Intel turns 40

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Intel is celebrating its 40th birthday.

The iconic chipmaker was first founded in 1968 by physicists Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce, who derived as a shortened version of the term "Integrated Electronics."

"When we introduced the microprocessor no one could have predicted that the market for PCs would be greater than 350 million units a year," said chief executive and president Paul Otellini.

"Over the next 40 years Intel technology will be at the heart of breakthroughs that solve the big problems of health and environment. For Intel this is just the beginning of its journey."

The company plans to celebrate the occasion with a massive online mural project soliciting art and writing contributions from children in more than 70 of its 'clubhouse' centres around the world. The 500-plus submissions feature thoughts on what the children expect computers to bring to the world in the next 40 years.

The company hopes that the project will outline its philanthropic efforts as well as its impact on the industry.

"As an industry, we have a responsibility to fulfill these expectations," proclaimed Bruce Sewell, Intel's senior vice president for corporate social responsibility.

"By providing opportunities for young people in underserved communities to learn technology literacy and problem-solving skills, we hope to secure the next generation of innovators, thought leaders and role models."

Meanwhile, Intel senior vice president and enterprise group general manager Pat Gelsinger issued a blog posting on what he saw as Intel's biggest achievements over the last 40 years.

Among Gelsinger's top moments for the company are its introduction of the 32-bit processor, the advocacy of the CISC platform, and the efforts to maintain software compatibility with each new generation of chip.

Gelsinger also noted the company's adoption of multi-core processors, noting that the company had to scramble after initially hedging its bets on achieving higher clock speeds.

"In an ISSCC paper in 2001 we predicted a power wall with a famous picture of die thermal densities equal to that of a nuclear reactor or the surface of the sun – clearly we needed to change and our answer was the “Right Hand Turn," said Gelsinger.

"While we saw this fundamental shift, we were one generation too late and attempted to extend the Pentium IV but luckily, we recovered quickly with our focus on energy efficient performance with Centrino and our great Tick-Tock execution."
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