Noyce, Robert

Noyce, Robert
b. 12 December 1927 Burlington, Iowa, USA
American engineer responsible for the development of integrated circuits and the microprocessor chip.
Noyce was the son of a Congregational minister whose family, after a number of moves, finally settled in Grinnell, some 50 miles (80 km) east of Des Moines, Iowa. Encouraged to follow his interest in science, in his teens he worked as a baby-sitter and mower of lawns to earn money for his hobby. One of his clients was Professor of Physics at Grinnell College, where Noyce enrolled to study mathematics and physics and eventually gained a top-grade BA. It was while there that he learned of the invention of the transistor by the team at Bell Laboratories, which included John Bardeen, a former fellow student of his professor. After taking a PhD in physical electronics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1953, he joined the Philco Corporation in Philadelphia to work on the development of transistors. Then in January 1956 he accepted an invitation from William Shockley, another of the Bell transistor team, to join the newly formed Shockley Transistor Company, the first electronic firm to set up shop in Palo Alto, California, in what later became known as "Silicon Valley".
From the start things at the company did not go well and eventually Noyce and Gordon Moore and six colleagues decided to offer themselves as a complete development team; with the aid of the Fairchild Camera and Instrument Company, the Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation was born. It was there that in 1958, contemporaneously with Jack K.Wilby at Texas Instruments, Noyce had the idea for monolithic integration of transistor circuits. Eventually, after extended patent litigation involving study of laboratory notebooks and careful examination of the original claims, priority was assigned to Noyce. The invention was most timely. The Apollo Moon-landing programme announced by President Kennedy in May 1961 called for lightweight sophisticated navigation and control computer systems, which could only be met by the rapid development of the new technology, and Fairchild was well placed to deliver the micrologic chips required by NASA.
In 1968 the founders sold Fairchild Semicon-ductors to the parent company. Noyce and Moore promptly found new backers and set up the Intel Corporation, primarily to make high-density memory chips. The first product was a 1,024-bit random access memory (1 K RAM) and by 1973 sales had reached $60 million. However, Noyce and Moore had already realized that it was possible to make a complete microcomputer by putting all the logic needed to go with the memory chip(s) on a single integrated circuit (1C) chip in the form of a general purpose central processing unit (CPU). By 1971 they had produced the Intel 4004 microprocessor, which sold for US$200, and within a year the 8008 followed. The personal computer (PC) revolution had begun! Noyce eventually left Intel, but he remained active in microchip technology and subsequently founded Sematech Inc.
Principal Honours and Distinctions
Franklin Institute Stuart Ballantine Medal 1966. National Academy of Engineering 1969. National Academy of Science. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Medal of Honour 1978; Cledo Brunetti Award (jointly with Kilby) 1978. Institution of Electrical Engineers Faraday Medal 1979. National Medal of Science 1979. National Medal of Engineering 1987.
1955, "Base-widening punch-through", Proceedings of the American Physical Society.
30 July 1959, US patent no. 2,981,877.
Further Reading
T.R.Reid, 1985, Microchip: The Story of a Revolution and the Men Who Made It, London: Pan Books.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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  • Noyce, Robert — ▪ American engineer Introduction in full  Robert Norton Noyce  born December 12, 1927, Burlington, Iowa, U.S. died June 3, 1990, Austin, Texas       American engineer and coinventor of the integrated circuit, a system of interconnected… …   Universalium

  • Noyce , Robert Norton — (1927–1990) American physicist Noyce was the son of a congregational minister from Denmark, Iowa. He was educated at Grinnell College, Iowa, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he obtained his PhD in 1953. After working… …   Scientists

  • Noyce, Robert (Norton) — born Dec. 12, 1927, Burlington, Iowa, U.S. died June 3, 1990, Austin, Texas U.S. engineer. He received a Ph.D. from MIT. In 1957 he launched Fairchild Semiconductor, one of the first electronics firms in what came to be called Silicon Valley.… …   Universalium

  • Noyce, Robert (Norton) — (12 dic. 1927, Burlington, Iowa, EE.UU.–3 jun. 1990, Austin, Texas). Ingeniero estadounidense. Recibió su Ph.D. del MIT. En 1957 fundó Semiconductores Fairchild, una de las primeras empresas electrónicas establecidas en lo que llegó a llamarse… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Robert Noyce — Born December 12, 1927(1927 12 12) Burlington, Iowa Died June 3, 1990(1990 06 03) …   Wikipedia

  • Robert Noyce — (* 12. Dezember 1927 in Burlington, Iowa; † 3. Juni 1990 in Austin, Texas), genannt The Mayor of Silicon Valley, „Der Bürgermeister des Silicon Valley“ war 1957 Mitgründer von Fairchild Semiconductor und 1968 von Intel. Er war 1969 auch… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Robert — /rob euhrt/, n. 1. Henry Martyn /mahr tn/, 1837 1923, U.S. engineer and authority on parliamentary procedure: author of Robert s Rules of Order (1876, revised 1915). 2. a male given name: from Germanic words meaning glory and bright. * * * (as… …   Universalium

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