Intel is a name synonymous with computing today. The company is known for its processors which power many of the world’s personal computers, laptops, tablets and even servers. Today, the company’s technology has moved far past just the traditional computer and can be found in various components powering our very infrastructure. As Intel hits the 50-year mark, here are some interesting things about the company you may not have known.
Naming the Company
Back in August of 1968 when Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce quit Fairchild Electronics, where they were co-founders, to start their own electronics company. Initially, they settled on a temporary name “NM Electronics.” Finally, they named the company Intel which comes from a combination of the starting letters of “Integrated Electronics.” Apparently the duo discovered a little later that there was Motel named Intelco and had to buy the name off of them in order to prevent any trademark issues.
Intel’s first product was not a processor
After establishing the company on August 2, 1968, Intel released its first product which was a 64-bit bipolar memory module called the Intel 3101. Intel managed to produce a product less than a year into its operation. The SRAM chip developed by Intel at the time was twice as fast as any other SRAM chip available in the market. Intel’s next product was the 1101 SRAM released later in 1969. The 1101 was the first commercial chip to use a metal-oxide semiconductor process and rely on silicon gates rather than metal. It changed semiconductor technology forever.
Intel’s first processor powered a…calculator
Intel’s first ever processor, the Intel 4004 was a 4-bit CPU on a single chip. It was created in 1971 for a Japanese company named Busicom who used the processor for their calculators. The chip had a maximum clock-speed of 740 Khz, the fastest at the time. After the 4004, Intel went on to release the 8008 CPU, the world’s first single-chip 8-bit CPU. Both marked a first for Intel and were succeeded by the Intel 4040 and the Intel 8080. The Intel 4040 was the first machine-code-compatible chip while the 8080 microprocessor was the first high-performance 8-bit microprocessor. The first commercially successful personal computer, the Altair 8800 was powered by Intel’s 8080 microprocessor.
At a time when personal computers were getting bogged down by non-standard connectors, Ajay Bhatt, an Indian American working for Intel led a team of researchers from seven companies to come up with a port which could be used by any peripheral universally. Aptly named the Universal Serial Bus, the first standard was published in 1996. The USB port revolutionised connectivity and speed, eventually paving the way for Thunderbolt.
Intel in India
Started in January 2016, Intel India Maker Lab is a unique platform for innovators and entrepreneurs to accelerate hardware/systems innovation across technology areas such as Cloud, IoT, AI, ML, and VR. It offers state-of-the-art lab infrastructure including Test & Measurement equipment, tools, mentoring from 30+ senior technologists, seed funding through program partners. 50+ startups have utilised Intel India's Maker Lab offerings. The first batch of 17 startups graduated in October 2016. The current batch of 15 startups under PlugIn, a collaborative incubation program by Intel India, DST and IIT, Bombay are being incubated. In addition, 10 hardware startups from IFDI 2.0 utilized the facility to develop prototypes. The Lab also supports startups from Intel India's partner accelerators REAP, IESA, NASSCOM and Revvx.
Now that you know these 5 interesting facts about Intel, let's talk about another one of its very recent achievements. Intel’s fifty years culminated in a drone show unlike any other the world has seen. Using hundreds of drones, the company put on a show that could rival any fireworks extravaganza. Intel dazzled its Folsom audience on July 15, 2018 with a spectacular light show using 1,500 drones, breaking the previous world record of 1,218 Intel Shooting Star drones. The performance was a commemoration of Intel’s 50 years. You can watch it in the videobelow.