Talk:Federico Faggin

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Got Ego??[edit]

"Independently, and without any help from Hoff and Mazor, Faggin created a new methodology for random logic chip design using silicon gate technology, previously non existent, and several design innovations that made it possible to fit the microprocessor in one chip."

What was this new methodology that Faggin invented? Was it documented, discussed, or patented? While I have no reason not to believe that Faggin was in fact the sole and seminal force that enabled all things integrated, this "genius on an island" description sounds a bit self-aggrandizing. If Faggin didn't rely on Hoff or Mazor whose shoulders was he standing on (at least Newton conceded the existence of giants).

Federico: Any one inspired you? Professors? Colleagues? Papers? Or was it really just like a Phoenix from the flames? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:14, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

That section was written by his wife, User:Elvia faggin, so it's not surprising that is has a bit of POV. It would be good to rework it for a bit of neutrality and verifiability. I took out a few of the obviously unsourceable bits, which may be true, but don't belong in a bio. Dicklyon (talk) 18:55, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Answers: In National Geographic (Vol.162, No.4, October 1982, pag. 466), Bob Noyce, co-founder of Intel, says: “Now it’s a team effort. In 1970 Federico Faggin designed the 4004 microprocessor chip by himself at Intel in nine months; our 32 bit microprocessor took 100-man-years!”

When Federico Faggin joined Intel, in April 1970, he was given a block architecture for the MCS-4 chip set together with the overall system timing and the CPU instruction set. That specification had been formulated in 1969 by M. Hoff with the help of S. Mazor, who worked for him. Faggin, as project leader of the MCS-4, proceeded then to design the four chips in a different group than Hoff’s one.

The sentence “independently and without any help from Hoff and Mazor” refers to the implementation of the microprocessor into a single chip (logic design, circuit design, chip layout, etc.) to which neither Hoff nor Mazor took part. Hoff and Mazor were not MOS chip designers, nor MOS process designers, thus they could not help. Furthermore, by the time Faggin joined Intel, Hoff was working at other projects and did not interact with Faggin during the entire design and development stage.

The process and circuit innovations Faggin contributed to the 4004 are as follows: The invention of the silicon gate bootstrap load (Fairchild 1970 – operation verified in a test chip), the invention of the “buried contact” (Fairchild 1968 – operation verified in the XTPG test chip); the invention of the Silicon Gate Technology Architecture at Fairchild (presented at the IEDM Conference in Washington DC, in October 1968), and the design of the world’s first commercial IC with the silicon gate technology: the Fairchild 3708 (presented on the Cover of Electronics magazine of September 29, 1929); the co-invention of a new type of flip-flop: a commercial integrated circuit (SGS-Fairchild, 1967: Faggin F, Capocaccia F., A new Integrated MOS Shift Register, XV International Scientific Electronics Congress, Rome, April 1968, pp. 123-130); the invention of a power-settable flip-flop (Intel, 1970, patent # 3.753.011); the signed layout of the 4004 which documents a very different type of random logic design and layout approach when expertly compared with the state-of-the-art metal gate designs of the same time.

Federico describes in detail the SGT design methodology he devised for implementing the 4004 in an article titled: “The Methodology for Random Logic Design Used in the 4004 and in All the Early Intel Microprocessors” ( see link: His description is interwoven with an account of the state of the art of the design technology in 1970. T. Hoff and S. Mazor did not contribute at all to Federico’s design methodology. Viuz

Elvia Faggin has followed closely her husband activity: from the development of SGT, at the beginning, to the design of the 4004 family. She has met every single person involved in these projects and has spoken with, and later has interviewed a good number of them, while working as technology writer for GEJ Publishing Group, the US Bureau of Gruppo Editoriale Jackson of Milano (Italy). She has organized a website (link: with the purpose to disclose and explain the contributions made by her husband that were being ignored or attributed to other people by Intel’s determination to disown Federico for starting at the end of 1974 with Ralph Ungermann, Zilog, a competing microprocessor company. Viuz

Elvia, those sources will be useful for helping us satisfy concerns of WP:V. Maybe someone will find time to work on citing them in the article. Thanks. Dicklyon (talk) 18:51, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Thank you, Dick, for giving me the opportunity to answer your questions and for your suggestions. Elvia. Viuz — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:56, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

First processor ever made?[edit]

If Garrett AiResearch released a processor in 1971 and Intel in 1973, how is that Intel made the first processor ever? Why TI has the patent on the processor if Intel made it first?
Alejandro Matos 13:36, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Actually, the first commercial microprocessor was the AL1 developed by Four Phase Systems. See the Description of this chip on the Computer History Museum timeline:

GilCarrick (talk) 22:01, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

This biorgraphy belong to Engineering not Physics[edit]

Even if he have a degree in Physiscs all reported information is about notable contributions to tecnology not Physiscs.


This is a photograph I took of Federico's laurea in Physics, summa cum laude, ("col massimo dei voti e la lode") in answer to citation request

Federico Faggin Laurea Padova 1967

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Elvia Faggin (talkcontribs) 22:21, 16 August 2012 (UTC)Elvia Faggin (talk) 22:27, 16 August 2012 (UTC)Elvia Faggin (talk) 22:33, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Today's use of the Z80[edit]

Comment on Dick Lyon's comment on my removing the sentence The Z80 is still in high-volume production in 1992 as a core in various system on a chip.[1]

Dick, thank you for your comment. I deleted it because the assertion is about 2009, but the reference is from 1976, hence not appropriate. If you want to keep the reference to Shima et al. (1976), you should use it otherwise. I found a 1992 reference but do not know how authoritative it is, so I put back the sentence with the "core" caveat and this reference. If you can find a more modern and authoritative reference, please update. --Giordano — Preceding unsigned comment added by Berettag (talkcontribs) 18:21, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Shima M., Faggin F., Ungermann, R. (1976). Z80: Chip Set Heralds Third Microprocessor Generation. Electronics, August 19, 1976.