How two people set out to create an industry and changed the world

July 18, 2008: 40 years ago today, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore incorporated a small electronics firm in Mountain View, California. A short item in the San Jose Mercury News a few weeks later noted the two had resigned from Fairchild Semiconductor and formed this fledging company called Intel because they wanted to “regain the satisfaction of research and development in a small and growing company.”

Intel is certainly not a small company anymore, but the focus on research and development remains as strong as ever. Intel has never wavered on its investment here, even during the up and down cycles that have defined the industry over the years. This basic premise–and the desire to “go off and do something wonderful” as Noyce liked to say, ended up redefining the electronics industry and set a course that changed the world.

So it’s been 40 years since the integrated circuit, about 28 years since the PC arrived, and then the ultimate killer app–the Internet–about 15 years ago. What is remarkable is just how fast it is still moving and just how global the impact has been. Brilliant men, Noyce and Moore could never have predicted what has happened, how chips have become pervasive in everything from automobiles to telephones to home appliances. And how the technology has opened up the opportunity for people around the world to connect, learn, work, and play. This is so much of what Intel Chairman Craig Barrett has talked about as he travels around the world. In some respects, we are just getting started.

So on this day, hats off to Noyce and Moore and the thousands of other people who came behind them and kept this incredible machine going. Here is a video, perhaps one of the best the company has ever produced, that reflects some of what they inspired. It is a tribute to the technology, and the men and women who built this company over the last 40 years.

One Response to How two people set out to create an industry and changed the world

  1. greennuis says:

    when great changes happened, people at that time may not be able to judge if it would change the world.
    when come to use, then we can say they are great and changed the world