Your Intel insides are officially middle-aged. On July 18, 1968, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, formerly employees of Fairchild Semiconductor, officially founded microprocessor giant Intel in Santa Clara, California.

Differing from other tech fairy tales, Intel didn’t get its start in a fabled Silicon Valley garage. Noyce and Moore had the backing of investor Arthur Rock, who first used the term “venture capitalist.” With a three-paragraph description of their plans, Rock secured $2.5 million for the company’s launch. The company was originally called NM Electronics for “Noyce” and “Moore.” (“Moore Noyce” was quickly rejected as a name; say it out loud, and you’ll see why it wasn’t an appealing option.) The duo purchased the rights to the name “Intel,” short for “Integrated Electronics,” from the company Intel co.

Intel’s rapid success

Noyce and Moore were soon joined in their collaboration by businessman Andrew Grove, and the three served as Intel’s first three chairmen and CEOs. Success came quickly, with Intel going public in 1971. That was the same year Intel introduced both the erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM) chip, a general-purpose four-bit microprocessor and the first single-chip microprocessor. In 1981, IBM selected Intel’s 8080 microprocessor as the CPU in the Altair 8800—which happened to be the computer that inspired the founders of another tech company called Microsoft. Intel’s rapid success and technological innovations led to the development of “Moore’s Law,” named after founder Gordon Moore: The transistor count on a silicon chip doubles every two years.

Intel’s rise to market domination can be attributed not only to technological prowess but also smart business. In 1991, the company began subsidizing PC advertising in exchange for each unit displaying the “Intel Inside” label. Thanks to this campaign, Intel became a household name.

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Photo:  Ruth Black / Shutterstock.

Kate Johanns

Posted by Kate Johanns

Kate Johanns is a communications professional and freelance writer with more than 13 years of experience in publishing and marketing.

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