Today’s electronics-themed Google Doodle celebrates the life of Robert Noyce, the co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel who came to be known to many as the “Mayor of Silicon Valley.”
The new doodle is a return to more tech-focused Google Doodles in a year that’s seen doodles for music artists like Les Paul and Freddy Mercury. Noyce’s best known accomplishment is his work as a co-creator of the microchip, so the doodle is the Google logo imprinted on one of the chips that Noyce helped create.
After earning his doctorate from MIT in 1953, Noyce went on to work in the technology industry where he eventually became one of eight employees that left Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory to form Fairchild Semiconductor. Fairchild went on to be one of the most influential companies in the history of modern technology by creating the first microchip. Noyce was later a co-founder of Intel, where he helped oversee the development of the microprocessor.
During his life, Noyce was awarded the National Media of Science in 1979 and was honored by three separate U.S. Presidents. Noyce passed away in June of 1990 at the age of 62, but he left behind a reputation as one of the pioneers of the computer age. December 12, 2011 would have marked Noyce’s 84th birthday.