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Robert Noyce was a cofounder of Intel Corporation and a co-inventor of the integrated circuit. Noyce played a central role in the mass production of semiconductors, the creation of memory chips and the invention of the microprocessor. Noyce is considered to be one of the pioneers of Silicon Valley, both for his achievements and his laid-back management style, which typified later start-ups.
After receiving a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Noyce spent a brief period at Philco Corporation before leaving to join William Shockley at Shockley Semiconductor. Shockley was the co-inventor of the transistor, but he was a tough man to work for. Noyce and seven colleagues left the lab to start up Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957, where they helped pave the way for mass-produced semiconductors.
Noyce and his colleague, Gordon Moore, left Fairchild in 1968 and founded Intel. During Noyce and Moore’s time at Intel, the company created the memory chip market and invented microprocessors, making both men extremely wealthy. Noyce died in 1990 at the age of 62.