The Intel Trinity

Michael S. Malone            

Published by

Harper Business

ISBN

9780062226761

RRP

£20.00

Reviewed by

Nick Dunn, Senior Security Consultant, NCC Group

Score

8 out of 10

This well-researched history of the Intel corporation tells its story by concentrating on Intel’s three key figures: Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore and Andrew Grove. The author has based the work on both previously published information and access to the Intel archives.

The prominent use of the Intel archives might possibly have had an effect of introducing a positive spin to the storytelling and creating an impression upon the reader that Intel has rarely done anything wrong.

However, this can’t be criticised too much as we are talking about a company that has had such a far-reaching influence upon Silicon Valley management and business practices, while also dominating the CPU market that it would be hard for anyone not to hold a degree of admiration for it.

The story of Intel is told in stages, with the book split into five parts discussing each stage. We begin with the initial meeting of Noyce and Moore while working for Shockley Semi-Conductors, including a brief history of the early days of Silicon Valley and the demise of Shockley Semi-Conductors.

From this point the book goes on to discuss the evolution of the company’s product lines along with its technical and managerial innovations over the following decades.

Throughout the book there are a number of biographical chapters that describe the early lives of the three protagonists and these help to make the book different from a standard corporate history. The chapters discussing Andrew Grove’s early life and his family’s experiences as holocaust survivors make particularly interesting reading.

In all, the book provides a very enjoyable and readable history of one of Silicon Valley’s great companies, touching on all sides of the story so that the technical, management and human parts of the story merge together into a cohesive history.

It is however a popular history and shouldn’t be purchased by anyone looking for management guidance or a technical history of chip design.

Further information: Harper Business

November 2014