Book ID: CBB557331040

Moore's Law: The Life of Gordon Moore, Silicon Valley's Quiet Revolutionary (2015)


Our world today-from the phone in your pocket to the car that you drive, the allure of social media to the strategy of the Pentagon-has been shaped irrevocably by the technology of silicon transistors. Year after year, for half a century, these tiny switches have enabled ever-more startling capabilities. Their incredible proliferation has altered the course of human history as dramatically as any political or social revolution. At the heart of it all has been one quiet Californian: Gordon Moore. At Fairchild Semiconductor, his seminal Silicon Valley startup, Moore-a young chemist turned electronics entrepreneur-had the defining insight: silicon transistors, and microchips made of them, could make electronics profoundly cheap and immensely powerful. Microchips could double in power, then redouble again in clockwork fashion. History has borne out this insight, which we now call "Moore's Law", and Moore himself, having recognized it, worked endlessly to realize his vision. With Moore's technological leadership at Fairchild and then at his second start-up, the Intel Corporation, the law has held for fifty years. The result is profound: from the days of enormous, clunky computers of limited capability to our new era, in which computers are placed everywhere from inside of our bodies to the surface of Mars. Moore led nothing short of a revolution. In Moore's Law, Arnold Thackray, David C. Brock, and Rachel Jones give the authoritative account of Gordon Moore's life and his role in the development both of Silicon Valley and the transformative technologies developed there. Told by a team of writers with unparalleled access to Moore, his family, and his contemporaries, this is the human story of man and a career that have had almost superhuman effects. The history of twentieth-century technology is littered with overblown "revolutions." Moore's Law is essential reading for anyone seeking to learn what a real revolution looks like."-- "A chemist and founder of Intel, Gordon Moore played a major role in revolutionizing technology and shaping the growth and reach of Silicon Valley. The story of the man -- an inventor and businessman whose influence on the world is at least as great as Thomas Edison's, Henry Ford's, or Bill Gates'-- has never before been told. Under Moore's leadership, Intel became the world's leading semiconductor supplier; the innovative technology he helped to develop is present in everything from computers to traffic lights, phones to medical equipment--indeed, his seminal work on transistors has driven computing from the era of clunky calculators the size of football fields to the era of Siri, and has enabled us to go everywhere from the Moon to the Matrix. The progress of that revolution is captured in Moore's Law, his observation that computing power has doubled roughly every two years for the past half-century. The result is threefold: computing has become cheap, powerful, and ubiquitous. Gordon Moore, as an engineer and CEO of Intel, was both prophet and prime mover of the ensuing Information Age. In The Quiet Revolutionary, Arnold Thackray sheds light on Gordon Moore, gives context to the technologies and world of high-tech power he helped to develop, and provides a clear and accessible introduction to the history and science of the silicon transistor, the technological building block that has transformed commercial business, defense strategies, and the everyday lives of individuals around the globe.

Reviewed By

Review Jon Agar (2017) Review of "The Cybernetics Moment, or, Why We Call Our Age the Information Age". Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology (pp. 88-90). unapi

Review Peter Morris (2016) Review of "Moore's Law: The Life of Gordon Moore, Silicon Valley's Quiet Revolutionary". Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry (pp. 277-277). unapi

Review Paul E. Ceruzzi (April 2016) Review of "Moore's Law: The Life of Gordon Moore, Silicon Valley's Quiet Revolutionary". Technology and Culture (pp. 499-500). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Lécuyer, Christophe M. P.
Leslie, Stuart W.
Copley, Frank Barkley
Lee, John A. N.
Baber, Robert L.
Mathews, John A.
IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
Technology and Culture
History and Technology
British Journal for the History of Science
Minerva: A Review of Science, Learning and Policy
Business History Review
Thoemmes Press
Cambridge University Press
Stanford University Press
Stanford University
Electronics industry
Computer industry
Computers and computing
Low, George M.
Taylor, Frederick Winslow
Heaviside, Oliver
Zvorykin, Vladimir Koz'mich
Noyce, Robert
Jobs, Steve
Time Periods
20th century
20th century, late
21st century
19th century
United States
Silicon Valley (California)
California (U.S.)
New York (U.S.)
Eastern Europe
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Siemens AG
Stanford University
University of California, Berkeley
Intel Corporation (firm)

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