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Robert Noyce

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Robert Noyce

Robert Noyce (December 12, 1927June 3, 1990), nicknamed the Mayor of Silicon Valley, co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and Intel in 1968. He is also credited (along with Jack Kilby) with the invention of the integrated circuit or microchip.

Noyce graduated with a BA in physics from Grinnell College in 1949 and a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1953.

While a student at Grinnell College, Noyce stole a pig from a nearby farmer for a college luau and then slaughtered it in Clark Hall. The prank nearly earned him expulsion, if not for the intervention of Grant O. Gale, a physics professor at the time.

He joined William Shockley at the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory division of Beckman Instruments, but left with the "Traitorous Eight" to create the influential Fairchild Semiconductor corporation.

It is widely known that Noyce was disliked by one-time Intel CEO Andy Grove. Grove is notorious for his directness in finding fault. He thought Noyce's "nice guy" attitude irritating and felt it was ineffectual.

Intel's headquarters building, the Robert Noyce Building, in Santa Clara, California is named in his honor, as is the Robert N. Noyce '49 Science Center, which houses the science division of Grinnell College.

Noyce died from heart failure in 1990, at the age of 62. He left behind the Robert Noyce Foundation, an institute that sponsors research in science and other technological programs. Currently the program is headed by his daughter, Penny Noyce. Leslie Berlin wrote a biography about Noyce in June 2005 entitled "The Man Behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley".

External links

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