Andy Grove Helped Make Intel the Dominant Chip Maker It Is Today

Andy Grove Helped Make Intel the Dominant Chip Maker It Is Today
First Stop: Fairchild
Making the Move to Intel
Putting Intel on the Right Path
Embracing the Silicon
The 386 and Pentium
Intel and Microsoft Join Hands
Intel Becomes a Big Player in the Tech Industry
Not an Easy Boss
Manager, Executive, Engineer and Author
On Top of the World
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Andy Grove Helped Make Intel the Dominant Chip Maker It Is Today

Grove played a central role in the evolution of Intel, from getting the company to manufacture PC chips to helping forge the company's close ties to Microsoft.

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First Stop: Fairchild

After receiving his Ph.D., Grove was hired at Fairchild, where he eventually became its assistant director of R&D and met Moore and Noyce.

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Making the Move to Intel

In 1968, Moore and Noyce left Fairchild to start Intel, and hired Grove as their first employee on the day of Intel's incorporation. The combination of the three men would help change the tech industry and lead to the digital world we know today.

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Putting Intel on the Right Path

Grove played a central role in the shift of Intel's focus away from making memory chips and toward making microprocessors, which would help drive the PC era and make Intel a familiar brand in the consumer tech space.

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Embracing the Silicon

Grove led the research team that made the decision to put transistors on wafers of silicon, which helped lead to the modern PC and drive down the cost of the systems. Intel and others continue to use silicon today, though as the chips gets smaller—Intel is at 14-nanometers now, with 10nm and 7nm on the way—silicon will have to be replaced by other material.

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The 386 and Pentium

It was during Grove's tenure at Intel that the company produced first the 386 in 1985 and later the Pentium processors. The 386 was the first 32-bit chip made for the IBM PC and was a key step in the development of the x86 architecture.

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Intel and Microsoft Join Hands

During the later years of the 1980s, with IBM's dominance in PCs waning, systems makers started to gravitate toward building PCs that ran Microsoft's Windows OS and were powered by Intel. The Wintel duopoly would accelerate the development of fast, affordable PCs and expand their use in the home.

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Intel Becomes a Big Player in the Tech Industry

Under Grove's direction, the chip maker's annual revenues grew from $1.9 billion to more than $26 billion, and it became the world's seventh largest company.

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Not an Easy Boss

Grove was known for his direct, brusque management style, which helped lead Fortune magazine in 1984 to name him one of the toughest bosses in the United States. He helped define a philosophy at Intel known as "creative confrontation"—the idea that people could openly clash, get issues resolved quickly and move on.

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Manager, Executive, Engineer and Author

Grove wrote about his management viewpoints in two books: "High Output Management" in 1983 and "Only the Paranoid Survive" in 1999. The title of the second came from one of Grove's more famous quotes.

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On Top of the World

In 1997, Time magazine named Grove its Man of the Year, saying on the cover, "His microchips have changed the world—and its economy."

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