Sunday July 18, 2021’s Smile of the Day: The Intel Corporation
On this Day:
In 1968, the Intel Corporation was founded in Santa Clara, California.
Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in Silicon Valley. It is the world’s largest semiconductor chip manufacturer by revenue, and is the developer of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers (PCs). Incorporated in Delaware, Intel ranked No. 45 in the 2020 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue during nearly a decade, from 2007-2016 fiscal years.
Intel supplies microprocessors for computer system manufacturers such as Lenovo, HP, and Dell. Intel also manufactures motherboard chipsets, network interface controllers and integrated circuits, flash memory, graphics chips, embedded processors and other devices related to communications and computing.
Intel was founded on July 18, 1968, by semiconductor pioneers Gordon Moore (of Moore’s law) and Robert Noyce, and is associated with the executive leadership and vision of Andrew Grove. The company’s name was conceived as a portmanteau of the words integrated and electronics, with co-founder Noyce having been a key inventor of the integrated circuit (microchip). The fact that “intel” is the term for intelligence information also made the name appropriate. Intel was an early developer of SRAM and DRAM memory chips, which represented the majority of its business until 1981. Although Intel created the world’s first commercial microprocessor chip in 1971, it was not until the success of the personal computer (PC) that this became its primary business.
During the 1990s, Intel invested heavily in new microprocessor designs fostering the rapid growth of the computer industry. During this period, Intel became the dominant supplier of microprocessors for PCs and was known for aggressive and anti-competitive tactics in defense of its market position, particularly against Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), as well as a struggle with Microsoft for control over the direction of the PC industry.
The Open Source Technology Center at Intel hosts PowerTOP and LatencyTOP, and supports other open-source projects such as Wayland, Mesa3D, Threading Building Blocks (TBB), and Xen.
Intel was founded in Mountain View, California, in 1968 by Gordon E. Moore (known for “Moore’s law”), a chemist, and Robert Noyce, a physicist and co-inventor of the integrated circuit. Arthur Rock (investor and venture capitalist) helped them find investors, while Max Palevsky was on the board from an early stage. Moore and Noyce had left Fairchild Semiconductor to found Intel. Rock was not an employee, but he was an investor and was chairman of the board. The total initial investment in Intel was $2.5 million in convertible debentures (equivalent to $18.6 million in 2020) and $10,000 from Rock. Just 2 years later, Intel became a public company via an initial public offering (IPO), raising $6.8 million ($23.50 per share). Intel’s third employee was Andy Grove, a chemical engineer, who later ran the company through much of the 1980s and the high-growth 1990s.
In deciding on a name, Moore and Noyce quickly rejected “Moore Noyce”, near homophone for “more noise” – an ill-suited name for an electronics company, since noise in electronics is usually undesirable and typically associated with bad interference. Instead, they founded the company as NM Electronics (or MN Electronics) on July 18, 1968, but by the end of the month had changed the name to Intel which stood for Integrated Electronics. Since “Intel” was already trademarked by the hotel chain Intelco, they had to buy the rights for the name.
In 2020, Dell accounted for about 17% of Intel’s total revenues, Lenovo accounted for 12% of total revenues, and HP Inc. accounted for 10% of total revenues.
According to IDC, while Intel enjoyed the biggest market share in both the overall worldwide PC microprocessor market (73.3%) and the mobile PC microprocessor (80.4%) in the second quarter of 2011, the numbers decreased by 1.5% and 1.9% compared to the first quarter of 2011.
Intel’s market share decreased significantly in the enthusiast market as of 2019, and they have faced delays for their 10 nm products. According to Intel CEO Bob Swan, the delay was caused by the company’s overly aggressive strategy for moving to its next node.
In the 1980s Intel was among the top ten sellers of semiconductors (10th in 1987) in the world. In 1992, Intel became the biggest chip maker by revenue and held the position until 2018 when it was surpassed by Samsung, but Intel returned to its former position the year after. Other top semiconductor companies include TSMC, Advanced Micro Devices, Samsung, Texas Instruments, Toshiba and STMicroelectronics.
Intel’s competitors in PC chipsets included Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), VIA Technologies, Silicon Integrated Systems, and Nvidia. Intel’s competitors in networking include NXP Semiconductors, Infineon,[needs update] Broadcom Limited, Marvell Technology Group and Applied Micro Circuits Corporation, and competitors in flash memory included Spansion, Samsung Electronics, Qimonda, Toshiba, STMicroelectronics, and SK Hynix.
The only major competitor in the x86 processor market is AMD, with which Intel has had full cross-licensing agreements since 1976: each partner can use the other’s patented technological innovations without charge after a certain time. However, the cross-licensing agreement is canceled in the event of an AMD bankruptcy or takeover.
Some smaller competitors such as VIA Technologies produce low-power x86 processors for small factor computers and portable equipment. However, the advent of such mobile computing devices, in particular, smartphones, has in recent years led to a decline in PC sales. Since over 95% of the world’s smartphones currently use processors designed by ARM Holdings, ARM has become a major competitor for Intel’s processor market. ARM is also planning to make inroads into the PC and server market.
Intel has been involved in several disputes regarding violation of antitrust laws (per Wikipedia).
First, a Story:
I went to a conference sponsored by Intel. All we got for lunch was chips.
Second, a Song:
Animusic is an American company specializing in the 3D visualization of MIDI-based music. Founded by Wayne Lytle, it was incorporated in New York, with offices in Texas and California. The initial name of the company was Visual Music, but was changed to Animusic in 1995.
The company is known for its Animusic compilations of computer-generated animations, based on MIDI events processed to simultaneously drive the music and on-screen action, leading to and corresponding to every sound. The animated short “Pipe Dream” showed at SIGGRAPH’s Electronic Theater in 2001.
Unlike many other music visualizations, the music drives the animation. While other productions may animate figures or characters to the music, the animated models in Animusic are created first, and are then programmed to follow what the music instructs them to do. ‘Solo cams’ featured on the Animusic DVD shows how each instrument plays through a piece of music from beginning to end.
Many of the instruments appear to be robotic or play themselves using seemingly curious methods to produce and visualize the original compositions. The animations typically feature dramatically-lit rooms or landscapes.
The music of Animusic is principally pop-rock based, consisting of straightforward sequences of triggered samples and digital patches mostly played “dry” (with few effects). There are no lyrics or voices, save for the occasional chorus synthesizer. According to the director’s comments on Animusic 2, most instrument sounds are generated with software synthesizers on a music workstation (see Software Programs for more info). Many sounds resemble stock patches available on digital keyboards, subjected to some manipulation, such as pitch or playback speed, to enhance the appeal of their timbre.
Future Retro is a song from Animusic’s ” A Computer Animation Video Album”
Future Retro (4:24)
Instruments in the order they’re presented:
- Triple-Necked Rock Electric Guitar – a combination of:
- 2-stringed bass guitar
- Synth Bass pulse ring
- Blue bass lasers
- Pan Flute
- 3-stringed electric jazz guitar
- 4-stringed electric guitar (overdriven)
- Green power chord laser
- Percussion including a drum kit (a hi-hat, a ride cymbal, 2 splash cymbals, 3 crash cymbals, a bass drum, a snare, 2 congas, and 8 toms), vibraphone and gong
- 4 Red synth Sawtooth Lead Lasers
- Violet Chorus Beams
The robotic drummer (surrounded by a percussion set) has four arms and one bass drum mallet foot; two of the arms hold 2B Drum sticks while the other two hold the vibraphone mallets. The Three-Necked Electric Guitar has metallic fingers that pluck the strings of the rock bass, and a metallic arm that strums the strings of the lead and rhythm guitars in both plucked and arpeggiated styles. As a whole instrument, the body is colored green and sports various plugs and lights. There are also giant loudspeakers in the background, connected to the electronic instruments, with VU displays that light up when the instruments are played.
Here is Animusic’s “Future Retro”. I can’t find any reference that this was or was not created using Intel chips, but either way, I hope you enjoy this!
Thought for the Day:
“Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.” – Andy Grove
Have a great day!
Dave & Colleen
© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky