Federico Faggin

President of Federico and Elvia Faggin Foundation


Federico Faggin was born in Vicenza, Italy, and graduated in physics, summa cum laude, from the University of Padua in 1965. Faggin emigrated 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 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 the 8008, 8080, and 4040 microprocessors.

In 1974 Faggin began an entrepreneurial career and co-founded several start-up companies. Notable are Zilog, Inc., where Faggin led the development of the Z80 microprocessor, and was President and CEO until 1980; and Synaptics, Inc., the developer of the touchpads and touch-screens now universally used in mobile devices. Faggin was President and CEO of Synaptics from 1987 to 1999 and Chairman of the Board from 1999 to 2008.

Faggin is now President of Federico and Elvia Faggin Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the scientific study of consciousness. Faggin is the recipient of many international awards, including the 1997 Kyoto prize and the 2009 National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Barack Obama.

Co-emergence of Semantic and Syntactic Realities


This presentation will describe a novel conceptual model about the fundamental nature of reality where physical reality is interpreted as the symbolic expression of a deeper extra-physical semantic reality whose ontology rests on a hierarchy of conscious entities whose “substance” is Energy. Energy is the aware, dynamic, holistic, and irreducible extra-physical “stuff” out of which everything that exists is made. Energy has two complementary aspects: a semantic or inner aspect forming cognitive space, C-space; and a symbolic or outer aspect, forming information space, I-space. Conscious entities in C-space fashion communication tokens out of their own Energy. These are symbols the entities use to communicate with each other and know themselves. C-space and I-space exist “before” physical space-time, and matter-energy. Nested extra-physical and physical universes emerge from the interplay of C-space and I-space. C-space and I-space coevolve. The ultimate purpose of Energy is to know and fulfill itself.

Each physical universe can be interpreted as the superposition of the hierarchy of symbols created by a specific hierarchy of conscious entities. It is a subset of I-space forming the symbolic or “outer” aspect of a two-sided reality whose other aspect is the semantic or “inner” aspect. In this model, the human physical body is a limited “vibration” within the Energy-field of the conscious entity that produced it. The consciousness within the vibration itself is the ego, and the ego controls the body that behaves like an avatar inside a virtual reality world. The subset of I-space symbols sensed and processed by the body is perceived by the ego as an objective physical world, P-space. However, the deep information processing performed by the body disguises I-space to appear like a physical world to the limited consciousness of the ego that is identified with its body.