A quick look back at the founding of Intel 55 years ago today


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Long before Google, and even before Apple and Microsoft, there was Intel. The microelectronics company started in Mountain View, California on July 18, 1968, 55 years ago today.

The company has its own website on the founding of Intel that's worth a look. It states that it was founded by Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, who were already well-known in the Northern California area for helping to launch another company, Fairchild Semiconductors, in 1957.

Noyce helped to create the monolithic integrated circuit in 1959 while he was at the company, which is the basis for the modern personal computer chip.

However, Noyce and Moore, who passed away just last March, decided they wanted to leave Fairchild and form their own microelectronics hardware company. While the official Intel site doesn't mention this, the third co-founder of Intel was the financier and the first "venture capitalist" Arthur Rock.

He had also helped to get Fairchild started, and when Noyce and Moore wanted to launch this new business, Rock was available to get the money to start this new venture. Encyclopedia.com has a quote from Rock who stated:

Bob (Noyce) just called me on the phone. We'd been friends for a long time.… Documents? There was practically nothing. Noyce's reputation was good enough. We put out a page-and-a-half little circular, but I'd raised the money even before people saw it.

According to the story, Rock made 15 phone calls in just two hours. He managed to secure $2.5 million to start the company, which was a massive amount of money at that time.

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