Semiconductor pioneer Gordon Moore dies

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The co-founder of the US chip manufacturer Intel was 94 years old. He laid a central foundation for Silicon Valley.

Gordon Moore made billionaire through Intel

Semiconductor pioneer Gordon Moore died surrounded by family at his home in Hawaii, according to his charitable foundation and chip giant Intel, which he co-founded with.

Moore's prognosis of a constantly increasing performance of computer chips shaped the electronics industry for decades. In the mid-1960s, he predicted that the number of transistors on a chip would double at regular intervals. First he named one year as the period for this, a decade later he raised the deadline to two years. The prediction proved so reliable that it became known as “Moore's Law” and companies based their product strategy on it.

Moore's first company gave birth to the idea of ​​the microchip

More transistors in the same area means more energy efficiency and the possibility to build ever smaller and more powerful devices. Ultimately, in a time of huge computers, Moore predicted their miniaturization to today's computer clocks. In the meantime, the pace of consolidation has slowed down because developers are reaching the physical limits of the materials and further miniaturization is becoming more and more complex and expensive.

The future of the chip industry

Moore studied chemistry and came into the semiconductor industry through a job with industry pioneer William Shockley. He was among eight rogue employees who, frustrated with Shockley's management style, resigned and founded Fairchild Semiconductor.

There the idea of ​​bundling several transistors on a piece of the semiconductor material silicon – the microchip – was advanced. Fairchild's chips were used, among other things, in the control computer of the Apollo 11 moon landing unit. The company's success was a key cornerstone for Silicon Valley.

Integrated Electronics Corporation, Intel for short, came into being in 1968

Moore and his colleagues such as Robert Noyce also recognized in faster than others the industry that chips are finding a much larger market in the consumer segment beyond the initial military and space business. In 1968, Moore and Noyce formed the new company Integrated Electronics Corporation, which became known by the abbreviated name Intel. Moore held the chief post there from 1975 to 1987.

Intel made Moore a billionaire. He and his wife Betty founded the charitable Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which works to protect the San Francisco Bay, among other things.

pg/haz (dpa, rtr)