Intel Celebrates 30 Years of Innovation
SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 18, 1998 – Thirty years ago, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore started something innovative and unique – Intel Corporation. Today, Intel is the world's largest computer chip maker. But how did that happen? Intel's evolution is in large part the story of the microprocessor revolution -- a revolution that the company continues to lead today.
At its founding on July 18, 1968, Intel's primary purpose was to build a cheaper, better alternative to magnetic core memory based on semiconductor technology. Success came in the form of the 1103, the first merchant market dynamic random access memory (DRAM). The 1103, introduced in 1970, became the world's largest-selling semicondcutor device by the end of the following year. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, a Japanese calculator company had approached Intel to design a set of 12 custom logic chips for a high-performance calculator line. Intel engineers offered a counter-proposal -- a single-chip, general-purpose logic device – and the microprocessor was born. In 1971, Intel introduced the world's first microprocessor, the 4004.
Today's world is being reshaped by technology in ways previously unthinkable. Millions of people use personal computers connected in networks that form a global information system. World news, personal correspondence, educational pursuits, music, arts and business flow through this network, connecting people and ideas in distant countries.
In addition, microprocessors are improving existing products of all kinds, not just the PC. Tucked under the hoods of today's cars, processors control brakes and locks, and remind you to fasten your seat belt. Processors can be found in thermostats and toys, in cellular phones and alarm clocks. These processors change how existing products function and allow the creation of new ones. In the aggregate, they change how we live, how we work, how we entertain ourselves and how we are able to imagine – and thus create – the world our children will inherit.
Intel started 30 years ago with 12 scientific dreamers tucked in a small leased building in Mountain View, Calif., earning revenues of $2,672. Put in the context of 1968 – a year of revolution when people spilled into the streets to demonstrate against the war, political leaders were being assassinated, and reports of riots and drugs filled the daily papers – one would have had to have been a visionary to endorse Intel co-founder Gordon Moore's statement that "we are the true revolutionaries." But in 1998, we now know he was right.
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