Gordon Moore, Intel co-founder and tech pioneer dies aged 94

27 Mar 2023

Gordon Moore in 2008. Image: OnInnovation (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Moore is known as a key figure behind Intel’s microprocessor technology, while his ‘Moore’s Law’ predictions on computer power became widely accepted.

Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, a pioneer in the semiconductor industry who predicted the rapid rise in computer power, has died at the age of 94.

The announcement was made by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which Moore set up with his wife in 2000 to support scientific discovery. The foundation said Moore died peacefully on 24 March, surrounded by family at his home in Hawaii.

Moore and his colleague Robert Noyce founded Intel in July 1968, where Moore served as executive vice president until 1975, when he became president. He remained in top positions within Intel for decades, becoming chair of the board and CEO in 1979.

He gave up the position of CEO in 1987, but remained as chair until 1997, when he became chair emeritus. Moore finally stepped down from Intel entirely in 2006 to devote his later years to philanthropy.

Moore’s work within Intel helped the company develop its microprocessor technology, which is now used in most of the world’s computers. Intel’s expansion is said to have laid the groundwork for the rise of Silicon Valley as a key location for tech companies.

A photo of Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, leaning on the table and holding a pair of glasses in his right hand.

An undated photo of Gordon Moore working in Intel. Image: Intel

In 1965, Moore wrote an article in which he predicted that – thanks to technological advances – the number of transistors incorporated in a densely populated chip would double every year, which he later revised to every two years.

This prediction became known as Moore’s Law and has been used by chipmakers as a target for their constant innovations.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said Moore “defined the technology industry” with his insight and vision, being instrumental in revealing the power of transistors and inspiring “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,” Gelsinger said. “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 fuelled by Gordon’s leadership at the helm of Intel, and I am humbled by the honor and responsibility to carry his legacy forward.”

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Gordon Moore in 2008. Image: OnInnovation via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic