In celebration of Robert Norton Noyce’s 84th birthday, Google is honoring the great man by featuring a Google Doodle on its search home page. The doodle features an integrated circuit with “Google” written over it.
Robert Norton Noyce is famously known for co-founding Intel, one of the largest semiconductor chip maker in the world. Nicknamed as “the Mayor of Silicon Valley”, Noyce was born on December 12, 1927, in Burlington, Iowa. He is also known for inventing the integrated circuits (or microchips).
Noyce grew up in Grinnell, Iowa and attended the local schools. He exhibited a talent for math and science and graduated from Grinnell High School in 1945. He then entered Grinnell College in the same year. Noyce obtained his Ph.D. in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1953 and studied the first transistors, developed at Bell Laboratories, in a Grinnell College classroom.
After having completed his graduation from the MIT, he took the first job as a research engineer from the Philco Corporation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Later in in 1956 he joined the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory in Mountain View, California.
In the year 1968, Noyce along with Gordon E. Moore founded Intel, which is currently one of the largest semiconductor chip maker in the world. The company’s net income as of 2010 was US$ 11.464 billion.
In July, 1959, Noyce filed for U.S. Patent 2,981,877 “Semiconductor Device and Lead Structure”, a type of integrated circuit. He has been granted a total of 16 U.S. Patents.
For his invention of the integrated circuits, he was honored by three presidents of the United States. Some of his awards include –
- President Ronald Reagan awarded him the National Medal of Technology in 1987
- George H.W. Bush inducted him into the Business Hall of Fame
- President George H. W. Bush presented the award, sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering, in a black-tie ceremony held at the State Department
- He received a “Lifetime Achievement Medal” during the bicentennial celebration of the Patent Act
- He received the Franklin Institute’s Stuart Ballantine Medal in 1966
- He was awarded the IEEE Medal of Honor in 1978 “for his contributions to the silicon integrated circuit, a cornerstone of modern electronics.”
- The National Academy of Engineering awarded him its 1989 Charles Stark Draper Prize
Robert married Elizabeth Bottomley in 1953 and divorced in 1974. He married again on November 27, 1975 to Ann Schmeltz Bowers, who was the first Director of Personnel for Intel Corporation and the first Vice President of Human Resources for Apple Inc. She is currently the Chair of the Board and the founding trustee of the Noyce Foundation.
Noyce enjoyed reading Hemingway, flying his own airplane, hang gliding, and scuba diving. Noyce died from a heart attack at home on June 3, 1990 at the Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas.