Profound mourning at passing of Intel co-founder
`The world lost a giant,' Apple CEO Tim Cook says on death of tech icon
Silicon Valley continues to both mourn the loss and celebrate the legacy of Gordon Moore, the Intel and Fairchild Semiconductor co-founder and tech icon who died on March 24 at the age of 94 at his home in Hawaii.
“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,” Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted. “All of us who followed owe him a debt of gratitude. May he rest in peace.”
Cook was one of many from the tech world who took to social media to express their gratitude for the mighty contributions Moore made to the industry during his life.
“RIP Gordon Moore,” tweeted Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google. “His vision inspired so many of us to pursue technology, was an inspiration to me. Thoughts with his family and everyone at Intel.”
Moore will be remembered, of course, for starting Intel with Robert Noyce in 1968 in Mountain View. He'd serve at the nowsanta-clara-based company in one capacity or another — vice president, president, chairman of the board, CEO, chairman emeritus — until 2006. During that lengthy tenure, Moore would push the chipmaker to become one of the biggest and most innovative companies on the planet, in turn greatly helping Silicon Valley become the tech capital that it is today.
He is also the namesake of Moore's Law, a bold prediction he first made public in the mid-'60s that called for the number of transistors in an integrated chip would double every year. (A decade later, he'd update the forecast and call for a timeline of every two years.)
“Gordon Moore once said, `What can be done, can be outdone,” tweeted current Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger. “As stewards of his law, Intel will work relentlessly to exponentially outdo what he & Robert Noyce set out to do. He leaves behind a legacy that changed the lives of every person on the planet. His memory will live on.”
Ahmed Banafa, a computer engineering professor at San Jose State University, encouraged graduate students in one of his classes March 25 “to take a lesson from Moore's life and what he's done, and how humble he was.”
“I was emphasizing the fact that this is not history — these are lessons in entrepreneurship and technology,” he said.
In hindsight, Moore's Law now looks nothing short of prophetic, signaling just how quickly innovation would speed along over the next half century.
“Today we lost one of the true giants of our field,” tweeted Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of engineering at Google. “Since his contributions spanned so many decades, few today realize how enormous Moore's impact on the entire industry was. `Moore's Law' was a vision and a message, not a law, and he made it real.”
“You saw the future,” former Intel employee Sarvani Piratla tweeted after hearing about Moore's death. “Your work has made (an) exponential push in the way the world runs!”
The success of Intel catapulted Moore to become one of the richest men on the planet. Yet, he was known for giving generously, supporting environmental and other causes. In 2000, Moore and his wife of 72 years would found the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which go on to donate more than $5.1 billion to charitable causes, according to a news release from Intel.
In 2000, the foundation gifted Conservation International a $261 million grant, at the time the largest ever given to a private environmental conservation organization.
“Nature has lost one of its greatest champions,” M. Sanjayan, chief executive of the Virginia-based nonprofit, said in a statement. “Gordon Moore's historic gift to Conservation International was nothing short of transformational, allowing us to work with unprecedented speed and impact, in the world's biodiversity hotspots.”
An alumni of Caltech university in Pasadena, Moore and his foundation also donated over $600 million to support various academic research, scholarship programs and professorships.
“He helped shape Caltech through his leadership on the Board and through his generosity,” said Caltech President Thomas F. Rosenbaum in a statement. “Gordon's wisdom, his curiosity, his joy in life, and his humility will continue to inspire.”