Hellenica World


Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) is an American global technology company and the world's largest semiconductor chip maker, based on revenue.[4] It is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers. Intel was founded on July 18, 1968, as Integrated Electronics Corporation (though a common misconception is that "Intel" is from the word intelligence) and is based in Santa Clara, California, USA. Intel also makes motherboard chipsets, network interface controllers and integrated circuits, flash memory, graphic chips, embedded processors and other devices related to communications and computing. Founded by semiconductor pioneers Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore and widely associated with the executive leadership and vision of Andrew Grove, Intel combines advanced chip design capability with a leading-edge manufacturing capability. Though Intel was originally known primarily to engineers and technologists, its "Intel Inside" advertising campaign of the 1990s made it and its Pentium processor household names.

Intel was an early developer of SRAM and DRAM memory chips, and this represented the majority of its business until 1981. While Intel created the first commercial microprocessor chip in 1971, it was not until the success of the personal computer (PC) that this became its primary business. During the 1990s, Intel invested heavily in new microprocessor designs fostering the rapid growth of the computer industry. During this period Intel became the dominant supplier of microprocessors for PCs, and was known for aggressive and sometimes illegal tactics in defense of its market position, particularly against AMD, as well as a struggle with Microsoft for control over the direction of the PC industry.[5][6] The 2010 rankings of the world's 100 most powerful brands published by Millward Brown Optimor showed the company's brand value at number 48.[7]

Intel has also begun research in electrical transmission and generation.[8][9] Intel has recently introduced a 3-D transistor that may improve performance and energy efficiency. [10]

Corporate history

Intel headquarters in Santa Clara, CA, USA

Intel was founded in Mountain View, California in 1968 by Gordon E. Moore (of "Moore's Law" fame, a chemist and physicist) and Robert Noyce (a physicist and co-inventor of the integrated circuit) when they left Fairchild Semiconductor. Intel's third employee was Andy Grove,[11] a chemical engineer, who ran the company through much of the 1980s and the high-growth 1990s.

Moore and Noyce initially wanted to name the company "Moore Noyce".[12] The name, however, was a homophone for "more noise" — an ill-suited name for an electronics company, since noise in electronics is usually very undesirable and typically associated with bad interference. They used the name NM Electronics for almost a year, before deciding to call their company Integrated Electronics or "Intel" for short.[13] Since "Intel" was already trademarked by a hotel chain, they had to buy the rights for the name.[14]

Early history

At its founding, Intel was distinguished by its ability to make semiconductors, and its primary products were static random access memory (SRAM) chips. Intel's business grew during the 1970s as it expanded and improved its manufacturing processes and produced a wider range of products, still dominated by various memory devices.

While Intel created the first commercially available microprocessor (Intel 4004) in 1971 and one of the first microcomputers in 1972,[15][16] by the early 1980s its business was dominated by dynamic random access memory chips. However, increased competition from Japanese semiconductor manufacturers had, by 1983, dramatically reduced the profitability of this market, and the sudden success of the IBM personal computer convinced then-CEO Grove to shift the company's focus to microprocessors, and to change fundamental aspects of that business model.

By the end of the 1980s this decision had proven successful. Buoyed by its fortuitous position as microprocessor supplier to IBM and its competitors within the rapidly growing personal computer market, Intel embarked on a 10-year period of unprecedented growth as the primary (and most profitable) hardware supplier to the PC industry. By launching its Intel Inside marketing campaign in 1991, Intel was able to associate brand loyalty with consumer selection, so that by the end of the 1990s, its line of Pentium processors had become a household name.

The early years of Intel were featured in the documentary film Something Ventured which premiered in 2011.

Slowing demand and challenges to dominance

After 2000, growth in demand for high-end microprocessors slowed. Competitors, notably AMD (Intel's largest competitor in its primary x86 architecture market), garnered significant market share, initially in low-end and mid-range processors but ultimately across the product range, and Intel's dominant position in its core market was greatly reduced.[17] In the early 2000s then-CEO Craig Barrett attempted to diversify the company's business beyond semiconductors, but few of these activities were ultimately successful.

Intel had also for a number of years been embroiled in litigation. US law did not initially recognize intellectual property rights related to microprocessor topology (circuit layouts), until the Semiconductor Chip Protection Act of 1984, a law sought by Intel and the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).[18] During the late 1980s and 1990s (after this law was passed) Intel also sued companies that tried to develop competitor chips to the 80386 CPU.[19] The lawsuits were noted to significantly burden the competition with legal bills, even if Intel lost the suits.[19] Antitrust allegations that had been simmering since the early 1990s and already been the cause of one lawsuit against Intel in 1991, broke out again as AMD brought further claims against Intel related to unfair competition in 2004, and again in 2005.

In 2005, CEO Paul Otellini reorganized the company to refocus its core processor and chipset business on platforms (enterprise, digital home, digital health, and mobility) which led to the hiring of over 20,000 new employees.[citation needed] In September 2006 due to falling profits, the company announced a restructuring that resulted in layoffs of 10,500 employees or about 10 percent of its workforce by July 2006.[citation needed]

Regaining of momentum

Faced with the need to regain lost marketplace momentum,[17][20] Intel unveiled its new product development model to regain its prior technological lead. Known as its "tick-tock model", the program was based upon annual alternation of microarchitecture innovation and process innovation.

In 2006, Intel produced P6 and NetBurst products with reduced die size (65 nm). A year later it unveiled its Core microarchitecture to widespread critical acclaim;[21] the product range was perceived as an exceptional leap in processor performance that at a stroke regained much of its leadership of the field.[22][23] In 2008, we saw another "tick", Intel introduced the Penryn microarchitecture, undergoing a shrink from 65 nm to 45 nm, and the year after saw the release of its positively reviewed successor processor, Nehalem, followed by another silicon shrink to the 32nm process.

Intel was not the first microprocessor corporation to do this. For example, around 1996 graphics chip designers nVidia had addressed its own business and marketplace difficulties by adopting a demanding 6-month internal product cycle whose products repeatedly outperformed market expectation.

Sale of XScale processor business

On June 27, 2006, the sale of Intel's XScale assets was announced. Intel agreed to sell the XScale processor business to Marvell Technology Group for an estimated $600 million (They bought them for $1.6billion) in cash and the assumption of unspecified liabilities. The move was intended to permit Intel to focus its resources on its core x86 and server businesses, and the acquisition completed on November 9, 2006.[24]


In August 2010, Intel announced two major acquisitions. On 19 August, Intel announced that it planned to purchase McAfee, a manufacturer of computer security technology. The purchase price was $7.68 billion, and the companies said that if the deal were approved, new products would be released early in 2011.[25]

Less than two weeks later, the company announced the acquisition of Infineon Technologies’ Wireless Solutions business.[26] With the Infineon transaction, Intel plans to use the company’s technology in laptops, smart phones, netbooks, tablets and embedded computers in consumer products, eventually integrating its wireless modem into Intel’s silicon chips.[27] Intel won the European Union regulatory approval for its acquisition of McAfee on 26 January 2011. Intel agreed to ensure that rival security firms have access to all necessary information that would allow their products to use Intel's chips and personal computers.[28]

Following the closure of the McAfee deal, Intel's workforce totals approximately 90,000, including (roughly) 12,000 software engineers.[29]

In March of 2011, Intel bought most of the assets of Cairo-based SySDSoft.[30]


February 2011: The company will build a new microprocessor factory at Chandler, Arizona which is expected to be completed in 2013 at a cost of $5 billion. It will accommodate 4,000 employees. The company produces three quarters of their products in the United States, although three quarters of the revenue come from overseas.[31][32]

April 2011: Intel Corporation will produce smartphone with ZTE Corporation for China's domestic market first as a pilot project due to there are domination of ARM processor for mobile phones. The smartphone will be based on Intel Atom processor.[33]

Product and market history

SRAMS and the microprocessor

The company's first products were shift register memory and random-access memory integrated circuits, and Intel grew to be a leader in the fiercely competitive DRAM, SRAM, and ROM markets throughout the 1970s. Concurrently, Intel engineers Marcian Hoff, Federico Faggin, Stanley Mazor and Masatoshi Shima invented Intel's first microprocessor. Originally developed for the Japanese company Busicom to replace a number of ASICs in a calculator already produced by Busicom, the Intel 4004 was introduced to the mass market on November 15, 1971, though the microprocessor did not become the core of Intel's business until the mid-1980s. (Note: Intel is usually given credit with Texas Instruments for the almost-simultaneous invention of the microprocessor.)

From DRAM to microprocessors

In 1983, at the dawn of the personal computer era, Intel's profits came under increased pressure from Japanese memory-chip manufacturers, and then-President Andy Grove drove the company into a focus on microprocessors. Grove described this transition in the book Only the Paranoid Survive. A key element of his plan was the notion, then considered radical, of becoming the single source for successors to the popular 8086 microprocessor.

Until then, manufacture of complex integrated circuits was not reliable enough for customers to depend on a single supplier, but Grove began producing processors in three geographically distinct factories, and ceased licensing the chip designs to competitors such as Zilog and AMD. When the PC industry boomed in the late 1980s and 1990s, Intel was one of the primary beneficiaries.

Intel, x86 processors, and the IBM PC
The die from an Intel 8742, an 8-bit microcontroller that includes a CPU running at 12 MHz, 128 bytes of RAM, 2048 bytes of EPROM, and I/O in the same chip.

Despite the ultimate importance of the microprocessor, the 4004 and its successors the 8008 and the 8080 were never major revenue contributors at Intel. As the next processor, the 8086 (and its variant the 8088) was completed in 1978, Intel embarked on a major marketing and sales campaign for that chip nicknamed "Operation Crush", and intended to win as many customers for the processor as possible. One design win was the newly created IBM PC division, though the importance of this was not fully realized at the time.

IBM introduced its personal computer in 1981, and it was rapidly successful. In 1982, Intel created the 80286 microprocessor, which, two years later, was used in the IBM PC/AT. Compaq, the first IBM PC "clone" manufacturer, produced a desktop system based on the faster 80286 processor in 1985 and in 1986 quickly followed with the first 80386-based system, beating IBM and establishing a competitive market for PC-compatible systems and setting up Intel as a key component supplier.

In 1975 the company had started a project to develop a highly advanced 32-bit microprocessor, finally released in 1981 as the Intel iAPX 432. The project was too ambitious and the processor was never able to meet its performance objectives, and it failed in the marketplace. Intel extended the x86 architecture to 32 bits instead.[34][35]

386 microprocessor

During this period Andrew Grove dramatically redirected the company, closing much of its DRAM business and directing resources to the microprocessor business. Of perhaps greater importance was his decision to "single-source" the 386 microprocessor. Prior to this, microprocessor manufacturing was in its infancy, and manufacturing problems frequently reduced or stopped production, interrupting supplies to customers. To mitigate this risk, these customers typically insisted that multiple manufacturers produce chips they could use to ensure a consistent supply. The 8080 and 8086-series microprocessors were produced by several companies, notably AMD. Grove made the decision not to license the 386 design to other manufacturers, instead producing it in three geographically distinct factories in Santa Clara, California; Hillsboro, Oregon; and the Phoenix, Arizona suburb of Chandler; and convincing customers that this would ensure consistent delivery. As the success of Compaq's Deskpro 386 established the 386 as the dominant CPU choice, Intel achieved a position of near-exclusive dominance as its supplier. Profits from this funded rapid development of both higher-performance chip designs and higher-performance manufacturing capabilities, propelling Intel to a position of unquestioned leadership by the early 1990s.

486, Pentium, and Itanium

Intel introduced the 486 microprocessor in 1989, and in 1990 formally established a second design team, designing the processors code-named "P5" and "P6" in parallel and committing to a major new processor every two years, versus the four or more years such designs had previously taken. The P5 was earlier known as "Operation Bicycle" referring to the cycles of the processor. The P5 was introduced in 1993 as the Intel Pentium, substituting a registered trademark name for the former part number (numbers, such as 486, are hard to register as a trademark). The P6 followed in 1995 as the Pentium Pro and improved into the Pentium II in 1997. New architectures were developed alternately in Santa Clara, California and Hillsboro, Oregon.

The Santa Clara design team embarked in 1993 on a successor to the x86 architecture, codenamed "P7". The first attempt was dropped a year later, but quickly revived in a cooperative program with Hewlett-Packard engineers, though Intel soon took over primary design responsibility. The resulting implementation of the IA-64 64-bit architecture was the Itanium, finally introduced in June 2001. The Itanium's performance running legacy x86 code did not achieve expectations, and it failed to compete effectively with 64-bit extensions to the original x86 architecture, introduced by AMD, named x86-64 (although Intel uses the name Intel 64, previously EM64T). As of 2009, Intel continues to develop and deploy the Itanium.

The Hillsboro team designed the Willamette processors (code-named P67 and P68) which were marketed as the Pentium 4.[citation needed]

Pentium flaw
Main article: Pentium FDIV bug

In June 1994, Intel engineers discovered a flaw in the floating-point math subsection of the P5 Pentium microprocessor. Under certain data dependent conditions, low order bits of the result of floating-point division operations would be incorrect, an error that can quickly compound in floating-point operations to much larger errors in subsequent calculations. Intel corrected the error in a future chip revision, but nonetheless declined to disclose it.[citation needed]

In October 1994, Dr. Thomas Nicely, Professor of Mathematics at Lynchburg College independently discovered the bug, and upon receiving no response from his inquiry to Intel, on October 30 posted a message on the Internet.[36] Word of the bug spread quickly on the Internet and then to the industry press. Because the bug was easy to replicate by an average user (there was a sequence of numbers one could enter into the OS calculator to show the error), Intel's statements that it was minor and "not even an erratum" were not accepted by many computer users. During Thanksgiving 1994, The New York Times ran a piece by journalist John Markoff spotlighting the error. Intel changed its position and offered to replace every chip, quickly putting in place a large end-user support organization. This resulted in a $500 million charge against Intel's 1994 revenue.

Ironically, the "Pentium flaw" incident, Intel's response to it, and the surrounding media coverage propelled Intel from being a technology supplier generally unknown to most computer users to a household name. Dovetailing with an uptick in the "Intel Inside" campaign, the episode is considered to have been a positive event for Intel, changing some of its business practices to be more end-user focused and generating substantial public awareness, while avoiding a lasting negative impression.[37]

"Intel Inside" and other 1990s programs

During this period, Intel undertook two major supporting programs. The first is widely known: the 1991 "Intel Inside" marketing and branding campaign. The idea of ingredient branding was new at the time with only Nutrasweet and a few others making attempts at that.[38] This campaign established Intel, which had been a component supplier little-known outside the PC industry, as a household name.

The second program is little-known: Intel's Systems Group began, in the early 1990s, manufacturing PC "motherboards", the main board component of a personal computer, and the one into which the processor (CPU) and memory (RAM) chips are plugged.[39] Shortly after, Intel began manufacturing fully configured "white box" systems for the dozens of PC clone companies that rapidly sprang up.[citation needed] At its peak in the mid-1990s, Intel manufactured over 15% of all PCs, making it the third-largest supplier at the time.[citation needed]

During the 1990s, Intel's Architecture Lab (IAL) was responsible for many of the hardware innovations of the personal computer, including the PCI Bus, the PCI Express (PCIe) bus, the Universal Serial Bus (USB), Bluetooth wireless interconnect, and the now-dominant[citation needed] architecture for multiprocessor servers.[clarification needed] IAL's software efforts met with a more mixed fate; its video and graphics software was important in the development of software digital video,[citation needed] but later its efforts were largely overshadowed by competition from Microsoft. The competition between Intel and Microsoft was revealed in testimony by IAL Vice-President Steven McGeady at the Microsoft antitrust trial.

Solid State Drives (SSD)

On 8 September 2008, Intel began shipping its first mainstream solid-state drives the X18-M and X25-M with 80GB and 160GB storage capacities.[40] These MLC-based drives received wide critical acclaim for their superior performance.[41][42][43][44] Intel released their SLC-based Enterprise X25-E Extreme SSDs on the 15th of October that same year in capacities of 32GB and 64GB.[45]

In July 2009, Intel refreshed their X25-M and X18-M lines by moving from a 50-nanometer to a 34-nanometer process. These new drives, dubbed by the press as the X25-M and X18-M G2[46] (or generation 2), reduced prices by up to 60 percent while offering lower latency and improved performance.[47]

On the 1st of February 2010, Intel and Micron announced that they were gearing up for production of NAND flash memory using a new 25-nanometer process.[48] In March of that same year, Intel entered the budget SSD segment with their X25-V drives with an initial capacity of 40GB.[49] The SSD 310, Intel's first mSATA drive was released on December 2010, providing X25-M G2 performance in a much smaller package.[50][51]

March 2011 saw the introduction of two new SSD lines from Intel. The first, the SSD 510, uses a SATA 6 Gigabit per second interface in order to reach speeds of up to 500 MegaBytes per second.[52] The drive, which uses a controller from Marvell[53], was released using 34nm NAND Flash and came in capacities of 120GB and 250GB. The second product announcement, the SSD 320, is the successor to Intel's earlier X25-M. It uses the new 25nm process that Intel and Micron announced in 2010, and was released in capacities of 40GB, 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, 300GB and 600GB.[54] Sequential read performance maxes out at 270MB/s due to the older SATA 3Gbps interface, and sequential write performance varies greatly based on the size of the drive with sequential write performance of the 40GB model peaking at 45MB/s and the 600GB at 220MB/s.[55]

Micron and Intel announced that they were producing their first 20nm MLC NAND flash on 14 April 2011.[56]


The Intel Scientific Computers division was founded in 1984 by Justin Rattner, in order to design and produce parallel computers based on Intel microprocessors connected in hypercube topologies.[57] In 1992 the name was changed to the Intel Supercomputing Systems Division, and development of the iWarp architecture was also subsumed.[58] The division designed several supercomputer systems, including the Intel iPSC/1, iPSC/2, iPSC/860, Paragon and ASCI Red.

Competition, antitrust and espionage
See also: AMD v. Intel

Two factors combined to end this dominance: the slowing of PC demand growth beginning in 2000 and the rise of the low cost PC. By the end of the 1990s, microprocessor performance had outstripped software demand for that CPU power. Aside from high-end server systems and software, demand for which dropped with the end of the "dot-com bubble", consumer systems ran effectively on increasingly low-cost systems after 2000. Intel's strategy of producing ever-more-powerful processors and obsoleting their predecessors stumbled,[citation needed] leaving an opportunity for rapid gains by competitors, notably AMD. This in turn lowered the profitability[citation needed] of the processor line and ended an era of unprecedented dominance of the PC hardware by Intel.[citation needed]

Intel's dominance in the x86 microprocessor market led to numerous charges of antitrust violations over the years, including FTC investigations in both the late 1980s and in 1999, and civil actions such as the 1997 suit by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) and a patent suit by Intergraph. Intel's market dominance (at one time[when?] it controlled over 85% of the market for 32-bit x86 microprocessors) combined with Intel's own hardball legal tactics (such as its infamous 338 patent suit versus PC manufacturers)[59] made it an attractive target for litigation, but few of the lawsuits ever amounted to anything.[clarification needed]

A case of industrial espionage arose in 1995 that involved both Intel and AMD. Bill Gaede, an Argentine formerly employed both at AMD and at Intel's Arizona plant, was arrested for attempting in 1993 to sell the i486 and P5 Pentium designs to AMD and to certain foreign powers.[60] Gaede videotaped data from his computer screen at Intel and mailed it to AMD, which immediately alerted Intel and authorities, resulting in Gaede's arrest. Gaede was convicted and sentenced to 33 months in prison in June 1996.[61][62]

Partnership with Apple
For more details on this topic, see Apple–Intel transition.

On June 6, 2005, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that Apple would be transitioning from its long favored PowerPC architecture to the Intel x86 architecture, because the future PowerPC road map was unable to satisfy Apple's needs. The first Macintosh computers containing Intel CPUs were announced on January 10, 2006, and Apple had its entire line of consumer Macs running on Intel processors by early August 2006. The Apple Xserve server was updated to Intel Xeon processors from November 2006, and was offered in a configuration similar to Apple's Mac Pro.[63]

Core 2 Duo advertisement controversy

In 2007, the company released a print advertisement for its Core 2 Duo processor featuring six African American runners appearing to bow down to a Caucasian male inside of an office setting (due to the posture taken by runners on starting blocks). According to Nancy Bhagat, Vice President of Intel Corporate Marketing, the general public found the ad to be "insensitive and insulting."[64] The campaign was quickly pulled and several Intel executives made public apologies on the corporate website.[65]

Classmate PC

Intel's Classmate PC is the company's first low-cost netbook computer.

Corporate affairs

In September 2006, Intel had nearly 100,000 employees and 200 facilities world wide. Its 2005 revenues were $38.8 billion and its Fortune 500 ranking was 49th. Its stock symbol is INTC, listed on the NASDAQ. As of February 2009 the biggest customers of Intel are Hewlett-Packard and Dell.[66]

Leadership and corporate structure

Robert Noyce was Intel's CEO at its founding in 1968, followed by co-founder Gordon Moore in 1975. Andy Grove became the company's President in 1979 and added the CEO title in 1987 when Moore became Chairman. In 1998 Grove succeeded Moore as Chairman, and Craig Barrett, already company president, took over. On May 18, 2005, Barrett handed the reins of the company over to Paul Otellini, who previously was the company president and was responsible for Intel's design win in the original IBM PC. The board of directors elected Otellini CEO, and Barrett replaced Grove as Chairman of the Board. Grove stepped down as Chairman, but is retained as a special adviser. In May 2009, Barrett stepped down as chairman and Jane Shaw was elected as the new Chairman of the Board.

Current members of the board of directors of Intel are Craig Barrett, Charlene Barshefsky, Susan Decker, James Guzy, Reed Hundt, Paul Otellini, James Plummer, David Pottruck, Jane Shaw, John Thornton, and David Yoffie.[67]


Intel microprocessor facility in Costa Rica was responsible in 2006 for 20% of Costa Rican exports and 4.9% of the country's GDP.[68]

The firm promotes very heavily from within, most notably in its executive suite. The company has resisted the trend toward outsider CEOs. Paul Otellini was a 30-year veteran of the company when he assumed the role of CEO. All of his top lieutenants have risen through the ranks after many years with the firm. In many cases, Intel's top executives have spent their entire working careers with Intel, a very rare occurrence in volatile Silicon Valley[citation needed].

Intel has a mandatory retirement policy for its CEOs when they reach age 65, Andy Grove retired at 62, while both Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore retired at 58. Grove retired as Chairman and as a member of the board of directors in 2005 at age 68.

No one has an office; everyone, even Otellini, sits in a cubicle. This is designed to promote egalitarianism among employees, but some new hires have difficulty adjusting to this change[citation needed]. Intel is not alone in this policy. Dell Computers, Hewlett-Packard and NVIDIA have similar no-office policy.

The company is headquartered in California's Silicon Valley and has operations around the world. Outside of California, the company has facilities in China, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Israel, Ireland, India, Russia and Vietnam, 63 countries and regions internationally. In the U.S. Intel employs significant numbers of people in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Utah. In Oregon, Intel is the state's largest private employer with over 15,000 employees, primarily in Hillsboro.[69] The company is the largest industrial employer in New Mexico while in Arizona the company has over 10,000 employees


Intel has a Diversity Initiative, including employee diversity groups as well as supplier diversity programs.[70] Like many companies with employee diversity groups, they include groups based on race and nationality as well as sexual identity and religion. In 1994, Intel sanctioned one of the earliest corporate Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender employee groups,[71] and supports a Muslim employees group,[72] a Jewish employees group,[73] and a Bible-based Christian group.[74][75]

Intel received a 100% rating on the first Corporate Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign in 2002. It has maintained this rating in 2003 and 2004. In addition, the company was named one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers in 2005 by Working Mother magazine.

Funding of a school

In Rio Rancho, New Mexico, Intel is the leading employer.[76] In 1997, a community partnership between Sandoval County and Intel Corporation funded and built Rio Rancho High School.[77][78]

Intel stock price, Nov 1986 – Nov 2006

Intel's market capitalization is $122.41 billion (Feb. 22, 2011). It publicly trades on NASDAQ with the symbol INTC. A widely held stock, the following indices include Intel shares: Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, NASDAQ-100, Russell 1000 Index, Russell 1000 Growth Index, SOX (PHLX Semiconductor Sector), and GSTI Software Index.

On July 15, 2008, Intel announced that it had achieved the highest earnings in the history of the company during Q2 2008.[79]

Advertising and brand management

Intel has become one of the world's most recognizable computer brands following its long-running Intel Inside campaign. The campaign, which started in 1991,[80] was created by Intel marketing manager Dennis Carter.[81] The five-note jingle was introduced the following year and by its tenth anniversary was being heard in 130 countries around the world. The initial branding agency for the 'Intel Inside' campaign was DahlinSmithWhite Advertising of Salt Lake City. The Intel swirl logo was the work of DahlinSmithWhite art director Steve Grigg under the direction of Intel president and CEO Andy Grove.

The Intel Inside advertising campaign sought public brand loyalty and awareness of Intel processors in consumer computers.[82] Intel paid some of the advertiser's costs for an ad that used the Intel Inside logo and jingle.[83]


In 2006, Intel expanded its promotion of open specification platforms beyond Centrino, to include the Viiv media centre PC and the business desktop Intel vPro.

In mid January 2006, Intel announced that they were dropping the long running Pentium name from their processors. The Pentium name was first used to refer to the P5 core Intel processors (Pent refers to the 5 in P5,) and was done to circumvent court rulings that prevent the trademarking of a string of numbers, so competitors could not just call their processor the same name, as had been done with the prior 386 and 486 processors. (Both of which had copies manufactured by both IBM and AMD). They phased out the Pentium names from mobile processors first, when the new Yonah chips, branded Core Solo and Core Duo, were released. The desktop processors changed when the Core 2 line of processors were released.

According to an Intel spokesman as of 2009 one may think in terms of good-better-best with Celeron being good, Pentium better, and the Intel Core family representing the best the company has to offer.[84]

In 2008, Intel planned to shift the emphasis of its Intel Inside campaign from traditional media such as television and print to newer media such as the Internet.[85] Intel required that a minimum of 35% of the money it provided to the companies in its co-op program be used for online marketing.[85]

Some artists have incorporated Intel brand culture into their works. For example, evil inside stickers,[86] Intel inside, idiot outside [87] and a tombstone with R.I.P Intel Inside.[88] The sticker on the supercomputer Hex of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books reads "Anthill inside".

Sonic logo

The famous D♭ D♭ G♭ D♭ A♭ jingle, sonic logo, tag, audio mnemonic (MP3 file of sonic logo) was produced by Musikvergnuegen and written by Walter Werzowa from the Austrian 1980s sampling band Edelweiss.[89] The Sonic logo has undergone heavy changes in tone since the introduction of the Pentium III, Pentium 4, and Core processors, yet keeps the same jingle.

Naming strategy

According to spokesman Bill Calder since 2009 Intel has maintained only the Celeron brand, the Atom brand for netbooks and the vPro lineup for businesses.[90] Upcoming processors will carry the Intel Core brand, but will be known as the Intel Core i7, or Core i3 depending on their segment of the market.[90] vPro products will carry the Intel Core i7 vPro processor or the Intel Core i5 vPro processor name.[90]

Beginning in 2010 "Centrino" will only be applied to Intel's WiMAX and Wi-Fi technologies; it won't be a PC brand anymore.[90] This will be an evolutionary process taking place over time, Intel acknowledges that multiple brands will be in the market including older ones throughout the transition.[90]

IT Manager 3: Unseen Forces

IT Manager III: Unseen Forces is a web-based IT simulation game from Intel. In it you manage a company's IT department. The goal is to apply technology and skill to enable the company to grow from a small business into a global enterprise.

Open source support

Intel has a significant participation in the open source communities. For example, in 2006 Intel released MIT-licensed X.org drivers for their integrated graphic cards of the i965 family of chipsets. Intel released FreeBSD drivers for some networking cards,[91] available under a BSD-compatible license, which were also ported to OpenBSD. Intel ran the Moblin project until April 23, 2009, when they handed the project over to the Linux Foundation. Intel also runs the LessWatts.org campaigns.[92]

However, after the release of the wireless products called Intel Pro/Wireless 2100, 2200BG/2225BG/2915ABG and 3945ABG in 2005, Intel was criticized for not granting free redistribution rights for the firmware that must be included in the operating system for the wireless devices to operate.[93] As a result of this, Intel became a target of campaigns to allow free operating systems to include binary firmware on terms acceptable to the open source community. Linspire-Linux creator Michael Robertson outlined the difficult position that Intel was in releasing to open source, as Intel did not want to upset their large customer Microsoft.[94] Theo de Raadt of OpenBSD also claimed that Intel is being "an Open Source fraud" after an Intel employee presented a distorted view of the situation on an open-source conference.[95] In spite of the significant negative attention Intel received as a result of the wireless dealings, the binary firmware still has not gained a license compatible with free software principles.

Environmental record

In 2003, there were 1.4 tons of carbon tetrachloride measured from one of Intel's many acid scrubbers. However, Intel reported no release of carbon tetrachloride for all of 2003.[96] Intel's facility in Rio Rancho, New Mexico overlooks a nearby village, and the hilly contours of its location create a setting for chemical gases heavier than air to move along arroyos and irrigation ditches in that village. Release of chemicals in such an environment reportedly caused adverse effects in both animals and humans. Deceased dogs in the area were found to have high levels of toluene, hexane, ethylbenzene, and xylene isomers in lungs.[97] More than 1,580 pounds (720 kg) of VOC were released in June and July 2006, the company stated.[98] Intel’s environmental performance is published annually in their corporate responsibility report.[99]

Religious controversy

Orthodox Jews have protested Intel operating in Israel on Saturday, Shabbat. Intel ringed its office with barbed wire before the protest, but there was no violence.[100] As of December 2009, the situation has been stable for Intel Israel while some employees reported working overtime on Shabbat.

Age discrimination

Intel has faced complaints of age discrimination in firing and layoffs. Intel was sued by nine former employees, over allegations that they were laid off because they were over the age of 40.[101]

A group called FACE Intel (Former and Current Employees of Intel) claims that Intel weeds out older employees. FACE Intel claims that more than 90 percent of people who have been terminated by Intel are over the age of 40. Upside magazine requested data from Intel breaking out its hiring and terminations by age, but the company declined to provide any.[102] Intel has denied that age plays any role in Intel's employment practices.[103] FACE Intel was founded by Ken Hamidi, who was terminated by Intel in 1995 at the age of 47.[102] Hamidi was blocked in a 1999 court decision from using Intel's email system to distribute criticism of the company to employees.[104]

Further information: Semiconductor sales leaders by year

In the 1980s, Intel was among the top ten sellers of semiconductors (10th in 1987) in the world. In 1991, Intel became the biggest chip maker by revenue and has held the position ever since. Other top semiconductor companies include AMD, Samsung, Texas Instruments, Toshiba and STMicroelectronics.

Competitors in PC chip sets include AMD, VIA Technologies, SiS, and Nvidia. Intel's competitors in networking include Freescale, Infineon, Broadcom, Marvell Technology Group and AMCC, and competitors in flash memory include Spansion, Samsung, Qimonda, Toshiba, STMicroelectronics, and Hynix.

The only major competitor in the x86 processor market is Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), with which Intel has had full cross-licensing agreements since 1976: each partner can use the other's patented technological innovations without charge after a certain time.[105] However, the cross-licensing agreement is canceled in the event of an AMD bankruptcy or takeover.[106] Some smaller competitors such as VIA and Transmeta produce low-power x86 processors for small factor computers and portable equipment.


Intel has often been accused by competitors of using legal claims to thwart competition. Intel claims that it is defending its intellectual property. Intel has been plaintiff and defendant in numerous legal actions.

In September 2005, Intel filed a response to an AMD lawsuit,[107] disputing AMD's claims, and claiming that Intel's business practices are fair and lawful. In a rebuttal, Intel deconstructed AMD's offensive strategy and argued that AMD struggled largely as a result of its own bad business decisions, including underinvestment in essential manufacturing capacity and excessive reliance on contracting out chip foundries.[108] Legal analysts predicted the lawsuit would drag on for a number of years, since Intel's initial response indicated its unwillingness to settle with AMD.[109][110] In 2008 a court date was finally set,[111] but in 2009 Intel settled with a $1.25 billion payout to AMD (see below).[112]

In October 2006, a Transmeta lawsuit was filed against Intel for patent infringement on computer architecture and power efficiency technologies.[113] The lawsuit was settled in October 2007, with Intel agreeing to pay US$150 million initially and US$20 million per year for the next five years. Both companies agreed to drop lawsuits against each other, while Intel was granted a perpetual non-exclusive license to use current and future patented Transmeta technologies in its chips for 10 years.[114]

On November 4, 2009, New York's attorney general filed an antitrust lawsuit against Intel Corp, claiming the company used "illegal threats and collusion" to dominate the market for computer microprocessors.

On November 12, 2009, AMD agreed to drop the antitrust lawsuit against Intel in exchange for $1.25 billion.[112] A joint press release published by the two chip makers stated "While the relationship between the two companies has been difficult in the past, this agreement ends the legal disputes and enables the companies to focus all of our efforts on product innovation and development." [115][116]

Anti-competitive allegations
See also: AMD v. Intel


In 2005, the local Fair Trade Commission found that Intel violated the Japanese Antimonopoly Act. The commission ordered Intel to eliminate discounts that had discriminated against AMD. To avoid a trial, Intel agreed to comply with the order.[117][118][119][120]

European Union

In July 2007, the European Commission accused Intel of anti-competitive practices, mostly against AMD.[121] The allegations, going back to 2003, include giving preferential prices to computer makers buying most or all of their chips from Intel, paying computer makers to delay or cancel the launch of products using AMD chips, and providing chips at below standard cost to governments and educational institutions.[122] Intel responded that the allegations were unfounded and instead qualified its market behavior as consumer-friendly.[123] General counsel Bruce Sewell responded that the Commission had misunderstood some factual assumptions as to pricing and manufacturing costs.[124]

In February 2008, Intel stated that its office in Munich had been raided by European Union regulators. Intel reported that it was cooperating with investigators.[125] Intel faced a fine of up to 10% of its annual revenue, if found guilty of stifling competition.[123] AMD subsequently launched a website promoting these allegations.[126][127] In June 2008, the EU filed new charges against Intel.[128] In May 2009, the EU found that Intel had engaged in anti-competitive practices and subsequently fined Intel €1.06 billion ($1.44 billion), a record amount. Intel was found to have paid companies, including Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and NEC,[129] to exclusively use Intel chips in their products, and therefore harmed other companies including AMD.[129][130][131] The European Commission said that Intel had deliberately acted to keep competitors out of the computer chip market and in doing so had made a "serious and sustained violation of the EU's antitrust rules".[129] In addition to the fine, Intel was ordered by the Commission to immediately cease all illegal practices.[129] Intel has stated that they will appeal against the Commission's verdict.[129]

South Korea

In September 2007, South Korean regulators accused Intel of breaking antitrust law. The investigation began in February 2006, when officials raided Intel's South Korean offices. The company risked a penalty of up to 3% of its annual sales, if found guilty.[132] In June 2008, the Fair Trade Commission ordered Intel to pay a fine of $25.5 million for taking advantage of its dominant position to offer incentives to major Korean PC manufacturers on the condition of not buying products from AMD.[133]

United States

New York started an investigation of Intel in January 2008 on whether the company violated antitrust laws in pricing and sales of its microprocessors.[134] In June 2008, the Federal Trade Commission also began an antitrust investigation of the case.[135] In December 2009 the FTC announced it would initiate an administrative proceeding against Intel in September 2010.[136][137][138][139]

In November 2009, following a two year investigation, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo sued Intel, accusing them of bribery and coercion, claiming that Intel bribed computer makers to buy more of their chips than those of their rivals, and threatened to withdraw these payments if the computer makers were perceived as working too closely with its competitors. Intel has denied these claims.[140]

On July 22, 2010, Dell agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to pay $100M in penalties resulting from charges that Dell did not accurately disclose accounting information to investors. In particular, the SEC charged that from 2002 to 2006, Dell had an agreement with Intel to receive rebates in exchange for not using chips manufactured by Advanced Micro Devices. These substantial rebates were not disclosed to investors, but were used to help meet investor expectations regarding the company's financial performance; the SEC said that in the first quarter of 2007 they amounted to 70% of Dell's operating income. Dell eventually did adopt AMD as a secondary supplier in 2006, and Intel subsequently stopped their rebates, causing Dell's financial performance to fall.[141][142][143]

See also

Comparison of ATI Graphics Processing Units
Comparison of Nvidia graphics processing units
Engineering sample (CPU)
Bill Gaede
Intel GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator)
Intel Museum
Intel Science Talent Search
Intel Software Network (ISN)
Justin Rattner
List of Intel cores
List of Intel microprocessors
Semiconductor sales leaders by year


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List of integrated circuit manufacturers

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