Intel history pages. The first chip, Intel 3101

    Very little time is left before the significant date for Intel: July 18 it will be 50 years old. To mark this event, all of July, we will publish small excerpts from the company's chronicles, describing the most interesting moments of its history, as well as valuable archival photos. Well, we start with the very first product, bore the name of Intel, the memory chip 3101.

    In April 1969, Intel introduced its first product: the Intel 3101 static RAM .

    By that time, the company worked less than a year. At first, she devoted herself entirely to development, intending to create fundamentally new technologies, rather than replicate existing ones. To create its first product as quickly as possible, Intel purchased three technologies at once: bipolar memory (using proven technology, but difficult to develop), memory on metal-oxide semiconductors with a silicon gate (which could be a revolution in chip design, but there was still a lot to be reinvented) and multichip technology, in which four small memory chips were connected together (it was cumbersome and fragile, but cheap). Any one of these devices that proves its viability would be the first Intel product.

    We will not go into technical details here - they are too complex for a historical post. Readers wishing to do this on their own and learn how bipolar and MOP semiconductor devices work, we suggest reading the excellent article on the INTUIT website .

    As a result, the winner turned out to be a bipolar memory, 64-bit 3101, a product, the development speed of which in itself turned out to be a victory for the company.

    Honeywell has announced a tender for the supply of 64-bit SRAM chips, thereby triggering something like a competition between memory manufacturers. Being a newcomer, Intel was not in the best position, but, nevertheless, accepted the challenge. Its trump cards should be the speed and power of the chip, greater than those of competitors. And this was achieved: the released chip was twice as fast as those on the market. In addition, Intel has gained valuable experience in building a semiconductor factory from scratch. Intel did not become a supplier of Honeywell, but it didn’t matter - 3101 sold well and so.

    Crystal Photo Intel 3101

    Already existing technology was used in bipolar memory. Perhaps the competitors thought that this was all to calm down, but it was not there. In the same year, 1969, Intel released a fundamentally new product, the 1101 SRAM, the first commercial MOP chip with a silicon rather than a metal gate. About him will be discussed in the next article in the series.

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