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Celebrating Andy Grove of Intel
Posted by Ed Hudgins on 3/31, 9:16pm

Celebrating Andy Grove of Intel
By Edward Hudgins


March 30, 2016 -- If you’re reading this piece, checking email, visiting Facebook, or tweeting, give a silent thanks in part to Andy Grove.


Andy Grove was one of the founders of Intel, the company that invented the microprocessor—the "computer-on-a-chip" that runs most of the communication, information, and entertainment devices that make up our modern world. Grove, who recently passed away, was a techno-achiever who helped create that world.

Andy Grove escaped death

Grove’s success at Intel began with his success at literally escaping death. He was born András Gróf, a Jewish boy in Hungary in 1936. When fascists took over his country, he was forced to wear a Star of David and was destined for extermination. Fortunately, he and his mother hid in a neighbor's home, thus escaping the Holocaust. . . only to face a harsh new communist regime after the war. When Soviet tanks brutally put down a popular revolt against Red rule in 1956, he escaped by walking out of Hungary into Austria. He then made his way to New York City with $20 and the clothes on his back.


In the land of the free, he earned a PhD in chemical engineering at U.C. Berkeley, and in 1963 went to work for Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore at Fairchild Semiconductor. Noyce, Fairchild’s president, was the co-inventor of the integrated circuit (the chip) which would replace bulkier transistors. In July 1968, Noyce and Moore raised $25 million and co-founded Intel, the name implying "integrated electronics." Grove and his fellow Hungarian refugee, Les Vadasz, were their first two employees.

Andy Grove’s managerial achievement

At Intel, Noyce was the big-picture visionary. The silicon substrate in the integrated chip he co-invented gave rise to the name Silicon Valley. In 1971 three Intel engineers invented the microprocessor—the CPU in your device today. Moore led Intel's R&D, while Grove oversaw Intel's manufacturing. (Continue reading here.)

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