1988 – Intel: Architect of the Microcomputer Revolution

1968 was a year of revolution; reports of war, anti-war demonstrations, assassinations, riots, and drugs filled the daily papers. Little noted was the incorporation of a new company, Intel, that July in Mountain View, California.

The company started with 12 people in a single room and first year revenues were $2672. This hardly seems the stuff of legends, and amid the tumult of 1968 one would had to have been a visionary to endorse Intel co-founder Gordon Moore’s statement that “we are the true revolutionaries.”

Twenty years later, that immodest claim rings much more true. Simply put, Intel’s innovations have changed the world. Intel’s microprocessor, erasable, programmable read-only memory (EPROM) and dynamic random access memory (DRAM) have transformed the way the world handles information. “Computers” are no longer huge, costly machines that take up entire air-conditioned rooms; rather they are tiny inexpensive chips that can be tucked into personal computers, automated teller machines, automobile engines, laser printers, toys, and assembly line robots. In the process, new industries have emerged and old ones have been transformed.

Intel too has been transformed. In 20 years it has blossomed into a multinational, Fortune 200 company with more than 20,000 employees.

What has enabled the company to achieve so much in so little time? Perhaps it is a sort of high tech three R’s: research, risk-taking and responsiveness. Through good times and bad, Intel has invested from 10 to 15 percent of its revenues on average on research and development, essential in an industry where yesterday’s state-of-the-art can be tomorrow’s obsolete.

Read the full 1988 Annual Report.