, in an equally empirical way, to retain a doubling every two years. Another microchip pioneer, Carver Mead, calls this prophecy Moore’s Law.
The evolution of microprocessor capabilities has followed Moore’s Law for decades, increasing the performance of electronics and computing while driving down its costs.
According to several estimates, the cost of a transistor has been divided by several hundred million since the beginning of the 1960s. This evolution has made it possible to democratize computing and electronics, first with personal computers, then various devices , to the mobile phone.
The world lost a giant in Gordon Moore, who was one of Silicon Valley’s founding fathers and a true visionary who helped pave the way for the technological revolution. All of us who followed owe him a debt of gratitude. May he rest in peace.
“The world has lost a giant in Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Silicon Valley and a true visionary, who paved the way for the technological revolution,” tweeted Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Specialists predict that Moore’s law will soon no longer apply due to physical limits to the integration of transistors on a microprocessor.