Remembering Gordon Moore: The Technology Pioneer Who Revolutionised the Industry

29-03-2023 | By Robin Mitchell

Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel and a pioneer in modern computing, recently passed away, leaving behind an immeasurable impact on the technology industry. His contributions, ranging from memory chips and microprocessors to his famous prediction, Moore's Law, revolutionised the industry, leading to cost reduction and the development of the X86 microprocessor. Moore's legacy extends beyond his work at Intel to his commitment to education, scientific research, philanthropy, conservation, and the development of clean energy technologies, all achieved through constructive confrontation. Despite his global recognition, Moore remained humble about his beginnings and the journey to success.

Gordon Moore

1929 - 2023

Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce at Intel in 1970.png
By Intel Free Press, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Gordon Moore: Early Life

Gordon Moore was born on January 3, 1929, in San Francisco, California, to parents who were both teachers. After Moore's family relocated to Redwood City, he had a fortuitous encounter with a neighbour's chemistry set that sparked a deep interest in the subject.  Growing up, he was fascinated by science and math and excelled in these subjects at school. In 1947, he enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, to study chemistry, but he soon switched his major to physics, something which would change his life forever. 

After earning his undergraduate degree in 1950, Moore decided to pursue a Ph.D. in physics, which he received from the California Institute of Technology in 1954. While he was at Caltech, he met his future business partner, Robert Noyce, who would also become a co-founder of Intel. Interestingly, Gordon Moore was a member of the traitorous eight, who all left Shockley Labs to start Fairchild Semiconductors. 

Gordon Moore: Contributions to Intel

Moore’s contributions to Intel began in 1968 when he and Noyce founded the company with the goal of producing memory chips for computers. They started with a small team of engineers and a modest budget, but their innovative ideas and hard work soon led to the development of the first commercially successful microprocessor, the Intel 4004. Thankfully for Intel, the original company contracting Intel for the 4004 granted Intel rights to produce and sell the chip to other manufacturers, which quickly saw Intel rise to the top in the processor market. 

Moore’s vision was not just to make faster and more powerful processors but also to make them smaller and more energy-efficient. In 1975, he published an article in Electronics Magazine that would become known as “Moore’s Law.” The article predicted that the number of transistors on a computer chip would double every 18 to 24 months while the cost would continue to decrease. This prediction has held true for over four decades and has become the benchmark behind the exponential growth seen in the technology industry. A processor manufacturer failing to follow Moore’s Law can quickly see its reputation tarnished, which has often been justified (see Intel’s recent struggles). 

Under Moore’s leadership, Intel continued to innovate and produce ground-breaking technologies, including the first x86 microprocessor, which became the standard architecture for personal computers. He also helped establish the company’s culture of “constructive confrontation,” encouraging employees to challenge each other’s ideas and push for better solutions.

Gordon Moore: Legacy

Moore’s impact on the technology industry has been immeasurable. His contributions to Intel revolutionised computing and transformed how we live and work. His “law” has been a guiding principle for the industry, driving innovation and progress despite seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Gordon Moore Scientists You Must Know.png
By Science History Institute, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

But Moore’s legacy extends beyond his work at Intel, having been involved with numerous institutions and organisations. He was a passionate advocate for education and scientific research, serving as a trustee of the California Institute of Technology, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. His philanthropy supported a wide range of initiatives, including conservation efforts, research on tropical forests, and the development of clean energy technologies.


Gordon Moore’s journey from a curious child to a technology pioneer is a testament to the power of education, hard work, and innovation. His contributions to Intel and the technology industry have transformed how we live and work, and his legacy of philanthropy will continue to support important scientific research for generations to come. As the technology industry continues to evolve and face new challenges, we can look to Gordon Moore as an inspiration and a reminder of the transformative power of innovation.


By Robin Mitchell

Robin Mitchell is an electronic engineer who has been involved in electronics since the age of 13. After completing a BEng at the University of Warwick, Robin moved into the field of online content creation, developing articles, news pieces, and projects aimed at professionals and makers alike. Currently, Robin runs a small electronics business, MitchElectronics, which produces educational kits and resources.