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Semiconductor giant Intel turns 50 this year.
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Intel founders Robert Noyce (centre) and Gordon Moore (right) with Andy Grove (left), pictured in 1978. Noyce and Moore left Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation to form Intel, and were joined by Grove on the first day of the company’s incorporation, 18th July 1968. Grove would become president and CEO and is widely credited with driving the company’s business success. The name Intel was selected as a combination of ‘integrated’ and ‘electronics’.
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An Intel archive photo shows Intel's first 106 employees. In 1969, with 106 employees, Intel began its operations at 365 E. Middlefield Road in Mountain View, Calif. The space is "larger than we need," Gordon Moore told a local newspaper. Intel would start plans for expansion less than two years later.
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Gordon Moore (with the shovel), Robert Noyce (right) help with the groundbreaking ceremony in April 1970 for Intel's SC1 building in Santa Clara, California. On April 21, 1970, Intel began construction on the company’s new Santa Clara headquarters.
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Intel's SC1 headquarters building in Santa Clara, California, in a photo from the early 1970s. It was the first site the company owned rather than rented (previously Intel had operated out of a leased building in Mountain View). The property was originally a pear orchard; after construction was completed, employees could pick pears on the undeveloped land until SC2 was built.
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Introduced in 1992, the Pentium processor was named by Intel employees who entered a companywide contest. Rejected monikers included 586NOT! and Iamfastests. Pentium is derived from the "penta," a Greek word for five. It was a reminder that it was Intel’s fifth-generation microprocessor. While an external branding agency coined the name Pentium, 18 employees who had suggested something very similar each received $200.
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Intel processors have powered many different products over the years, including this Busicom 141-PF desktop calculator. Intel sold the rights to its first microprocessor (the 4004) to Busicom, a Japanese company that needed integrated circuits for its new line of programmable electronic calculators in 1970. Intel repurchased the rights to the 4004 for the original investment of $60,000.
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An Intel archive photo shows Wrinkles, which was manufactured in the 1980s by Canadian toy company Ganz. Intel's MCS-51 was in everything from anti-lock brakes to airplanes to talking dog plushies. Wrinkles was powered by the 80C31BH controller, a part of the MCS-51 family. With an 8-bit CMOS processor and 32K bytes of read-only-memory, the toy dog had a basic vocabulary of 150 words and more than 2,800 combinations of sounds.
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An Intel archive photo shows an early generation of 'bunny suits' worn in Intel factory clean rooms. Few things are more quintessentially Intel than its iconic fab (or factory) bunny suits. The first ones were introduced in 1973.
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Fire destroyed Intel's assembly plant in Penang, Malaysia, in 1975. The disaster proved the beginning of a manufacturing triumph as Penang employees were back to work within 10 days of the fire. Employees operated out of four swing and graveyard facilities offered by neighboring semiconductor manufacturers - as well as the Intel cafeteria - during the eight months it took to rebuild the plant.