SAN FRANCISCO Echoing growing concerns about U.S. competitiveness, Intel Corp. co-founder Gordon Moore warned that the U.S. must boost spending on basic research and education in order to maintain global competitiveness.
During an interview with EE Times editors during the Embedded Systems Conference here on Wednesday (March 9), Moore, chairman emeritus of Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.), also addressed a wide range of topics including the longevity Moore's Law, technology trends and the current status of Intel.
Moore co-founded Intel in 1968. He initially served as executive vice president. He became president and chief executive of Intel in 1975 and held that post until he was elected chairman and CEO in 1979. He remained CEO until 1987 and was named chairman emeritus in 1997.
He is widely known for Moore's Law, in which the semiconductor pioneer predicted that the number of transistors the industry would be able to place on a computer chip would double every 18 months. While originally intended as a rule of thumb in 1965, it has become the guiding principle for the industry to deliver faster semiconductor chips at proportionate decreases in cost.
Moore's Law has some major implications beyond chip speeds. "You can't afford to fall behind [Moore's Law] if you want to stay ahead in the semiconductor industry," Moore said.
The semiconductor pioneer also provided a glimpse of the future of technology. Not surprisingly, he dismissed the notion by some that the PC is dead. "I still think that the computer industry has a long ways to go," he said. "Developing countries are the fastest growing market for computers."
Meanwhile, Intel itself is currently on the "right track" in its efforts to develop a "platform strategy," but the chip giant also faces some challenges, Moore acknowledged. "It's hard to find growth areas for a company the size of Intel," he said.
In addition, the semiconductor pioneer was especially outspoken about U.S. competitiveness. Craig Barrett, chief executive of Intel, has also expressed similar concerns (see Nov. 4, 2004 story).
Moore said declining U.S. R&D funding as well as a failing educational system pose huge problems. "You have to be concerned," Moore said. "The K-12 education system has failed."
Moore also received the first EE Times Lifetime Achievement Award.
The ACE awards honored Moore and other innovators who made contributions to the industry.