Intel Corporation is a global American semiconductor chip maker, the largest and highest valued (by revenue) in the world. It was founded in 1968 by Gordon E. Moore, Robert Noyce (co-inventor of the integrated circuit), and Arthur Rock (investor and venture capitalist). It invented the x86 series of microprocessors found in most PCs.
Intel built its success around ‘Moore’s Law’ (Moore noted that the number of components in integrated circuits had doubled every year, from their invention in 1958 until 1965, and predicted that this trend would continue), which implies regular purchases of new computers with new more powerful chips; the success of the PC; and its aggressive pursuit of market share and success in gaining mind share for its Pentium brand with its “Intel Inside” advertising campaign in the 1990s.
Intel is now moving strongly into the mobile space (mainly for Windows devices, although it powers some Android devices too). It has a fast product and, with Intel production scale, many industry observers see it as having a good chance of winning market share in this space.
Intel has advanced chip design capabilities combined with a leading-edge manufacturing capability. It regained a leading position in its field after 2007 with its Core micro-architecture and its recognition that power consumption and heat dissipation issues made further increases in processor speed impracticable and that the future lay with hardware parallelism.
Intel has attempted diversification with the acquisition of several technologies (network switching and wireless, for example), which it can incorporate into its chips. Its recent acquisition of McAfee presages the production of a more secure computing platform with security built into the silicon.
Intel also has a software business selling highly respected compilers and developer tools, especially for high-performance computing. Significantly, in 2009, it bought Wind River, founded as a Berkeley consultancy in 1981 by Jerry Fiddler and, since 1987, a leader in real-time operating systems for embedded microprocessors. Wind River is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel and is part of its Software and Services Group; it should enable Intel to play a significant part in the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution.
It is interesting that after the glitch in the sale of new PCs associated with the comparative lack of enthusiasm for Windows 8, Intel agreed (in 2013) to produce chips for Altera; Intel has indicated that it is looking for more deals like this, in which it can support the industry with best practice chip creation and production.