In the face of stiff competition from rival AMD, Intel remains focused on leaping ahead.

It was 35 years ago in November 1971 that Intel unveiled its first microprocessor--the Intel 4004.

Resembling the shape of a beetle, the silicon chip measured one-eighth by one-sixth of an inch, or the size of your fingernail, and delivered the same computing power as the first electronic computer of that generation, the ENIAC, which was built in 1946. Bundled with three other chips, the Intel 4004 was embedded into a printing calculator.

Today, the Intel Core 2 Duo processors hold over 291 million transistors, compared to the 2,300 that sat in the Intel 4004.

Earlier this month, the chipmaker officially launched its quad-core chips months ahead of archrival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

Intel had struggled to cope with the intense competition against AMD, losing its once-ironclad grasp of an exclusive relationship with Dell Computer in May. But, it persevered and stayed the course and looks set to regain at least some of its former glory.

And with its new initiative to go into the software market, Intel might just have what it needs to stay ahead of its competition.