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Microchip co-inventor Robert Noyce honored with Google Doodle

MicrochipGoogle commemorated what would have been the late Robert “Bob” Noyce’s 84th birthday with an appropriate version of its doodles – the Google logo on a microprocessor- on its homepage.

Noyce, affectionately referred to as “mayor of Silicon Valley,” was credited with the co-invention of the integrated circuit, which led to the development of microprocessors and consequently the personal computer. His contributions were not confined to technology development alone.  Noyce co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957. After leaving Fairchild and together with Gordon Moore, they founded Intel in 1968, which went on to become one of the Valley’s first electronics technology companies. Noyce was also known to have advised Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Robert “Bob” Noyce is also credited for making possible the innovation spirit for which the Silicon Valley is known for.

In his obituary in the Los Angeles Times in 1990, Robert Noyce was called a modern-day Thomas Edison. He was also smart, good-looking and charming.

Born on Dec. 12, 1927, in Burlington, Iowa, Noyce was reportedly called “Rapid Robert” by his friends because of his fast-moving brain. At the time of his death, he held 16 patents on the design and manufacture of semiconductor devices. His role in the development of the integrated circuit is possibly his greatest work.

Microchips, defined as “a set of interconnected electronic components such as transistors and resistors, that are etched or imprinted on a tiny chip of a semiconducting material, such as silicon or germanium” have made it possible to reduce the size of computers and other electronic devices as well as the cost of manufacturing them.

Jack Kilby, a Texas Instruments employee, was the co-inventor of the integrated circuit but he and Noyce worked separately in 1958 and ’59. They received separate patents

In February 1990, President George H.W. Bush honored Noyce and Jack Kilby for their invention.  Bush said, “The microchip … helped America change the world.” Four months later, Noyce died of heart attack at age 62.



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