Born in Vicenza, he received doctorate in physics, summa cum laude, at the University of Padua, then went to work at Olivetti. In 1968 he moved to Palo Alto, where he worked for the Fairchild Semiconductor company, where he invented the MOS Silicon Gate technology.
In 1970 he went to Intel, where, with Marcian Hoff and Stanley Mazor he developed the Intel 4004, generally considered the first microprocessor. He invented also the Intel 8008, the first 8-bit microprocessor.
Faggin left Intel to cofound ZiLOG, the producer of the Z80. In 1986 he cofounded the Synaptics, Inc where he actually works as president. In 1988 he received the International Marconi Fellowship Award for his contribute to the birth of the microprocessor, and in the same year the Golden Medal for Science and Tecnology from the Italian Prime Minister. In 1994 he received also the IEEE W. Wallace McDowell Award.