Shortly thereafter, on July 18, 1968, the two men incorporated a venture that would later be called Intel. Almost immediately, Andy Grove joined them, and the three men together formed the leadership of the company that has produced technological innovations that have created new industries and forever altered the way we live.
One of the most important institutions in high technology history began when Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, two of the best-known figures in semiconductor technology, decided to form a new company together. Together with a small cadre of colleagues and connections drawn from their years in the Silicon Valley tech industry, Noyce and Moore set out to create a new kind of company, one dedicated to continuous innovation and the firm belief that their technologies would change the world.
Intel was established when Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, already leaders in the Silicon Valley tech industry for their work on integrated circuits, decided to form a new company that would let them pursue innovation on their own terms. The company's first year would be shaped largely by startup considerations — raising capital, finding facilities and even just determining a new name for the company — but even in these early operations one can see the roots of the global tech giant Intel would eventually become.
Intel's first full calendar year of operations saw a lot of landmark developments for the company — including its first product, first sale and first logo — along with several key innovations, most notably metal-oxide semiconductor and silicon gate technologies.
A young Intel grew to be one of the biggest, most important companies in tech. The company introduced several industry-changing technologies that paved the way for inexpensive computing to become ubiquitous in modern life. Most importantly, the company introduced the world's first programmable microprocessor, followed by several generations of improvements that helped the device reach ever-greater levels of application. Meanwhile, corporate growth kept pace with its technological prowess as Intel moved into new facilities, new countries and new business avenues at an astonishing pace.
A still-young Intel continued to shock the semiconductor industry. The company released the 1103 dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), which established semiconductors as the new industry standard for memory (replacing magnetic core memories), broke ground on its first company-owned facility and embraced a bold new slogan that emphasized its commitment to making the theoretical possible: "Intel Delivers." Not bad for a company in only its third year of operation.
Intel developed multiple products that would change the future of technology. Most importantly, the company introduced the world's first electronically programmable microprocessor, the 4004, a conceptual breakthrough that would transform Intel and drive the rise of the modern digital age. Complementing that development was the world's first electrically programmable read-only memory (EPROM), which would make microprocessor development cheaper and easier. Meanwhile, the company took several steps at the corporate level to facilitate continued expansion and innovation, including its IPO and the construction of the first company-owned facility.
Intel expanded its operations on multiple fronts. The company augmented its manufacturing operations geographically and technologically, opening a facility in Penang, Malaysia, and converting from 50mm (2-inch) to 75mm (3-inch) silicon wafers in its chip production process. The company added to its product offerings with the SIM 4 and SIM 8 design aids and the release of its second processor, the 8008. Lastly, Intel acquired digital watchmaker Microma, bringing it into consumer electronics and liquid crystal displays (LCDs).
Intel took several steps to lay the groundwork for future growth. The new Intellec series offered software development tools for Intel processors, boosting Intel's sales while easing designers' embrace of microprocessors. A new communications strategy helped the company refine its advertisements to better convey how the “Intel micro computer works.” The company’s now-iconic clean room suits came into their first use at a new wafer fabrication facility in Livermore, Calif. — Intel's first outside of Silicon Valley. And finally, in a sign of the company’s plans for growth, a massive hiring ramp-up more than doubled Intel’s workforce.
Intel released the 8080 microprocessor, destined to go down as one of the most important products in tech history, and saw several major milestones for its corporate operations, including two new international facilities (in the Philippines and Israel) and several key sales milestones.
Intel experienced a year of challenges and triumphs. The company's hardware was used to power one of the first personal computers, the Altair 8800. It also introduced several breakthrough technologies, including an industry-standard bus architecture and the company's first in-circuit emulator. Its corporate operations successfully navigated first a big leadership transition when Gordon Moore succeeded Robert Noyce as chief executive, and then a catastrophic challenge to its production chain after a fire destroyed its facility in Penang, Malaysia. Meanwhile, the company learned a lesson in marketing with the creation of its first television commercial.
Intel took several key steps to continue the proliferation of microprocessors in modern life. The company developed its first microcontrollers, heralding the beginning of a new world of microchip-controlled machines and household devices. The company also released the industry’s first single-board computer, the iSBC 80/10, to aid system designers and accelerate the proliferation of microprocessor devices. Meanwhile, the company's first fabrication facility outside of California would boost its production capacity to meet demand. Record-setting revenues and earnings would show the wisdom of the company's approach.
A record number of new products allowed Intel to continue laying the groundwork for a digital world. Among other innovations, the company announced a huge step forward for telecommunications with the first single-chip codec, pioneered new technologies in magnetic bubble memories and created a new industry standard with the 2116 EPROM. As the demand for semiconductors picked up and the company's range of offerings expanded, the company would open a new assembly plant on the island of Barbados.
Intel celebrated its 10th anniversary by launching one landmark processor, the 8086, starting development of another, the 80286, and initiating a new fellowship program to foster still more R&D. The company didn't forget to party either, bringing thousands of employees together for a massive anniversary celebration.
Intel wrapped up the 1970s in triumph, making its debut on the Fortune 500 list while continuing to launch innovative products and possibly an even more innovative marketing campaign. The company's leadership structure continued to evolve to keep up with these advances as CEO Gordon Moore added the title of chairman and Andy Grove became president and COO.
Semiconductors continued to make inroads into every aspect of American life with Intel leading the way. The launch of the IBM PC in 1981 heralded the beginning of a decade where the personal computer would come into its own as a business tool, while breakthroughs in other areas of semiconductor engineering expanded Intel's reach in everything from cars to supercomputing. The company’s victories were hampered by multiple industrywide slumps, however, which Intel met with its characteristic combination of innovation and commitment.
Intel continued to define the technology of the digital age, debuting the industry-changing 8051 microcontroller, helping to create the Ethernet standard, adding to the capabilities of the 8086 with the introduction of the 8087 coprocessor and electrically erasable and programmable memory, all while weathering natural disasters from California to the Caribbean.
A national recession brought unprecedented economic hardship for Intel, but employees stepped up to keep things moving through the company's famous "125% Solution" program. Their commitment paid off, as Intel debuted new, innovative products like the 86/330 microcomputer system and the industry's first 64K EPROM. The biggest story of the year, however, was the most important design win in Intel's history: IBM's decision to use Intel processors to power its new personal computer.
Intel kept pushing through the ongoing recession with a little help from some friends. IBM bought a temporary stake in the company in a show of confidence and support, while years of courting Ford Motor Co. finally paid off with one of the biggest design wins in company history. Meanwhile, advances in both memory and microprocessor technologies demonstrated that tough times don't weaken the company's commitment to innovation.
Intel bounced back from the two-year recession in a big way. The company opened its largest fabrication facility up to that point, powered the landmark Compaq Portable computer and introduced a slew of new products that would lead revenues to exceed $1 billion for the first time in company history.
Intel took several steps to shape the future of computing. Even as the company's 286 processor introduced modern personal computing capability, the company created a new division dedicated to pursuing the power of supercomputing. To protect the benefits of its contributions, the company also championed new national legislation that would protect innovations in semiconductor design.
As the entire semiconductor industry again faced hardship, Intel realigned its operations with an eye to the future. The company made the difficult but smart decision to stop producing DRAMs, expanded its international manufacturing capabilities and launched successful products for both the personal computing and supercomputing markets.
Intel faces the toughest economic year in its history as the semiconductor industry remains depressed. However, the company lays the groundwork for a more prosperous future, entering the market for ASICs, developing products with record-setting capabilities and refining its operations and strategies to best meet the demands of the nascent personal computing revolution.
Intel surged back into the black as the semiconductor industry finally recovered from a multiyear recession, and that was only one of Intel's causes for celebration. The 386 continued its dominance and provided the basis for several new products, the comapny made a splash at its first appearance at the Siggraph trade show and Andy Grove rose to the office of CEO.
Intel's 20th year saw the company's influence continue to expand. The creation of the Intel Foundation institutionalized Intel's corporate giving with a permanent structure that would contribute billions to worthy causes throughout the world. The company's position in the automotive market grew stronger with the introduction of new technologies and sales milestones for existing ones. And while new product launches were nothing new to Intel, in this year the company took the remarkable step of launching 16 at once in an event known as Big Bang Day.
Intel closed out the 1980s with a record-breaking year fueled by the introduction of three new microprocessors: the 860, 486 and 960. The company updated its operations along with its product offerings, boosting 386 sales with a groundbreaking ad campaign aimed at consumers instead of computer manufacturers and launching a massive corporate recycling program. Even as the company continued to push the industry forward, its leaders were recognized for their past innovations.
The advent of the World Wide Web and user-friendly web browsers prompted a massive increase in consumer computing, bringing greater fame and fortune to Intel. Intel secured its position as a leader in the new market through a combination of successful products and effective brand promotions, including the now famous “Intel Inside” campaign and the Intel Bunny People. By the end of the decade, Intel had not only experienced phenomenal growth and provided game-changing technologies — it had become a household name.
Intel's first year of the 1990s was characterized by resilience after the sudden passing of co-founder Robert Noyce. As the company mourned, it pressed on with new products, including its first NetPort servers and the groundbreaking i750 processor for multimedia development. Meanwhile, Gordon Moore was awarded the National Medal of Technology and the company as a whole was celebrated in exhibits at some of the nation's top museums.
For Intel, 1991 was super literally and figuratively. The company created cutting-edge parallel supercomputers, Touchstone Delta and Paragon. It launched its now-iconic advertising campaign, Intel Inside, and aired its first television ads. All in all, it came as no surprise when at year's end the company reported record-shattering financial results.
Intel’s star continued to rise as it was declared the biggest semiconductor manufacturer in the U.S., issued its first cash dividend to stockholders and increased its presence in retail outlets all in the same year. The release of special OverDrive 486 processors able to boost PC performance by up to 70 percent, the launch of Indeo Video software to allow for digital media conversion without dedicated hardware, and the company’s first 200mm chip wafers all signal that Intel’s status as the go-to company for personal computing technology was likely to continue.
Intel made its 25th anniversary year one to remember. The company launched its employee volunteer program, Intel Involved, which brought a new structure and permanence to employees’ efforts to help their communities. The release of the Pentium processor ensured a strong future for x86 architecture even after the "86" naming convention was dropped. And the company unveiled PC Magazine's Product of the Year: the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) bus.
Intel's 1994 was all about improving the lives of computer users. ProShare videoconferencing technology offered live video chatting, LANDesk products let offices manage software functions for multiple machines at once via a computer network and the Universal Serial Bus (USB) made it easier for everyone to connect peripherals to their PC. The good news was interrupted by the discovery of a flaw in the Pentium processor, but ultimately the experience affirmed Intel's commitment to its customers.
Intel's public profile gained prominence as more and more people came to understand the importance of computers. The company launched its first website to help customers learn more about Intel and its products. The company's hottest new product, the Pentium Pro, was so powerful the U.S. Department of Energy selected it to power a new supercomputer, giving Intel's products more cachet. And to extend its brand recognition beyond visual cues, Intel debuted an audio signature, the Intel "bong," which became an iconic part of its radio and TV advertisements.
Twenty-five years after Intel changed the world with the 4004 microprocessor, the company remained at the forefront of the digital revolution. The video phone and Wired for Management initiative allowed PC users to connect in ways that were unimaginable just a few years prior. Meanwhile, work with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Smithsonian gave the company chances to flex its muscles as a force in both technology and culture. Unsurprisingly, these victories led the company to another year of financial success and praise from industry insiders.
Intel celebrated another year of innovative products accompanied by financial success and critical praise. The debut of the Pentium II ensured the company's continuing status as the standard-bearer for the industry. The chip would be sold with the help of the "Bunny People," the company's new and immediately popular mascots. An increasing appreciation for the importance of computers and Intel's role in creating them led Time magazine to name CEO Andy Grove "Man of the Year."
Intel began adapting to an expanding market in which a wider variety of customers demanded a wider variety of products. The company introduced the Celeron processor to appeal to consumers in the "value PC" market who wanted a chip that offered modest performance in exchange for a lower price, and the Xeon brand to appeal to high-performance enterprising customers. As these changes were underway, Craig Barrett succeeded Andy Grove as CEO and began pursuing a vision that extended far beyond PCs.
Thanks in large part to the continuing expansion of internet-related computing, Intel finished the 1990s strong. Several new products and services brought the company deeper into supporting e-commerce even as the company introduced consumers to Pentium III, its first microprocessor specifically designed with the internet in mind. To keep the company's philanthropic efforts as up-to-date as its products, the company launched Innovation in Education, a program to help teachers integrate technology into their lesson plans.
In a decade bookended by big market declines in 2001 and 2008, Intel continued to invest in Research and Development and new production processes and sites. The company’s efforts allowed it to navigate the tumultuous times far better than its peers even as it helped to popularize game-changing technologies like wireless computing and multicore processors.
Intel entered the new millennium with its characteristic energy. The company continued to advance its personal computing offerings, this time with the Pentium 4, while continuing to diversify with new products for the wireless and e-commerce markets. With ongoing success in sales, the company launched a significant expansion of its global fabrication capabilities and upped its philanthropic work through two major initiatives: Teach to the Future and the Computer Clubhouse Network.
The bursting of the dot-com bubble presented Intel with a rocky financial year, but fortunately CEO Craig Barrett had kept the company in a strong enough position to continue R&D while it rode out the tough times. Among the company's achievements in 2001: the world's smallest transistor (20nm) and a high-density processor designed in collaboration with Hewlett-Packard. With all signs pointing to long-term success and stability, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore retired from the board of directors.
As the entire tech industry navigated the ongoing fallout from the dot-com collapse, Intel continued to make savvy decisions that would leave it well-positioned to seize the momentum during the eventual upturn. The company launched upgrades to Pentium 4 and Itanium and opened a new fabrication facility in New Mexico to keep up with anticipated demand for its products. While Intel pursued these measures for the future, retired founder Gordon Moore received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his accomplishments in business, science and philanthropy.
In its 35th year, Intel surged out of the recession that had been gripping the tech industry and debuted technologies that would have been unimaginable in 1968. With both the Internet and PCs fully integrated into many people's daily lives, the company focused on enhancing mobile computing with the release of Intel Centrino Mobile techology and a Mobile Pentium 4 processor designed to optimize computing on the go. Intel also invested heavily in building up Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the country to create an ecosphere that would bolster mobile technologies' adoption.
As Intel's finances continued to recover from the recession caused by the dot-com bust, the company carried on with refining its operations. It began 300mm wafer manufacturing outside of the United States, eliminated most of the lead used in its chip manufacturing and introduced flash memory with 90nm process technology, all of which prepared the company to meet the demands of the future.
Intel technologies and corporate operations continued to evolve. The company released its first multicore processor, dramatically advancing the computing power available in a single package. A new leader arrived in the form of Paul Otellini, who succeeded Craig Barrett as CEO, while a former leader, Gordon Moore, is recognized with his wife, Betty, as the top philanthropists in the country. The company itself continued to be a noted philanthropist as well, responding with particular force to disaster relief efforts amid an especially tumultuous year.
Intel underwent several changes that would shape the company's modern operations. Crucial product launches secured its leadership in multicore processors, which were quickly becoming the industry standard.
A new logo — the company's biggest branding change since 1969 — signified the company's commitment to pushing the envelope of what was possible from technology. Finally, the company announced the construction of its biggest production facility to date, in Vietnam.
Intel pursued a year of big swings. The company introduced chips made with a new process that Gordon Moore called “the biggest change in transistor technology since ... the late 1960s" and invested billions to implement that process at new or upgraded facilities. Meanwhile, the company's advances in photonic technology made it easier and cheaper to transmit data on beams of light, while new standards for a commercial Ethernet would make large server networks easier to use and maintain.
A massive global recession dampened Intel's 40th anniversary celebrations, but the company was still able to turn a profit while dropping major updates to multiple product lines. The Core i7 debuted as the world's fastest processor for desktops, the Atom processor expanded wireless capabilities for mobile devices, the latest NAND flash memory device was both smaller and more powerful than the previous version and Intel's first halogen-free Xeon processors helped reduce the company's environmental footprint.
Even as the Great Recession continued to disrupt the global economy, Intel kept pushing the envelope of technological possibility. The Xeon 5500 family offered record-shattering performance to enterprise customers, an experimental Single-Chip Cloud Computer put an entire data center on a single chip, and the Intel Reader showed how Intel technology could change lives. With the company on stable ground and primed to pursue the future of connected devices, Craig Barrett stepped down as chairman, to be succeeded by Jane Shaw.
Intel became a key player in the proliferation of “smart” devices that maintained wireless connections to cloud servers to perform tasks standalone devices can't. The company’s technology powered the countless end-user devices found in households throughout the world, from kitchen appliances to unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), as well as the high-intensity servers that processed the data those devices generate and the networks that kept the connected devices connected. At the same time, the company launched pioneering initiatives to foster diversity and ensure conflict-free materials sourcing, showing that Intel's corporate responsiblity initiatives, like its products, were always on the cutting edge.
Intel started off the 2010s with record revenues powered by the continuing demand for ever-more portable computers. The company met that demand with its second generation Core processors, which became available for laptops and ultra-low voltage, ultra-thin portables thanks to the company's groundbreaking 32nm processor technology. The company's memory offerings shrank as well as Intel pioneered 25nm NAND flash memory and the SSD 310 shrank the footprint of Intel's solid state drives by 7/8.
Intel continued its leadership position in personal computing even as mobile devices and tablets took over the market. The company formed a new Mobile Communications Group, introduced the first generation of Thunderbolt technology and potentially saved the PC with the Ultrabook. At the same time, the company was creating a more inclusive workplace and continuing to break financial records.
Intel continued to drive a world of rapidly changing technologies on multiple fronts. The Xeon Phi chip introduced Many Integrated Core architecture, which integrated supercomputing principles into a microchip. The company optimized its rollout of new products and innovations by working with bloggers and social media, while the She Will Innovate initiative applied the wisdom of crowds to bridging the gender gap in technology. Finally, after a strong financial year, the company continued to take a long view of R&D, investing in the technologies of the future rather than the present.
Intel both expanded the applications for its technology and worked to let more people take advantage of those applications. The company's new Haswell architecture Core processors optimized performance for 2-in-1s, tablets and portable all-in-ones, opening up the processors' full potential to an entire range of devices. Meanwhile, the company worked to put more people in touch with that potential through sponsorships and philathropic programs, and new CEO Brian Krzanich outlined the pillars that would power future innovations.
Much of Intel's activities in 2014 focused on reconceptualizing the role of technology in modern life. The Core M processor showed the company continuing to change what was possible in a transistor. A new business group was formed to help speed the development of a world where countless devices could be connected by an "Internet of Things." The company's completion of a conflict-free supply chain for its raw materials showed everyone a new, more ethically responsible path forward for tech production. And finally, a series of commercials conveyed how the company's breakthroughs could help solve some of the world's toughest problems.
As Moore's Law turned 50, Intel continued to expand technology's reach. The company introduced a fleet of drones that showcased the company's technical prowess with thrilling aerial light shows, moved into field-programmable components with the acquisition of Altera Corp. and continued to develop the technologies that would manage a world increasingly driven by electronic data. The company pursued social advances as well, launching a multiyear, $300 million commitment to improve diversity in the tech industry.
Intel showed how its technology could change the face of transportation: the company's first commercially available drone, the Falcon 8+, offered easy remote access to areas humans would have trouble reaching. Its new fleet of performing drones showed the potential for 500 aerial vehicles to move in flawless synchronization. And last but not least, the company dramatically stepped up its pursuit of autonomous driving technologies. Intel made it clear it was not abandoning the PC, however, with an ad campaign focused on the company's high-performance gaming chips.
Intel's 2017 was marked by exciting developments in automotive technology, including a merger with Mobileye that greatly advanced the company's position in autonomous driving and a partnership with Warner Bros. to turn car rides into adventures. The company matched these advances with stepped-up commitments to diversity, bringing the "She Will Connect" program to America and making a major pledge to support STEM education at HBCUs. Intel kept up its tradition of hip promotions as well, partnering with a rock star and a star athlete on a special project.
Fifty years after Intel was established, the company reached once-unimaginable highs. The company achieved over $70 billion in revenue for the first time as its data-centric businesses grew by 18% thanks to its high-profile partnership with the NFL and Intel Mobileye bringing self-driving cars closer to market than ever before. As Intel continued to improve its offerings, it also improved internally by achieving full representation of women and minorities in its workforce a full two years earlier than targeted.
Intel finished the decade in great shape, building on its past successes even as it broke new ground. Bob Swan became permanent CEO, upholding the company tradition of promoting its chief executive from within. The launch of Project Athena expanded on Intel's history of platform development with a program that would prepare laptops for 5G and artificial intelligence. Project Aurora built on the company’s history of public-private supercomputing partnerships with a collaborative effort to produce a computer capable of exaFLOP performance. These milestones showed that, as technology grew ever more prolific and complex, Intel would grow with it and drive its progress.
Intel entered the 2020s ready to continue creating world-changing technologies that would improve the life of every person on the planet. Throughout its history, Intel had been at the forefront of creating the data-centric world, and the company itself had evolved along with that world. In its sixth decade, Intel focused on technologies that were unimaginable when it was founded, such as artificial intelligence, 5G wireless networking and intelligent edge computing. Yet even as the company’s fields of development changed in awe-inspiring ways, Intel remained committed to making the world safer, healthier, more inclusive and more sustainable, even as the COVID-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenges.
As the coronavirus pandemic disrupted virtually every aspect of life, Intel adapted rapidly to maintain its commitment to its workers, its customers and its own principles. The company introduced new technologies — including the 11th generation Intel Core processor — and emphasized ways its existing products could help the millions of people suddenly working and learning from home. The company maintained its sense of corporate responsibility as well, combining immediate efforts to help people affected by the pandemic with long-term efforts to adopt a revolutionarily sustainable business model.