Computers have become an indispensable part of our world. If all the computers were to stop working tomorrow, we’ll have a mass collapse of economy, society and order. All this started with the development of integrated circuits. These semiconductors allowed building computers that were small enough to be used for personal use. Intel has been at the forefront of semiconductor manufacturing and in 45 years since its formation has helped us to have increasingly powerful machines for our personal use. Today all computers use parts manufactured by Intel and the company itself has become one of the most successful, powerful and recognizable brands in the world. Here are top 10 interesting facts about Intel.
10. The Beginning:
Intel started in 1968 when physicist Robert Noyce and chemist Gordon Moore decided to start their own company after having worked together for Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory and later at Fairchild Semiconductor. Noyce created the integrated circuit along with Jack Kilby. Initially they wanted to name the company Moore Noyce but decided against it when they realized that it sounded similar to ‘more noise’.
9. New Name:
The new name of the company came about as the combination of the two words “INTegrated circuits” and “ELectronics”. Thus INTEL was formed and since then it’s become a worldwide recognized brand when it comes to computers of any kind. A hotel chain had the same name and they had to pay them $15000 to use it.
8. Intel Inside:
The “Intel Inside” brand campaign was launched in 1991 and it helped Intel become one of the most popular brands in the world. It holds the number one spot in the market for semiconductor manufacturers beating the second place Samsung Electronics by quite a margin. In 2009 Intel was named the 23rd most powerful brand in the world.
7. The Cubicle:
Intel was one of the first companies to use the cubicle system in its office. You can thank Intel for the slight claustrophobia you feel on a daily basis. The current CEO Paul Otellini supports the cubicle by using one as his office space instead of a personal office.
6. Intel Museum:
Intel has a museum that houses different artifacts and interesting facts about the company and its 40+ years old history. The museum is visited by more than 80,000 people annually.
5. Mentored Steve Jobs:
Robert Noyce has always been helpful towards young tech upstarts and has mentored a lot of them to achieve success in the business world. Among the people he mentored is Steve Jobs who went on to create Apple. That’s an interesting connection between two of the leading companies in the IT industry.
Intel has a special cleanroom where the chips are manufactured. It is kept cleaner than a hospital and not even a speck of dust is allowed to enter. The employees have to wear special bunny suits to work in the cleanroom. The air in the cleanroom has no particles above the size of 0.5 microns. To put that in perspective a human hair is 100 microns thick.
Over the years Intel has worked on acquiring lots of different companies. Intel Capital has invested over $9 billion in 1000 companies since 1991. In 1972 they acquired Microma to enter the digital watch market. They recently acquired McAfee. They also have companies in the car security systems and digital content protection services.
In its first year Intel earned a total revenue of $2,672. It went public in 1971 and raised $6.8 million with each share costing $23.50. Today it is worth $54 billion. In 2010 it reportedly spent $6.6 billion on research and development. It has a “tick-tock” method of continuous development of microprocessors. It employs about 80,000 people.
Intel’s first big success came in the form of the 4004 microprocessor in 1971. It contained 2300 transistors and was a 4 bit CPU. The 8088 CPU that came ten years later had 29000 transistors and was used in IBM computers. IBM had used an outside vendor for the first time and the partnership changed the world of computers. The Core2duo processor has 100,000 times the transistors of the 4004.