Global IT Award

Federico Faggin

Laureate of 2012 Global Award of the President of the Republic of Armenia for Outstanding Contribution to Humanity through IT


Federico Faggin

Chairman Emeritus of Synaptics, Inc., 
President of “Federico and Elvia Faggin Foundation”

Federico Faggin was born in Vicenza, Italy in 1941 and graduated from the Technical Institute “A. Rossi” of Vicenza in 1960. Working for Olivetti, he co-designed and built a small experimental electronic computer in 1961, at the age of 19. During 1961-1965 he studied physics at the University of Padua, Italy, receiving a Laurea degree, summa cum laude. In 1967 Faggin joined SGS-Fairchild in Agrate Brianza, Milan where he developed SGS’s first MOS process technology and designed their first two commercial MOS integrated circuits (ICs).

In February 1968 Faggin joined Fairchild Semiconductor R&D Lab in Palo Alto, California, where he led the development of the MOS Silicon Gate Technology and designed the world’s first commercial IC with silicon gate, the Fairchild 3708. The Silicon Gate Technology was the world’s first MOS self-aligned-gate process technology that was adopted worldwide and laid the foundation for all contemporary ICs.

Faggin worked for Intel Corporation from 1970 to 1974. In 1970-’71 he led the design and development of the 4004, the world’s first microprocessor, and the other 3 chips of the MCS-4 product family. In 1971-’72, Faggin led the development of the 8008, the world’s first 8-bit microprocessor. He also architected and led the development of the Intel 8080 and the Intel 4040 microprocessors. Faggin was Department Manager of Intel’s Research and Development Group from 1973 to 1974.

In 1974 Faggin co-founded Zilog, Inc., the first company entirely dedicated to the emergent microprocessors and microcontrollers market. Faggin was Director, President and CEO of Zilog from 1974 to 1980. At Zilog Faggin conceived, architected and led the development of the Z80 microprocessor, one of the most successful microprocessors ever produced, still in high volume production in 2012. Under Faggin’s leadership, Zilog was at the forefront of microprocessor technology for many years.

In 1982, Faggin co-founded Cygnet Technologies, Inc., which developed the first personal integrated voice and data communication product. In 1986 Faggin co-founded Synaptics, Inc., which developed the early touchpads now universally used in notebook computers and mobile devices. Faggin served as Director, President and Chief Executive Officer from March 1987 to January 1999. From January 1999 until November 2008 he served as Chairman of the Board, and he is now Chairman Emeritus.

From 2003 to 2008 Faggin was President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Foveon, Inc., a company that developed a breakthrough technology for image sensors. Foveon was acquired by Sigma Corporation in 2008. Faggin is now President of Federico and Elvia Faggin Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the scientific study of consciousness.