Federico Faggin visited Intel headquarters in late summer of 2011 to share memories from 40 years ago, when teamed up with Ted Hoff and Stan Mazur to create Intel’s 4004 chip, which became the world’s first single chip microprocessor.
Faggin talks about the day in January 1971, when he first tested the chip and it worked flawlessly. That was the day the microprocessor was born, he says, and today it is at the heart of the Internet revolution. He says the microprocessor has become the tiny speck of intelligence that converges communication, computing and control capabilities, connecting all of our devices from computers to small smartphones.
He has his eye on quantum computing as the next frontier of computing because of potential is beyond what capable with today’s mechanical microprocessors. Yet he believes computing will never rival the complexity and capabilities on human intelligence.
Dr. Faggin’s contribution extends far beyond the realm of microelectronics. Indeed, he is a great thinker and offers valuable insight on technology, humanity and the very essence of what makes us tick. He has founded the Federico and Elvia Faggin Foundation, which studies human consciousness, the very nexus of the physical world and our human involvement in it. The results promise to be revolutionary.
The Corriere della Sera recently published a fascinating interview (in Italian) with Dr. Faggin, in which he addresses human consciousness and our capacity for sensory perception. His intriguing hypothesis suggests that, given the scientifically inexplicable nature of the human ability to transform electrical signals into sensory perception, consciousness is intrinsic to the universe and was manifest in the space, time and energy created at the time of the Big Bang. You can read the entire interview here.