Gordon Moore (1929–)

Kiosk facade by Mike Mosher
Gordon Moore is not a hitchhiker in The Valley of Heart's Delight this summer. He is minding the kiosk at the San Jose Convention Center, South Hall.


With Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore founded the chipmaker Intel Corporation in the summer of 1968, and was later CEO and Chairman.

This inquisitive and experimental San Francisco kid lit a cache of homemade dynamite on Sand Hill Road at age 11. He was educated at San Jose State, UC Berkeley and finally CalTech, the last of whom to which he has been very generous.

One of Shockley's mutinous eight, Gordon Moore is remembered as both optimist and lawgiver. With Moore's Law, published in an article the April 1965 issue of Electronics Magazine, he declares that the number of transistors that could be placed on a computer chip doubles every eighteen months. This would mean computers would be about a hundred times more powerful after a decade; 10,000,000,000 more powerful after fifty years. He later modified the time frame to every two years, but the chip industry has continually used the Law as a benchmark for each generation of microprocessors.

Another important law that I learned in (or in opposition to) Silicon Vally is now my professional watchword: "No man in a hurry is entirely civilized". The state of Michigan currently pays me a salary to be a civilizing influence on its youth. As I teach them the design of digital technology interfaces, and dogma like Moore's Law, I have to consciously remember to model the graceful, visibly unhurried, eminently civilized life.


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