July 18, 1968: Intel Founded
Robert Noyce, Andy Grove, and Gordon Moore incorporate Intel in Santa Clara, California to build microprocessors. Their first processor, the 4004, was released in 1971 for use in calculators. IBM’s choice of Intel’s 8088 processor for use in the IBM PC led to Intel’s emergence as the premier manufacturer of processors still to this day.
In 1968, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore were two unhappy engineers working for the Fairchild Semiconductor Company who decided to quit and create their own company at a time when many Fairchild employees were leaving to create start-ups. People like Noyce and Moore were nicknamed the “Fairchildren”.
Robert Noyce typed himself a one page idea of what he wanted to do with his new company, and that was enough to convince San Francisco venture capitalist Art Rock to back Noyce’s and Moore’s new venture. Rock raised $2.5 million dollars in less than 2 days by selling convertible debentures. Art Rock became the first chairmen of Intel.
Moore and Noyce initially wanted to name the company “Moore Noyce”. The name, however, was a partial 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. Instead they used the name NM Electronics for almost a year, before deciding to call their company Integrated Electronics or “Intel” for short. Since “Intel” was already trademarked by the hotel chain Intelco, they had to buy the rights for the name.
Intel still enjoys the biggest market share in both the overall worldwide PC microprocessor market (about 80%%) and the mobile PC microprocessor (about 85%).