Federico Faggin, PhD was born in Vicenza, Italy. He received his doctorate (Laurea) in Physics, from the University of Padua (1965), and in 1968 he moved to Silicon Valley, California, where he now lives.
Directly, or through various startups he founded and directed, Faggin has been responsible for a great number of state-of-the-art products and technologies. At Olivetti in 1961 he co-designed and built an experimental transistorized electronic computer. At Fairchild Semiconductors, he developed several process technologies for the fabrication of integrated circuits – among them the MOS Silicon Gate Technology (1968) which was adopted worldwide and is still in use today; and with SGT he developed the Fairchild 3708, the world’s first integrated circuit.
Faggin designed the world’s first microprocessor, the Intel 4004 (1971), developed the design methodology, and directed the design of all early Intel’s microprocessors. In 1974 he started and directed his first company, Zilog, Inc., entirely dedicated to the emergent microprocessor and microcontroller market. The Zilog Z80 microprocessor (1976), and the Z8 microcontroller (1978) are still in volume production in 2014. Faggin also developed dozens of memory chips and other integrated circuits at several companies.
In 1982 he founded and directed Cygnet Technologies, Inc. which introduced a pioneering personal communication product for voice, data, and electronic mail. In 1986 he founded and directed Synaptics Inc. (1986) – which today is the leader in human interface solutions, having pioneered the touchpad (1994), and the touchscreen (1999) that have revolutionized the way we interface with mobile devices.
From 2003-2008 Faggin was Chairman of Synaptics and CEO of Foveon, Inc., the developer of advanced image sensors and digital cameras for mobile devices.
He is now President of Federico and Elvia Faggin Foundation, dedicated to the scientific study of consciousness. Faggin has received many awards and honors , among them the 2009 National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama.