Intel was founded on July 18, 1968, by semiconductor pioneers Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, who left Fairchild Semiconductor to do so.
Originally called “NM Electronics” for Noyce and Moore, the company purchased the rights to use the name “Intel,” short for Integrated Electronics, from a company called Intelco. The term “intel” already being associated with “intelligence” was a bonus.
Intel’s original business plan was written by Moore and consists of three very vague paragraphs. Though short, the paragraphs were enough to secure funding as venture capitalist Arthur Rock contributed $10,000 and raised the $2.5 million to get the company started. Rock became Intel’s first chairman.
Andy Grove, a vital member of the young company’s team, joined Intel as its first hire soon after the founding (see photo above with Grove, Noyce, and Moore from 1978). With Grove on board, Intel released its first product in 1969, the 3101 64-bit Schottky bipolar RAM, and launched denser MOS SRAM & DRAM soon after.
A $6.8 million IPO (initial public offering) moved the company along in 1971, with Intel public at $23.50 a share.
Intel became a household name with its 1991 “Intel Inside” ad campaign, which involved commercials and a logo that told consumers which computers had Intel processors. In 2005, Apple announced that it would transition to the Intel x86 architecture, which began a partnership that would put Intel processors in Macs to this day.
The continuous series of company milestones and technology advancements made by Intel since its founding are too great to list in this blog post. However, a timeline can be found on Intel’s web site, here.
As of 2017, Intel had 106,000 employees, and an annual revenue of nearly $63 billion.