"So one day, I think it was around some time in
early 1968, I got a phone call. It was from a fellow who I didn't really
know, but I had heard of him, and I met him once I believe -- his name was
Bob Noyce. And he told me he was starting a company
and would I be interested in possibly becoming an employee of his new
company? Well, I thought it might be fun to try, and I interviewed, and
got the position, and became employee number twelve at Intel Corporation."
Marcian "Ted" Hoff
Rochester, NY; 1937
Ted Hoff took the inner circuitry of a computer and shrank it down onto a single chip of silicon: the microprocessor, a computer-on-a-chip. He realized that the memory, the calculating, and the processing functions of a computer could all be contained in a single circuit if only the architecture could be built simply enough. He designed that architecture and so invented the first microprocessor, the chip that is essentially the "brains" in all of today's computers.
Hoff was was born October 28, 1937 in Rochester, New York. He earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and then earned his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1962. He spent four years continuing to do research at Stanford before getting a job with Intel when it was founded in 1968.
In 1971, a Japanese firm came to Intel and asked for integrated circuits for their new calculators. The firm envisioned 12 different chips one to process information from the keyboard, one to do the calculations, one to control the screen, etc. Hoff decided to build a chip that could do all of that by itself.
In 1980, Hoff was named the first Intel Fellow, the highest technical position in the company. Shortly thereafter he left for Atari, where he served as Vice President for Technology. Currently he is the Vice President and Chief Technical Officer with Teklicon, Inc.
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