Did You Know? 7 Fun Facts About Intel

Did You Know?

As Intel approaches its five-decade anniversary, the timing is opportune to take a look back at what made the company into a tech industry icon -- and at some of the recent initiatives that are keeping Intel just as prominent as ever today. So we've assembled a list of key facts from the company's past and present, ranging from Intel's founding and first product success, up through its innovations today in areas such as IoT and drones.

What follows are seven interesting facts you may or may not know about technology giant Intel.

This Stadium Got Smart

With the help of Intel, Arizona State University's Sun Devil Stadium is going all in on the Internet of Things. The smart stadium uses sensors for competitions to see which sections of the stadium can cheer the loudest, and fans will soon be able to order food from their seats and get information on open parking spots via a mobile app. Stadium operations are also being optimized based on occupancy, thanks to Internet of Things infrastructure.

The First Success

Intel's initial efforts were focused around building better memory chips based on semiconductor technology. The company found success with the 1103, the first DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chip, which Intel debuted in 1970. A year later, the company introduced its first microprocessor, the 4004 -- an invention that paved the way for today's $339 billion global semiconductor industry.

The 'Silicon' In Silicon Valley

Robert Noyce co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957, and two years later co-invented the silicon integrated circuit while at the firm. Noyce and Gordon Moore, head of R&D at Fairchild, would leave the company in 1968 to launch a chip company of their own in Mountain View, Calif. They initially called the venture NM Electronics -- though they would later change the name to Intel, a combination of "integrated" and "electronics."

Tech Touchstone

Before co-founding Intel, Gordon Moore (pictured) made a prediction that has served as a touchstone for the industry. In 1965, Moore predicted that the number of transistors that could fit on a computer chip would increase exponentially and costs would drop. Indeed, the ensuing five decades would see increases in computing power and decreases in cost at a rapid pace. Just this year, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said Moore's Law is alive and well.

Keep Watch

Recently, Intel has collaborated on smartwatches with TAG Heuer and New Balance, but this isn't the first time the company has been involved in making watches. In 1972, Intel got into the digital watch business through the acquisition of LCD watch developer Microma -- but ended up selling the division in 1978 to Timex.

The Intel Museum

Yes, Intel has its very own museum. The 10,000-squarefoot museum is located on Intel's headquarters campus in Santa Clara, Calif., with exhibit topics ranging from silicon chip fabrication to Intel's history.

Drone Display

During this year's Super Bowl half-time show, 300 Intel drones provided a synchronized light show as part of the performance by Lady Gaga. The Shooting Star Drones also were deployed to provide light shows at Disney Springs in Orlando, Fla., during this past holiday season. And last year, Intel set the Guinness World Record for the Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles airborne simultaneously, with 500 drones in the air at once.