Intel to begin research on original chip design

For the first time Intel has assembled a group of engineers and scientists to begin conducting original research into chip design.

After years of taking its microprocessor designs from others, Intel has assembled a group of engineers and scientists to begin conducting original research into chip design, according to a report published in the Wall Street Journal.

The group, called the Microcomputer Labs, will be headed by Intel's Richard Wirt. It will focus on everything from 3D graphics to advanced software applications, the report says. "Now that we're at the head of the class, there's nothing left to copy," Craig Barrett, the company's chief operating officer, told the Journal.

Intel's pilot microprocessor, the 4004, developed in 1969, was based on Digital's PDP-8 minicomputer. Since then the company has made a habit of taking older technologies and melding them together in single chip designs using its miniaturisation technology.

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