Saturday, December 22, 2012

Robert Noyce The Chip Inventor

Noyce was the general manager of the company and while there invented the integrated chip -- a chip of silicon with many transistors all etched into it at once. That was the first time he revolutionized the semiconductor industry. He stayed with Fairchild until 1968, when he left with Gordon Moore to found Intel. At Intel he oversaw Ted Hoff's invention of the microprocessor -- that was his second revolution.

Noyce, the son of a preacher, grew up in Grinnell, Iowa. He was a physics major at Grinnell College, and exhibited while there an almost baffling amount of confidence. He was always the leader of the crowd. This could turn against him occasionally -- the local farmers didn't approve of him and weren't likely to forgive quickly when he did something like steal a pig for a college luau. The prank nearly got Noyce expelled, even though the only reason the farmer knew about it was because Noyce had confessed and offered to pay for it.

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