Intel celebrates the 50th anniversary of 4004: the world’s first commercial microprocessor


Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Intel 4004 microprocessor, a milestone for the first commercially available microprocessor that paved the way for today’s technological exploits and discoveries.

Since November 1971, Intel’s 4004 microprocessor has helped create microprocessors for desktop calculators in advanced cloud and edge computing.

Intel created microprocessors in 1969 following a request from the Nippon Calculating Machine Corporation. NCMC needed a set of integrated circuits for the company’s prototype engineering computer, the Busicom 141-PF. Intel engineer Federico Faggin, along with Stan Mazor, Marcian E. (Ted) Hoff, adapted the blueprints for a set of 12 custom chips and from there created a set of four chips – including the Intel processor. 4004 – meeting the needs of the Nippon Calculating Machinery Company.

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 4004 chip. Think about how much we’ve accomplished over the past half century. It is a sacred time for technology. This is what made IT take off!

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel

The Intel 4004, almost the same size as an average human fingernail, offered the same computing power as the original electronic computer from 1946. The tiny microprocessor has been proven to deliver the same power as a computer that , at one point, filled a single room. The Intel 4004 helped innovate a new random logic design methodology, a design that has shaped several generations of microprocessors since its inception, before evolving into its current state found in devices today. ‘hui. Today, microprocessors provide a combination of ubiquitous computing, ubiquitous connectivity, cloud-to-edge infrastructure, and artificial intelligence.

[Looking back at] 1970, it was clear that microprocessors were going to change the way we design systems, from using hardware to software. But the speed at which microprocessors have developed over time and been adopted by industry was truly surprising.

– Federico Faggin, former Intel engineer

The 12th Generation Intel Core processors recently revealed and launched within the last month now offer a hybrid architecture, delivering superior performance and cutting edge technology that owes a lot to the Intel 4004 microprocessor. Intel’s latest ideation will now help to do this. advancing future generations, helping neuromorphic computing with the Intel Loihi 2 chip and the field of quantum computing with Intel’s Horse Ridge II option. Intel continues to challenge itself to minimize size while maximizing performance, and it’s all thanks to the Intel 4004 microprocessor.


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