Federico Faggin was born in Vicenza, Italy, and graduated in physics, summa cum laude, from the University of Padua, Italy in 1965. Faggin moved to the US in 1968 working for Fairchild Semiconductor where he led the development of the MOS Silicon Gate Technology, a key process technology that was adopted worldwide and laid the foundation for nearly all contemporary integrated circuits. Working for Intel Corporation from 1970 to 1974, Faggin designed many products, including the world's first microprocessor, the Intel 4004; and led the Intel 8008, 4040, and 8080 microprocessors.
In 1974 Faggin began an entrepreneurial career and co-founded several start-up companies. Notable are Zilog, Inc., where Faggin was President and CEO until 1980 and led the development of the Z80 microprocessor, and Synaptics, Inc., where Faggin was President and CEO from 1987 to 1999, and Chairman of the Board from 1999 to 2009. Synaptics researched artificial neural networks and developed the early touchpads and touchscreens now used in nearly all mobile devices.
Faggin is now President of Federico and Elvia Faggin Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in 2011 and dedicated to the scientific study of consciousness.
Naturalized a US citizen in 1978, Faggin is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the 1997 Kyoto Prize, the Lifetime Achievement Award by the European Patent Organization in Brussels (2006), and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Barak Obama in 2010.
Federico Faggin married Elvia Sardei in 1967, and they live in Silicon Valley, California since 1968. They have three children, Marzia, Marc, and Eric, and a granddaughter, Isabella.