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film > The Four Lives of Federico Faggin

The Four Lives of Federico Faggin
Italian, American, Inventor, Consciousness Researcher

December 15, 2022 | 6:30 PM

Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco @INNOVIT
710 Sansome St, San Francisco

Federico Faggin shares his fascinating journey through the ages, from being born in war-time Italy to living the American dream as he became the renown physicist, serial entrepreneur, designer of the first microprocessors and inventor of devices we still use everyday such as the touchscreen and touchpad. Then, thirty years ago, while breaking through the frontiers of artificial intelligence, he had an experience that led him to question the fundamental aspects of consciousness, the nature of reality, and life beyond the ordinary material world.

Based on the autobiography Silicon by Federico Faggin, Four Lives screened at the “Re-Visioning Consciousness” conference at the Pari Center in Tuscany, Italy, the exclusive 2022 Asilomar Microcomputer Conference, and also opened the international Beyond The Brain conference in London.

This event is organized by the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco.

Free Admission – Registration required





“Federico Faggin has spent a lifetime creating technology that takes human societies to the next level. From microprocessors to touchpads and touch screen technology, Faggin has been an architect of the Information Age, working to “bring the future into the present.” In this exceptional new documentary, we see that he continues that work, now in the field of consciousness. He is one of the leading voices assuring us that consciousness is primary and does not, in fact, derive from matter. When this awareness takes hold in human societies, it will usher in a golden age of innovation and regeneration. This documentary is an important contribution to getting us to that time.”
Judy Kitt President, Foundation for Mind Being Research Mountain View, CA


“This is one of the best, most heart-opening documentaries I have ever seen. I was fascinated by Federico telling us of his early life and the road to the many discoveries and inventions in his career. But when he began to talk about how his work on computing showed him the absolute impossibility of making a computer conscious, I kept saying, “Yes!, Yes!”

“Federico had actually come to these conclusions about the primacy of consciousness and our true humanity when he realized that the prevailing materialist theory could not answer any of his questions about how consciousness could arise from biological activity. What an amazing documentary. It makes my heart sing.”
Marjorie Woollacott, Ph.D. Professor, Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon President, Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences



image of federico faggin taken by roberto millerFederico Faggin, inventor and entrepreneur, was born in Vicenza, Italy, in 1941, and graduated in physics, summa cum laude, at the University of Padua in 1965. He has been living in the United States since 1968, and he is a naturalized US citizen since 1978. In 1970-1971, he was project leader and designer of the Intel 4004, the first microprocessor in the world. He also led all the early Intel microprocessors (8008, 4040, and 8080) and designed the Intel 2102A fast static RAM memory, introducing the depletion load technology to Intel.

Most importantly, he was the project leader and the developer of the original MOS silicon gate technology at Fairchild Semiconductor in 1968, the technology that allowed the design and manufacturing of microprocessors, non-volatile memories (EPROM, etc.), DRAM memories and CCD image sensors—the essential elements for the digitization of information.

In 1974 he founded Zilog, Inc., giving life to the famous Z80 microprocessor and Z8 microcontroller, still in volume production today. In 1986 he co-founded Synaptics, the company that developed the first Touchpad and Touchscreen that have revolutionized the way we interface with mobile computers.

On October 19, 2010, he received the 2009 National Medal for Technology and Innovation from President Obama for the invention of the microprocessor.

In 2011 he founded the Federico & Elvia Faggin Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the scientific study of consciousness. The Foundation sponsors theoretical and experimental research at US universities and research institutes. It also helped establish a chair in the Physics of Information in 2015, at the University of Santa Cruz.

He is the author of Silicon: From the Invention of the Microprocessor to the New Science of Consciousness in 2019, and this year in Italy, IRREDUCIBLE: Consciousness, Life, Computers and Our Nature, coming soon in English.


image of roberto miller taken by liz millerRoberto Miller studied creative writing while producing multimedia projects for the Computer Science Dept. at Stanford University. In 1994 he left Stanford to found Pure Grain Digital Productions and made the first all-digital film, which won festival awards and was featured in American Cinematographer. Roberto went on to direct and produce TV commercials and videos for Silicon Valley companies such as Hewlett Packard and Apple before returning to filmmaking with his award-winning feature film, Mandorla. Recently, he completed the documentary The Four Lives of Federico Faggin, and is currently in pre-production on his next film.



  • Organizzato da: Italian Cultural Institute SF