Intel is a US based multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. Intel also makes networking cards, components, and other devices.
It was founded in 1968 by Gordon E. Moore and Robert Noyce. Its employee number 4 was Andrew Grove, who ran the company more or less from his arrival in the 1960s through his retirement in the 1990s, building it into one of the largest and most successful businesses in the world.
Moore and Noyce wanted to name their new company 'Moore Noyce' but that was already trademarked by a hotel chain, so they had to settle for an acronym of INTegrated ELectronics.
The company started as a memory manufacturer before making the switch to processors. Andrew Grove described this transition in the book Only the Paranoid Survive.
During the 1990s, Intel's Intel Architecture Labs (IAL) was responsible for many of the hardware innovations of the Personal Computer, including the PCI Bus, the Universal Serial Bus (USB), and the now-dominant architecture for multi-processor servers. IAL's software efforts met with a more mixed fate; its video and graphics software was important in the development of software digital video, but later its efforts were largely overshadowed by competition from Microsoft. The competition between Intel and Microsoft was revealed in testimony at the Microsoft anti-trust trial.
Intel's dominance in the x86 microprocessor market led to numerous charges of antitrust violations over the years, including FTC investigations in both the late 1980s and in 1999, and civil actions such as the 1997 suit by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) and a patent suit by Intergraph. Intel's market dominance (at one time it controlled over 85% of the market for 32-bit PC microprocessors), combined with Intel's own hardball legal tactics (such as its infamous 338 patent suit versus PC manufacturers) made it an attractive target for litigation, but few of the lawsuits ever amounted to anything. Currently, the only major competitor to Intel on the x86 processor market is Advanced Micro Devices, although some smaller competitors such as Transmeta produce low-consumption processors for portable equipment.
Intel currently (as of 2004) produces microprocessors, networking components, motherboard chipsets, and more.
Intel corporation is a component of the GSTI Software Index
See also: List of Intel microprocessors