Tech Time Line: 1997

Summary : What the important events and trends were in 1997 for the semiconductor industry

Mobile was still analog, the internet was just getting its legs, and PCs cost between $1500 and $3000. The $1000 PC was two years away. By July of 1997, Intel was a good two months into its Pentium® II Processor launch. Its 350nm 7.5M transistor design with 512KB of L2 cache was cutting edge for its day. But by January it would be superseded by a 250nm version that upped the clock speed from a maximum 300 to 450MHz. Earlier in the year, Andy Grove had celebrated his 10th year as CEO, with his now legendary book, “Only the Paranoid Survive,” hitting best seller status. Intel had grown right through the recession of 1996, ultimately rising 20% in 1997, with capex of $4.5B and $2.3B for R&D that was engine of Moore’s Law, and the envy of many. They would double down on density every two years for decades and in twenty years would be making chips with 35 times the density, going from 350nm to 10nm — something nobody thought possible in 1997.  And with a 37% return on stockholder equity, they had reason jump for joy in bunny suits.

 

Annexure :

Mobile was still analog, the internet was just getting its legs, and PCs cost ...

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