Intel has been in business for 50 years this week

It's hard to believe but the chip giant was established on July 18, 1968. Here are some of the highlights from the last half-century.

  • Robert Noyce (left) and Gordon Moore (right) established Intel in July 1968. Both men had been working at Fairchild Semiconductor - a company they co-founded with colleagues. It was the world's largest producer of integrated circuits at the time. They founded Intel to conduct research and development the way they preferred. A few years earlier in 1965, Moore predicted that the number of components in a microchip would double approximately every year for the next 10 years at a roughly fixed cost - a prediction later called Moore's Law. Image source: Intel

  • In April 1969, Intel released its first product, the 64-bit 3101 Static Random Access Memory (SRAM) chip. It was twice as fast as other SRAM chips on the market.

  • Also in 1969, Intel unveiled the 1101 SRAM chip, the first on the market to use a metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS) process to mass-produce chips commercially. Intel was also the first to mass-produce chips that used silicon gates rather than metal.

  • The chip giant introduced Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EPROM) in 1971. This made it possible to design new chip prototypes in hours rather than days or weeks. The technology also helped make microprocessors more commercially viable by making it easier to reprogram them.

  • In 1971, Intel released the world’s first microprocessor, the 4-bit 4004. Japanese company Busicom bought the rights to use the chip in its programmable electronic calculators. Intel recognised the microprocessor’s potential and bought back the chip design. Image source: Thomas Nguyen

  • Intel released the 8-bit 8080 chip in 1974. It was about 10 times faster than the earlier 8008. The chip was used in thousands of devices – including the Altair 8800 personal computer. Image source: Konstantin Lanzet

  • The Intel 8748 microcontroller debuted in 1976. Before the advent of the PC, Intel entered the embedded market with its first microcontrollers, the MCS-48 family. These microcontrollers would eventually be found in everything from fuel pumps to airliners and a video game console. Source: Intel

  • Intel's 8086 processor was released in 1978. Here's a photo of the processor from that year next to the much newer Intel Core i7-8086K limited edition processor.. The chip was the first 16-bit processor and the first of other Intel processors based on the same x86 architecture. In 1980, Intel’s Operation Crush marketing campaign shifted the focus of processor marketing from technical specifications to solving customers’ problems. Intel spent more than $2 million on the campaign, which resulted in about 2,500 design wins. This campaign led to IBM buying the processing for its first PC. Source: Intel

  • The Intel Inside marketing campaign began in 1991. Intel initially spent $250 million on the campaign, which targeted consumers rather than industry insiders.

  • Intel collaborated to develop the Universal Serial Bus (USB) specification, which debuted in 1995. USB provided a standard way to connect peripherals to PCs.

  • Intel's Centrino processor was released in 2003. Centrino enabled mobile computing by integrating a mobile processor, related chipsets and 802.11 wireless network functions for better performance and battery life.

  • In 2011, Intel unveiled Thunderbolt high-speed PC connection technology. Thunderbolt could transfer a full-length high definition movie in less than 30 seconds. Also that year, the chip giant announced the Ultrabook laptop specification. It was the first time the company had created a new device category specification for PC manufacturers. Image source: Intel

  • In 2015, Intel and Micron announced a new non-volatile memory technology called 3D XPoint. It was up to 1,000 times faster than previous non volatile memory, benefitting applications that needed fast access to large data sets. 3D XPoint would later become part of Intel’s Optane memory technology for PCs and data centres.

  • In 2016, Intel announced it was restructuring its business to speed up its evolution from a PC company to one focussed on powering the cloud and the connected world. Intel’s data centre products would process data from billions of devices, connected by Intel-enabled Internet of Things solutions. That year, the company also unveiled its first Intel-branded commercial drone, the Intel Falcon 8+ (pictured). The lightweight drone was designed for industrial inspection, surveying and mapping. Image source: Intel

  • Last year, Intel acquired computer vision and machine learning company Mobileye. This enabled the company to deliver automated driving solutions, from the cloud to cars. The company also announced the world's first global 5G modem, the Intel 5G Modem. Image source: Intel

  • Earlier this year, server vendors adopted Intel Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) acceleration chips. FPGAs can be reprogrammed on the fly for speech recognition, A.I., analytics and other specialised tasks. Image source: Intel

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