Marcian Hoff

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Marcian "Ted" Hoff
Marcian Ted Hoff (cropped).jpg
Ted Hoff at the Computer History Museum's 2009 Fellows Award event
Born (1937-10-28) October 28, 1937 (age 85)
Rochester, New York
Alma materRensselaer Polytechnic Institute (B.S., 1958)
Stanford University (M.S., 1959; Ph.D., 1962)
Known forMicroprocessor
AwardsStuart Ballantine Medal (1979)
Intel Fellow (the First, 1980 - 1983)
Kyoto Prize (1997)
National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2009)
Computer History Museum Fellow (2009) [1]
Scientific career
FieldsElectrical engineering
InstitutionsIntel (1968 - 1983)
Teklicon (1990 - 2007)

Marcian Edward "Ted" Hoff Jr. (born October 28, 1937 in Rochester, New York) is one of the inventors of the microprocessor.[2][3]

Education and work history[edit]

Hoff received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1958. He applied for his first two patents based on work done for the General Railway Signal Corp. of Rochester, New York during the summers of his undergraduate study.[4] He received a National Science Foundation Fellowship to enroll in Stanford University, where he received his master's degree in 1959 and his Ph.D. in 1962.[4] As part of his Ph.D. dissertation, Hoff co-invented the least mean squares filter with Bernard Widrow.[5]

Hoff joined Intel in 1968 as employee number 12, and is credited with coming up with the idea of using a "universal processor" rather than a variety of custom-designed circuits in the architectural idea and an instruction set formulated with Stanley Mazor in 1969 for the Intel 4004—the chip that started the microprocessor revolution in the early 1970s.[6] Development of the silicon-gate design methodology and the actual chip design was done by Federico Faggin,[7][8][9] who also led the project during 1970-1971.[10] Masatoshi Shima from Busicom defined the logic.[11]

In 1980, Hoff was named the first Intel Fellow, which is the highest technical position in the company. He stayed in that position until 1983 when he left for Atari.[4]

Popular culture[edit]

Hoff was featured in an Intel advertisement, calling him the "rock star" of Intel and comparing him to the rock stars of American culture.[12]


In 1954, he was one of the Westinghouse Science Talent Search (now Intel STS) finalists.[13] He was awarded the Stuart Ballantine Medal in 1979, the IEEE Cledo Brunetti Award in 1980, and the Franklin Institute Certificate of Merit in 1996. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1996[14] and received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2009 from President Barack Obama. He was made a Fellow of the Computer History Museum in 2009 "for his work as part of the team that developed the Intel 4004, the world's first commercial microprocessor."[15] He received the 2011 IEEE/RSE Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award.[16]


  1. ^ "Marcian Hoff 2009 Fellow". Archived from the original on 2013-04-02. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  2. ^ Inventor Ted Hoff Biography.
  3. ^ Marcian E. (Ted) Hoff.
  4. ^ a b c "Marcian (Ted) Hoff Jr. 1988 Computer Pioneer Award". IEEE Computer Society. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Thinking About Thinking: The Discovery Of The LMS Algorithm" from IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, Jan. 2005, hosted on Prof. Bernard Widrow's homepage
  6. ^ "Marcian E. (Ted) Hoff ", Inventors Hall of Fame,
  7. ^ Designer Behind the World's First Microprocessor(video) on YouTube
  8. ^ Faggin F., Shima M., Hoff M. E. Jr., Feeney H., Mazor S. The MCS-4 – An LSI Microcomputer System, presented by Faggin at the IEEE 1972 Region Six Conference
  9. ^ Faggin F., and Hoff M. E. Jr. Standard Parts And Custom Design Merge In A Four-Chip Processor Kit. Electronics Magazine, April 24, 1972
  10. ^ [1] Archived 2016-09-24 at the Wayback Machine Inventors Hall of Fame,
  11. ^ Oral-History:Masatoshi Shima
  12. ^ "Intel Microprocessors: Rock stars". Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  13. ^ "Intel STS Archive - 1954". Society for Science & the Public. Archived from the original on September 10, 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  14. ^ "Spotlight | National Inventors Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 2015-02-23.
  15. ^ Marcian "Ted" Hoff: 2009 Fellow Awards Recipient Archived 2013-04-02 at the Wayback Machine, Computer History Museum website.
  16. ^ "IEEE/RSE Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award Recipients" (PDF). IEEE. Retrieved October 4, 2011.