ROBERT NORTON NOYCE
Robert Norton Noyce was an American physicists who was born December, 12th, 1927 in
Burlington Iowa to a conservative family of a reverend. He was the co-inventor of the integrated
circuits (ICs). He was sometimes referred to as the mayor of the Silicon Valley. Noyce began his
journey in the semiconductor building in 1949 at Grinnell College and later graduated from
Massachusetts Institute of technology with a doctorate in solid state physics in19531 .
Later in 1956 he worked for Phillies corporation from where he met William Shockley but later
broke away to form the famous Fairchild semiconductor corporation. Noyce together with Gordon
Moure and Jean Hoerni discovered a process of placing a layer of silicon oxide on top of transistors
to seal out dust, dirt and other contaminants .This is known as the planer process.
Noyce at Fairchild semiconductor corporation produced transistors and other elements on large
silicon wafers but cutting the elements out and then connecting/soldering back with wires but with
this time this was not possible with the ever reducing space on the silicon boards thus the creation
of the process of evaporation of conductive lines of metal directly into the invention of the famous
integrated circuits 1.
Noyce in 1971 left the Fairchild semiconductor corporation and formed Intel together with Andrew
Grove producing the first microprocessor chip 1.
CONTRIBUTION TO THE ELECTRONICS FIELD
Robert Norton Noyce was the co-inventor of the integrated circuit. This was more practical than
the earlier one in implementation, Noyce’s design was made of silicon unlike the earlier version
made of germanium. Noyce’s integrated circuit hit the market 80% of computer market in 1968
and Fairchild semi-conductor became one of the giants in semiconductor industry23 .
In 1968, July Noyce and Moure officially incorporated NM Electronics and soon its name changed
to Intel. Noyce in their newly founded company Intel were able to manufacture a single chip
microprocessor in 1971 which innovation hit the market.
Intel stands to be the largest producer of semiconductor chips in the world. The innovation of
microprocessor made the company the present giant in semiconductors in the world 3.
Intel corporation single handedly made a breakthrough of personal computer revolution of 1980s
and 1990s.Noyce,Moons and Intel corporation developed a string of innovations which include
1103 memory chip, the 4004 CPU chip, considered the world’s first microprocessor, this 8080 the
first 8-bit microprocessor4 .
WHY HIS CONTRIBUTION WAS/IS POSITIVE THE ELECRONICS FIELD
His invention of the integrated circuit helped to reduce the cost of production in the electronics
industry since all elements were embedded on a single thick silicon block. This has increased the
number of electronics produced.
The elements embedded on one single thick silicon block went ahead to inspire the reduction of
size of electronics. The Integrated circuits were extremely small compared to the discrete circuits.
The integrated circuits led to the innovation of small computers such as microprocessors and Nano
processors which are used in many electronics today. The Integrated circuit is one of the stepping
stones along the way to the microprocessor 5.
The integrated circuits increased the speed and operation in electronics. They facilitated the
calculation of complex mathematics.
The Integrated circuits led to the miniaturization of electronics which reduced both power and
space consumption. The elements embedded together take less power compared to the vacuum
tubes and transistors.
The integrated circuits facilitated and improved data movement between various memory locations
which was not the case with the vacuum tubes and transistors.
The Intel corporation co-founded by Robert Norton Noyce was the first to produce a
microprocessor chips and still is the world’s leading producers of semiconductor processors use in
electronics today6 .
Robert Noyce innovation is the image of the electronics industry and the reason why it has
advanced this far 5.
IS THE CONTRIBUTION STILL IN USE TODAY IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM IF NOT
WHY AND HOW HAS IT EVOVLED
The integrated circuit has undergone evolution today and is no longer used in its original form due
to the following reasons;
To reduce the size since the original integrated circuit was bigger
To lower the power consumption by further reducing the size of the integrated circuits.
Increase system reliability
Increase operating speed
Improve function performance
Evolution of Integrated circuits
Small-scale integration; these were the first integrated circuits and they contained only a few
transistors. They consisted of circuits containing transistors numbering in tens. They were very
vital in projects such as the Apollo program and the minute man missile which needed mental
guidance systems 7.
Medium scale integration; for these devices contained hundreds of transistors on each chip. They
were less in cost to produce and allowed more complex systems to be produced using smaller
Large scale Integration(mid 1970s);Chips were now developed using tens of thousands of
transistors integrated circuits such as calculator chips and are very fast microprocessors that had
under four thousand transistors saw a moderate quantity of manufacture
Very large scale integration (1980s and continuing up to this day); this starts with hundreds of
thousands of transistors in the early 1980s, and continue beyond several billion transistors as of
2007. No single, break through allowed increase in complexity. Energy of efficient CMOS
replaced NMOS and PMOS which avoided a prohibitive increase in power and consumption 7.
Ultra large scale integration; this was proposed for chips of complexity of more than one million
Wafer scale integration (WSI): this is a system of building large integrated circuits but uses a whole
silicon wafer to produce a single “super chip “through a combination of large sizes and reduced
packaging, WSI could lead to dramatically reduced costs for systems such as in massively parallel
System on a chip (SoC or SOC): It is an integrated circuit where all the components needed for a
computer (or other system) are included on a single chip. The design of this device can be costly
and extremely complex and also building desperate components on a single piece of silicon would
compromise the efficiency of some elements 7.
1. Robert Norton Noyce Biography https://www.britaannica.com/Robert-Norton-
5. PBS The greatAmerican Read https://www.pbs.org/transistor/album/add/tios/noyce.html
6. Driving force in the miniaturization of electronics Quora https://www.quora.com/what-