Desktops and Notebooks: Intel Past and Present: 25 Facts You Might Not Know

 
 
By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2010-11-24
 
 
 

Intel Past and Present: 25 Facts You Might Not Know

 

Intel Past and Present: 25 Facts You Might Not Know

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Intel Origins Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore started their own electronics firm in 1968. After incorporating their new firm as NM Electronics, they then bought the "Intel" name from Intelco, a hotel chain.

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The 4004 Intel's first microprocessor, the 4004, launched in 1971. According to Intel, it held 2,300 transistors. A processor today can hold more than 1 billion transistors.

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Moore's Law Moore's Law, which predicts that the number of transistors on a chip will double approximately every 24 months, was first postulated by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore.

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Chip Recipe Fabricating an Intel chip can take up to 300 steps, depending on the design.

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The Ubiquitous 8080 Intel's 8080 microprocessor, with 4,500 transistors, was introduced in 1974 and found itself incorporated into everything from arcade games to industrial systems.

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Intel Inside Intel launched its "Intel Inside" brand marketing campaign in 1991.

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Pentium Power Intel's Pentium processor hit the market in 1993. It featured 3.1 million transistors and two on-chip 8K caches. Within a year, Intel chips would power some 85 percent of desktop PCs.

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Pentium, Again and Again Six years later, in 1999, Intel introduced the Intel Pentium III and Pentium III Xeon processors. In 2000, the company rolled out the Pentium 4 processor, with 42 million transistors.

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Hyper-Threading Intel in 2002 introduces its Hyper-Threading technology, which boosts chips' multitasking performance.

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Apple Inside By 2005, Apple had made public its plans to begin transitioning the Mac onto the Intel chip platform. Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" supports only the Intel architecture.

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Security In August 2010, Intel signed an agreement to acquire security IT company McAfee for around $7.68 billion. Intel execs suggested the deal would allow them to integrate more security into their products, but analysts questioned whether the deal was a good fit.

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Oak Trail Intel's lower-power "Oak Trail" processors, reportedly due in 2011, will kick off Intel's more intensive push into the tablet PC space.

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Pentium Flaw In 1994, a Lynchburg College math professor discovered a flaw in the Pentium chip's floating point unit (numerical co-processor). Intel initially claimed the problem was minor, but nonetheless took a pre-tax $475 million charge to replace the processors.

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Mobile Space Intel is paying more attention to the mobile space, as evidenced by its pursuit and 2010 acquisition of Infineon's Wireless Solutions business. The Infineon business provides cellular platforms for phone makers.

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Intel in a Bad Economy Faced with a struggling global economy and an attendant drop in PC purchases, CEO Paul Otellini sliced some 10,500 employees between 2006 and 2008. That was equivalent to 10 percent of the company.

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Health Monitoring Intel and General Electric are investing $250 million over five years in a joint partnership to develop health care IT technologies, including the patient-monitoring Intel Health Guide.

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Apps During CES 2010, Intel first announced the launch of AppCenter, an online storefront for customized applications that can run on netbooks.

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U.S. Investment Intel is currently investing $7 billion to build and update U.S. manufacturing facilities, with an eye toward ramping up production of next-generation processors.

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Cluster Computing Intel is running an internal pilot program designed to show how workstations clustered together can provide businesses with higher levels of compute power ordinarily out of their reach. These HPC-caliber "clusters" would spare those businesses from needing to access a local data center.

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Robot Butler Intel Labs is involved in many research projects, including HERB, or Human Exploring Robot Butler, which could theoretically serve in a home.

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Project Zoni Intel Labs is also working on "Project Zoni," software designed to make cloud environments more efficient and scalable.

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Project Fawn Intel's researchers are seeing whether lower-power, Atom chip-based server nodes can power a data center more efficiently than traditional servers.

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Connected Home Intel's research efforts have also focused on embedding a network of wireless devices into the home, giving owners granular control over everything from temperature to appliances.

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Sandy Bridge Intel executives have been showing off "Sandy Bridge," the 32-nanometer processor that represents the next generation of their Core architecture. Sandy Bridge will boast improved security and Turbo Boost, and will make its appearance in systems by early 2011.

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Atom Intel's next generation of low-power Atom processors for ultraportable laptops and netbooks will reportedly debut in mid-2011.

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Rocket Fuel