Gordon Moore

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For the British admiral, see Gordon Moore (Royal Navy officer). For the British philosopher, see G. E. Moore.
Gordon Moore
Gordon Moore.jpg
Moore in 2004
Born Gordon Earle Moore
(1929-01-03) January 3, 1929 (age 86)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Fields Entrepreneur
Electrical engineering
Institutions Intel
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
San Jose State University
University of California, Berkeley
California Institute of Technology
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Alma mater San Jose State University
University of California, Berkeley (B.S., 1950)
California Institute of Technology (Ph.D., 1954)
Thesis I. Infrared Studies of Nitrous Acid, The Chloramines and Nitrogen Dioxide
II. Observations Concerning the Photochemical Decomposition of Nitric Oxide
Known for Intel
Moore's law
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Notable awards National Medal of Technology (1990)
John Fritz Medal (1993)
IEEE Founders Medal (1997)
Computer History Museum Fellow (1998)[1]
Othmer Gold Medal (2001)
Perkin Medal (2004)
Nierenberg Prize (2006)
IEEE Medal of Honor (2008)
Presidential Medal of Freedom
External video
Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce at Intel in 1970.png
“Rather than becoming something that chronicled the progress of the industry, it became something that drove it.”, ASML's 'Our Stories', Gordon Moore about Moore's Law, ASML Holding
External video
Gordon Moore Scientists You Must Know.png
“This powerful technology has allowed us to make more and more complex and high-performing circuits... They're the basis of everything electronic we have, unprecedented in human history.”, Scientists You Must Know: Intel founder Gordon Moore, Chemical Heritage Foundation

Gordon Earle Moore (born January 3, 1929) is an American businessman, co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of Intel Corporation, and the author of Moore's law.[2][3][4][5][6] As of January 2015, his net worth is $6.7 billion.[7]


Moore was born in San Francisco, California, and grew up in nearby Pescadero. He attended Sequoia High School in Redwood City. Initially he went to San Jose State University.[8] After two years he transferred to the University of California, Berkeley, from which he received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry in 1950.[9]

In September, 1950 Moore matriculated at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).[10] Moore received a PhD[11] in chemistry and minor in physics from Caltech in 1954.[9][12] Moore conducted postdoctoral research at the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University from 1953 to 1956.[9]


Moore met his future wife, Betty Irene Whitaker, while attending San Jose State University.[10] Gordon and Betty were married September 9, 1950,[13] and left the next day to move to the California Institute of Technology. The couple have two sons Kenneth and Steven.[14]

Scientific career[edit]

Fairchild Semiconductor Laboratory[edit]

Main article: Traitorous eight

Moore joined MIT and Caltech alumnus William Shockley at the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory division of Beckman Instruments, but left with the "traitorous eight", when Sherman Fairchild agreed to back them and created the influential Fairchild Semiconductor corporation.[15][16]

Moore's law[edit]

Main article: Moore's law

In 1965, Gordon E. Moore was working as the director of research and development (R&D) at Fairchild Semiconductor. He was asked by Electronics Magazine to predict what was going to happen in the semiconductor components industry over the next ten years. In an article published on April 19, 1965, Moore observed that the number of components (transistors, resistors, diodes or capacitors)[17] in a dense integrated circuit had doubled approximately every year, and speculated that it would continue to do so for at least the next ten years. In 1975, he revised the forecast rate to approximately every two years.[18] Carver Mead popularized the phrase "Moore's law." The prediction has become a target for miniaturization in the semiconductor industry, and has had widespread impact in many areas of technological change.[2][16]

Intel Corporation[edit]

Main article: Intel

In July 1968, Robert Noyce and Moore founded NM Electronics which later became Intel Corporation.[19][20] Moore served as Executive Vice President until 1975 when he became President. In April 1979, Moore became Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, holding that position until April 1987, when he became Chairman of the Board. He was named Chairman Emeritus of Intel Corporation in 1997.[21] Under Noyce, Moore, and later Andrew Grove, Intel has pioneered new technologies in the areas of computer memory, integrated circuits and microprocessor design.[20]

Gilead Sciences[edit]

Moore has been a member of the Board of Directors of Gilead Sciences since 1996, after serving as a member of the company's Business Advisory Board from 1991 until 1996.[22]


In 2000 Betty and Gordon Moore established the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, with a gift worth about $5 billion. Through the Foundation, they initially targeted environmental conservation, science, and the San Francisco Bay Area.[23]

The foundation gives extensively in the area of environmental conservation, supporting major projects in the Andes-Amazon Basin and the San Francisco Bay area, among others.[24] Moore was a director of Conservation International for some years. In 2002 he and Conservation International Senior Vice President Claude Gascon received the Order of the Golden Ark from His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld for their outstanding contributions to nature conservation.[25]

Moore has been a member of Caltech's board of trustees since 1983, chairing it from 1993 to 2000, and is now a life trustee.[26][27][28] In 2001, Moore and his wife donated $600 million to Caltech, the largest gift ever to an institution of higher education.[29] He said that he wants the gift to be used to keep Caltech at the forefront of research and technology.[23]

On December 6, 2007, Gordon Moore and his wife donated $200 million to Caltech and the University of California for the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope, the world's second largest optical telescope. The telescope will have a mirror 30 meters across and be built on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. This is nearly three times the size of the current record holder, the Large Binocular Telescope.[30]

In addition, through the Foundation, Betty Moore has created the Betty Irene Moore Nursing Initiative, targeting nursing care in the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Sacramento.[23][31]

In 2009, the Moores received the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.[23][32]

Scientific awards and honors[edit]

Gordon Moore has received many honors. He became a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1976.[33]

In 1990, Moore was presented with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President George H.W. Bush, "for his seminal leadership in bringing American industry the two major postwar innovations in microelectronics - large-scale integrated memory and the microprocessor - that have fueled the information revolution."[34]

In 1998 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Computer History Museum "for his fundamental early work in the design and production of semiconductor devices as co-founder of Fairchild and Intel."[35]

In 2001, Moore received the Othmer Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to progress in chemistry and science.[36][37]

Moore is also the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor, as of 2002.[38] He received the award from President George W. Bush. In 2002, Moore also received the Bower Award for Business Leadership.

In 2003, he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Moore was awarded the 2008 IEEE Medal of Honor for "pioneering technical roles in integrated-circuit processing, and leadership in the development of MOS memory, the microprocessor computer and the semiconductor industry."[39] Moore was featured in the documentary film Something Ventured which premiered in 2011.

He was awarded the 2010 Future Dan David Prize for his work in the areas of Computers and Telecommunications.[40]

The library at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge is named after him and his wife Betty,[41] as are the Moore Laboratories building (dedicated 1996) at Caltech and the Gordon and Betty Moore Materials Research Building at Stanford.

The Electrochemical Society presents an award in Moore’s name, the Gordon E. Moore Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Solid State Science and Technology, every two years to celebrate scientists’ contributions to the field of solid state science.[42] The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI America) annually presents the Gordon E. Moore Medal in his honor to recognize early career success in innovation in the chemical industries.[43][44]

Personal life[edit]

Moore actively pursues and enjoys any type of fishing and has extensively traveled the world catching species from black marlin to rainbow trout. He has said his conservation efforts are partly inspired by his interest in fishing.[45]

In 2011, Moore's genome was the first human genome sequenced on Ion Torrent's Personal Genome Machine platform, a massively parallel sequencing device. Ion Torrent's device obtains sequence information by directly sensing ions produced by DNA polymerase synthesis using ion-sensitive field effect transistor sensors.[46]


  1. ^ "Gordon Moore 1998 Fellow". Computer History Museum. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Moore, Gordon (April 19, 1965). "Cramming More Components onto Integrated Circuits". Electronics Magazine 38 (8): 114–117. 
  3. ^ Moore, Gordon (January 1998). "Cramming More Components onto Integrated Circuits (Reprint)" (PDF). Proceedings of the IEEE 86 (1). doi:10.1109/jproc.1998.658762. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Gordon Moore's publications indexed by the DBLP Bibliography Server at the University of Trier
  5. ^ Gordon Moore from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Digital Library
  6. ^ Moore, G. E. (1997). "The microprocessor: Engine of the technology revolution". Communications of the ACM 40 (2): 112. doi:10.1145/253671.253746. 
  7. ^ "Gordon Moore". Forbes. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "Gordon E. Moore". IEEE Global History Network. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c "Interview with Gordon E. Moore and Jay T. Last, 20 January 2006" (PDF). Center for Oral History, Chemical Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 8 January 2015.  External link in |work= (help)
  10. ^ a b Dodson, Vannessa. "Gordon and Betty Moore: Seeding the Path Ahead". Campaign Update (California Institute of Technology (Caltech)) (Fall 2003). Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  11. ^ Moore, Gordon Earle (1964). I. Infrared Studies of Nitrous Acid, The Chloramines and Nitrogen Dioxide II. Observations Concerning the Photochemical Decomposition of Nitric Oxide (PhD thesis). California Institute of Technology. 
  12. ^ "California Institute of Technology Sixtieth Annual Commencement Exercises (Program)" (PDF). Caltech Campus Publications. 1954-06-11. Retrieved 2013-03-29. 
  13. ^ "Gordon Moore". NNDB Tracking the Entire World. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  14. ^ Biography for Gordon Moore at the Internet Movie Database
  15. ^ Moore, Gordon E. (Summer 1994). "The Accidental Entrepreneur" (PDF). Engineering & Science. pp. 23–30. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  16. ^ a b Brock, David C., ed. (2006). Understanding Moore's law : four decades of innovation. Philadelphia, Pa: Chemical Heritage Press. ISBN 0941901416. 
  17. ^ Gordon E. Moore (1995). "Lithography and the future of Moore's law" (PDF). SPIE. Retrieved 2015-01-02. 
  18. ^ Tuomi, I. (2002). "The Lives and Death of Moore's Law". First Monday 7 (11). doi:10.5210/fm.v7i11.1000. 
  19. ^ Intel Corporation. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved November 26, 2008. 
  20. ^ a b Yeh, Raymond T.; Yeh, Stephanie H. (2004). "Intel: Leaping into the future with Moore's law". The art of business : in the footsteps of giants. Olathe, CO: Zero Time Pub. pp. 77–89. ISBN 978-0975427712. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  21. ^ "2004 History Maker - Gordon Moore". History Makers. San Mateo County History Museum. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  22. ^ "Executive Profile Gordon E. Moore Ph.D.". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  23. ^ a b c d "2009 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy Awarded to Michael R. Bloomberg, The Koç Family, Gordon & Betty Moore and Sanford & Joan Weill". Carnegie Corporation of New York. October 7, 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  24. ^ "Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation: Grants for Conservation". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  25. ^ "Intel's Gordon Moore and CI's Claude Gascon To Receive Major Award". Conservation International. April 19, 2002. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  26. ^ "Sally Ride, David Lee Named Caltech Trustees, Ben Rosen Named Trustee Chair". Caltech. 2000-12-04. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  27. ^ "Technology Pioneer Gordon Moore is Caltech Commencement Speaker". Caltech. 2001-05-03. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  28. ^ "Trustee List". Caltech. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  29. ^ "Intel Founder Gives $600 Million to Caltech". New York Times. 2001-10-28. Retrieved 2013-12-10. 
  30. ^ Tytell, David (August 22, 2007). "Thirty Meter Telescope Moves Forward". Sky & Telescope. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  31. ^ "Betty Irene Moore Nursing Initiative". Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  32. ^ "Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Funds Programs to Address Nursing Crisis". UCSF Campaign Insider. University of California San Francisco. 2007. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  33. ^ "National Academy of Engineering Members". Caltech. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  34. ^ "The National Medal of Technology and Innovation 1990 Laureates". USPTO.gov. The United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  35. ^ CHM. "Gordon Moore — CHM Fellow Award Winner". Retrieved March 30, 2015. [1]
  36. ^ Voith, Melody; Reisch, Marc (14 May 2001). "Gordon Moore Awarded the Othmer Gold Medal". Chemical & Engineering News 79 (20): 62. doi:10.1021/cen-v079n020.p062. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  37. ^ "Past Winners of the Othmer Gold Medal". Chemical Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  38. ^ "SIA Congratulates Intel's Gordon Moore for Receiving Presidential Medal of Freedom". SIA News (Semiconductor Industry Association). June 24, 2002. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  39. ^ IEEE Medal of Honor Recipients
  40. ^ "Gordon E. Moore". Dan David Prize. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  41. ^ Betty and Gordon Moore Library
  42. ^ "ECS Society Awards". The Electrochemical Society. 
  43. ^ "Gordon E. Moore Medal". Society of Chemical Industry (SCI America). Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  44. ^ "SCI Gordon E. Moore Medal". Chemical Heritage Foundation. 
  45. ^ Charlie Rose, November 14, 2005
  46. ^ Rothberg, J. M.; Hinz, W.; Rearick, T. M.; Schultz, J.; Mileski, W.; Davey, M.; Leamon, J. H.; Johnson, K.; Milgrew, M. J.; Edwards, M.; Hoon, J.; Simons, J. F.; Marran, D.; Myers, J. W.; Davidson, J. F.; Branting, A.; Nobile, J. R.; Puc, B. P.; Light, D.; Clark, T. A.; Huber, M.; Branciforte, J. T.; Stoner, I. B.; Cawley, S. E.; Lyons, M.; Fu, Y.; Homer, N.; Sedova, M.; Miao, X.; Reed, B. (2011). "An integrated semiconductor device enabling non-optical genome sequencing". Nature 475 (7356): 348–352. doi:10.1038/nature10242. PMID 21776081. 

External links[edit]

Business positions
Preceded by
Robert Noyce
Intel CEO
Succeeded by
Andrew Grove