Photo: Boonsri Dickinson, Business Insider
This week, we visited Intel’s headquarters in Santa Clara, California to find out where the tech company is placing its bets these days and which startups it’s interested in funding.When you think of Intel, you probably think of the silicon chips resting inside your PC.
But the company is also doing a lot to show how companies can use its chips in new ways.
For instance, it’s pushing a super-thin type of notebook computer called an Ultrabook, and has introduced its smartphone reference design — so that soon, its chips may power the little computers in our pockets. It’s also been supplying chips for data centres for Internet giants like Google and Facebook.
This timeline of Moore's life is pretty new. Moore doesn't come in that often anymore -- he's 83 years old -- but he was in last week and was apparently pretty embarrassed when he saw this.
Before we found out more about Intel's vision, we took a stroll through the museum to understand how the company became a household name.
Most computers stored information using magnetic core memory. The chips were made by hand. But Intel introduced the 1103 DRAM in 1970, and in just two years it became the largest selling semiconductor memory. The Intel 4004 microprocessor also helped change the way electronic devices were made.
Intel is trying to get into smartphones. Sumeet Syal holds up the Intel Smartphone Reference design announced at CES in January. No customers yet, though.
It has an advanced imaging system. It can take photos in burst mode, so you can get 10 photos in less than a second. Also, you can take video in high definition and stream it from the phone to your TV.
In the lab, they compare its multimedia capabilities and its video game performance against other phones, most of which run processors using designs from Intel rival ARM. Intel is in talks with the carriers to sell this reference phone directly.
Anand Lakshmanan told us about Intel's Ultrabook campaign. Expect the first Ultrabooks at a mainstream price point this year, although he wouldn't really name the price because he didn't want to be wrong. Fine. He did tell us that there are between 15 and 20 designs. At the end of the year, there will be about 75.
To be considered an Ultrabook, a laptop must be less than 18 millimeters thick, and have at least 5 hours of battery life. Intel has a $300 million fund to help drive costs down.
Ultrabooks have anti-theft and identity protection built in, so they can be disabled if they're stolen. This technology comes from Intel's acquisition of McAfee in 2010.
This is Dan Snyder, who gave us our tour. He came here as an intern in the early 90s -- not uncommon for an Intel employee.
This is where Intel tests its chips and its performance power. This is before Consumer Reports and CNET reviewers get their hands on products.
The food was not as good as Google's food, and employees have to pay for it. And the cafeteria gets really packed. We had to hunt for an open table.
Brian Gonzalez seemed extremely excited about his job. He runs a program to provide cheap subsidized laptops to schools. He gets to travel around the world. He's showing off his passport here.
The laptops are so durable. He says he's giving kids a new way to discover things and creating a service economy. He talked a lot about the program set up in Portugal.
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