Earlier this week, the tech industry lost a titan with the passing of Andy Grove. The man had a profound impact on technology, business, philanthropy and the culture of Silicon Valley.
For the average person not steeped in tech history, the name Andy Grove probably doesn’t mean much. But I guarantee you that same person is pretty familiar with this little ditty. And while we know Intel has become synonymous with microprocessors, many of us don’t know that it was Andy Grove’s vision that made Intel the processor powerhouse it is today.
Prior to 1983, Intel was mostly known as a manufacturer of DRAM computer memory. However, when Japanese memory chip suppliers entered the market and started a price war, it was Grove who made the push to refocus Intel’s R&D efforts on designing and manufacturing microprocessors. Seen as a pretty big gamble at the time, Grove’s decision to focus on MPUs led to the development of the x86 processor architecture, which became the dominant processor technology in computing.
Rather than spend time here listing his many accomplishments, a much better summation of Grove’s life and work was presented in a video presented at The Churchill Club when the organization honored him with their Legendary Leader award last year. If you’d like a better understanding of how Grove’s work and vision helped make Silicon Valley what it is today, I recommend you watch it.
On a personal note, I’ve been building and modding PCs for the past 20 years and all of my machines have used Intel processors. So thank you, Mr. Grove, for your vision and leadership. The fruits of your labor have given me countless hours of entertainment (and quite a few skinned knuckles). RIP, sir.