Gordon Moore & Fairchild Semiconductor: the pillars of Silicon Valley

In the United States in Silicon Valley, the laboratories of Fairchild Semiconductor , one of the largest semiconductor companies founded in 1957 with headquarters in California, have been an incubator of advanced technology, intelligence, scientists and makers ante litteram, the place where they have been created integrated circuits of a certain complexity. Company where, at the end of the Sixties, one of our illustrious compatriots designed the first integrated circuit (MOS, metal oxide semiconductor) developed with a new technological process: “ Silicon Gate Technology “.

MOS transistors have been used in the development of numerous logic families, as replacements for the bipolar transistors used in TTL (Transistor-transistor logic) technology. In general, MOS transistors are preferred because although they work at lower speeds than bipolar transistors, they have the main advantage of having a greater ease of integration having smaller dimensions. In the following years, thanks to MOS, it will be possible to develop further integration technologies.

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Famous characters

There are many people who will be remembered in the history of computing and in the history of Silicon Valley, perhaps even for a long time. Among them: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Shokley, Robert Noyce and many others. But most likely, at least one will be remembered much longer than the others. Not only for his brilliant and unrivaled career in the high-tech industry, nor for having founded one of the most innovative technology companies that has had the merit of revolutionizing the world and the way of life of billions of people. He will be especially remembered for " Moore's prediction ", born from an article written in the magazine "Electronics": let's talk about Gordon Moore.

Magazine Electronics

At the end of the sixties, the “Electronics” magazine was a widely circulated magazine, also distributed in Italy. It was given to anyone interested in purchasing electronic components. In the article on “Electronics” Moore had reported some considerations and some predictions, the result of laboratory experiences. The computer scientist had two great insights: the first was to realize that in the short term semiconductor devices would become commercial and much cheaper.

gordon moore

He then hypothesized that “ the increase in processing capacity would continue throughout the 1970s at a rate of doubling every 12 months. Moore intended to increase, double the number of transistors in the single chip . This Computer Science prediction managed to capture the full spirit of the age, yet it was reworked and corrected twice by Moore himself. The first time in 1975 bringing it to a doubling every 2 years. Further at the end of the 1980s, bringing it to 18 months. Moore's Law is still valid today.

Gordon Moore

Gordon Moore was a chemist and one of the founders of Silicon Valley, one of the few to be born in that area. In those days, Oracle still did not have its own Redwood City campus. Gordon Moore attended chemistry studies at California Berkeley where he later also obtained a degree in physics, he was a pioneer since he was a boy, thanks to his propensity and his skills he set up what can be considered the progenitor of all the laboratories born in a garage . The little chemist enjoyed making small amounts of nitroglycerin, and then making dynamite.

(Gordon) Moore's Law

Moore's prediction, which proved correct over a long period of time, has become a point of reference for specialist companies, so much so that it has assumed the status of law. Despite his correct predictions, he has had many critics who have sided against the sustainability of the quantitative evolution predicted by his statement. Moore's prediction quantitatively explains the incredible development of electronics that we have been witnessing for years . To say that microelectronics doubles its capacity every 18 months is equivalent to saying that in the next 18 months we will have an increase equivalent to what we have had up to now.

gordon moore

In 1968 he leaves Fairchild Semiconductor, and together with his colleague Robert Noyce he decides to go out on his own; the first a chemical expert, the second, Noyce, known and famous for having created the first integrated circuit. Having collected the necessary funds to start their business, they had to choose a name for their company. The first name chosen was NM Electronics from their initials; Electronic Solid State Computer Technology Corp. later emerged. The two eventually chose INTegrated ELectronics Corp. A name not particularly interesting or bright, but one that hid something cunning and intelligent: it could be shortened. Guess how?

The article Gordon Moore & Fairchild Semiconductor: The Pillars of Silicon Valley was written on: Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .