Latest in Science

Image credit:

Intel 4004, world's first commercial microprocessor, celebrates 40th birthday, ages gracefully

Amar Toor, @amartoo
November 15, 2011
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Pull out the candles and champagne, because the Intel 4004 is celebrating a major birthday today -- the big four-oh. That's right, it's been exactly four decades since Intel unveiled the world's first commercially available CPU, with an Electronic News ad that ran on November 15th, 1971. It all began in 1969, when Japan's Nippon Calculating Machine Corporation asked Intel to create 12 chips for its Busicom 141-PF calculator. With that assignment, engineers Federico Faggin, Ted Hoff and Stanley Mazor set about designing what would prove to be a groundbreaking innovation -- a 4-bit, 16-pin microprocessor with a full 2,300 MOS transistors, and about 740kHZ of horsepower. The 4004's ten micron feature size may seem gargantuan by contemporary standards, but at the time, it was rather remarkable -- especially considering that the processor was constructed from a single piece of silicon. In fact, Faggin was so proud of his creation that he decided to initial its design with "FF," in appropriate recognition of a true work of art. Hit up the coverage links below for more background on the Intel 4004, including a graphic history of the microprocessor, from the Inquirer.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
Zappos' pioneering ex-CEO Tony Hsieh dies at 46

Zappos' pioneering ex-CEO Tony Hsieh dies at 46

View
The Morning After: The best Black Friday deals that are still going

The Morning After: The best Black Friday deals that are still going

View
Vava’s 4K ultra short-throw projector is $840 off at Amazon

Vava’s 4K ultra short-throw projector is $840 off at Amazon

View
The best Black Friday tech deals we could find

The best Black Friday tech deals we could find

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr