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IEEE Survey Finds That Female Technologists Face Unequal Treatment and Sexist Workplaces

More than 4,500 respondents reported their experiences, and many offered suggestions

3 min read
Illustration of a group of women
Illustration: iStockphoto

THE INSTITUTEFemale IEEE members say they face significant discrimination in the workplace, including demeaning comments, inappropriate job-interview questions, and exclusion from networking events and important business meetings.

Those were among the most common negative experiences reported by more than 4,500 members—associate member grade and above—from around the world who answered a survey IEEE conducted in 2017. The results were released last year.

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Twenty people crowd into a cubicle, the man in the center seated holding a silicon wafer full of chips

Intel's million-transistor chip development team

In San Francisco on Feb. 27, 1989, Intel Corp., Santa Clara, Calif., startled the world of high technology by presenting the first ever 1-million-transistor microprocessor, which was also the company’s first such chip to use a reduced instruction set.

The number of transistors alone marks a huge leap upward: Intel’s previous microprocessor, the 80386, has only 275,000 of them. But this long-deferred move into the booming market in reduced-instruction-set computing (RISC) was more of a shock, in part because it broke with Intel’s tradition of compatibility with earlier processors—and not least because after three well-guarded years in development the chip came as a complete surprise. Now designated the i860, it entered development in 1986 about the same time as the 80486, the yet-to-be-introduced successor to Intel’s highly regarded 80286 and 80386. The two chips have about the same area and use the same 1-micrometer CMOS technology then under development at the company’s systems production and manufacturing plant in Hillsboro, Ore. But with the i860, then code-named the N10, the company planned a revolution.

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