05:38 AM

Intel's Craig Barrett - From Forest Ranger To Materials Scientist

Craig Barrett, former CEO of Intel, discusses his 35 year career in this video. He originally wanted to become a forest ranger yet ended up studying materials science and went onto becoming a professor at Stanford university on a journey that led to running the world's largest chip maker.

Mr. Barrett was instrumental in developing Intel's unassailed prowess as a chip manufacturer and in building and ramping Intel's chip fabs faster than ever. Intel's capital equipment costs run into the billions annually. This is a lot of capital and it has to be put to work as quickly as possible. 

But each fab requires an extraordinary amount of fine tuning of hundreds of different machines and processes. If this is not done right, it will lead to poor chip yields and large losses.

His "copy exactly" methodology meant that process improvements in one fab could be copied exactly and nearly instantly in all other fabs -- a simple but amazingly effective procedure.

(Mr. Barrett gave me one of my biggest scoops when I was at the Financial Times, telling me he was unhappy with Rambus and its demands for royalty payments - a huge story at the time.)