Marcian E. Hoff
National Medal of Technology and Innovation
For the conception, design and application of the first microprocessor, which was commercially adopted and became the universal building block of digital electronic systems, significantly impacting the global economy and people's day-to-day lives.
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BirthOctober 28, 1937
Awarded WithStanley Mazor
Country of BirthUSA
Awarded byBarack Obama
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Areas of ImpactCommunication & Information
Other PrizesNational Inventors Hall of Fame
Marcian “Ted” Hoff was born in Rochester, New York in 1937. After being given a subscription to Popular Mechanics at age 12, Hoff discovered a love for science and went on to a bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Stanford University.
In 1968, Hoff left Stanford and went to work for Intel as employee number 12. He worked with Frederico Faggin and Stanley Mazor to develop the world’s first commercial microprocessor, the intel 4004, for a Japanese client, Busicom. The 4004 was something of a breakthrough for its time—while sized like a contemporary microchip, it had the same processing power as the ENAIC, the first electronic general purpose computer, which took up an entire room in the University of Pennsylvania. With the 4004 era of the microprocessor began.
Hoff, along with Faggin and Mazor, is credited as being one of the fathers of modern integrated circuits and the 4004 would become a business prototype, which Intel would use to grow and become one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies.
By Casey Samulski