Intel’s first microprocessor, the 4004, turned 40 yesterday. As Intel likes to put it, they are the brains inside the computers, phones, servers and every bit of electronics that we use. Intel’s been chasing the Moore’s law, since then. The law suggests doubling the number of transistors in semiconductors every two years. Intel says that the new Sandy Bridge line of processors are more than 350,000 times more powerful than the first Intel 4004 processor. Cost of transistors has dropped massively and so has the energy reqiurement per transistor, thus making processors way more efficient than they used to be.

The first device to use the Intel 4004 - the Busicom 141-PF

The first device to use the Intel 4004 – the Busicom 141-PF

Intel is looking forward to the future with their new 3D Tri-gate transistors and their new 22nm fabrication processor that will be used on future processors. Justin Rattner, CTO, Intel, said that the developments done in the past 40 years were equal or more than the innovations done over the last 10,000 years. The first processor, the Intel 4004 was used by Busicom, a Japanese company to build the 141-PF printing calculator. Four chips were used on the device and one of them was the Intel 4004. This was the turning point where designers could use a hardware and customise software for it

Publish date: November 16, 2011 10:33 am| Modified date: December 18, 2013 8:57 pm

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