Legacy of Robert Noyce

Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore in front of the Intel SC1 building in Santa Clara in 1970.
Robert Noyce (left) and Gordon Moore (right) in front of the Intel SC1 building in Santa Clara in 1970. Photo courtesy of Intel Free Press.

About Robert Noyce

Robert "Bob" N. Noyce, Ph.D. was a physicist and one of the most pivotal visionaries and innovators of the 20th century. He invented the integrated circuit, more commonly known as the microchip, and co-founded both Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel.

Noyce's work and the industry he helped shape paved the path to the personal computer revolution and gave Silicon Valley its name. (Noyce's monolithic integrated circuit was made of silicon.)

Throughout his life,  Noyce believed deeply that we must:  

“... make sure we are preparing our next generation to flourish in a high-tech age.”

Among his many accomplishments, Noyce was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1980 from President Jimmy Carter and the National Medal of Technology in 1988 from President Ronald Regan. Noyce also served as a Regent of the University of California from 1982 to 1988.

Woman wearing sunglasses and man wearing glasses smile as they ride a dirt bike
Robert Noyce and Ann Bowers ride a motorcycle in Austin, Texas in 1980s. Photo courtesy of The Robert N. Noyce Trust.

About Ann Bowers

Ann Schmeltz Bowers was a technology industry executive pioneer and longtime philanthropist who inspired the founding of the UC Noyce Initiative. Bowers was a trail blazer in tech in her own right by being one of the only female executives in the semiconductor industry during the founding of the tech industry in the 1960s. Bowers was a business executive who served as the first director of personnel for Intel Corporation and the first vice president of human resources for Apple, Inc. Learn more about Ann S. Bowers.

Noyce and Bowers Marry

Noyce and Bowers met while working at Intel and the couple were married on November 27, 1975 as part of the Noyce family’s Thanksgiving dinner and on Bowers’ 38th birthday. The two were married for about 15 years until Noyce passed away from a stroke on June 3, 1990. Bowers passed away on January 24, 2024.

Establishing the UC Noyce Initiative

In 2020, The Robert N. Noyce Trust made a gift to the University of California system to launch the UC Noyce Initiative to honor the legacy of Robert Noyce and his wife, Ann S. Bowers. 

This coalition of partners is designed to harness the complementary academic strengths of five UC campuses (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, San Francisco and Santa Barbara) to advance learning, teaching and research in the digital space. Together, they seek to create the next generation of leaders who will shape the future of digital transformation.

The UC Noyce Initiative has the opportunity to honor the Noyce family's legacy and drive discovery around the challenges and opportunities in digital innovation.