The Intel 4004 turns 50

NeghVar

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May 1, 2003
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50 years ago, Intel introduced the world to the first microprocessor, the Intel 4004.
The grandfather of CPUs started the computer revolution and led the way to the digital world we know today.
Without it we could still be playing board games, creating all those documents and spreadsheets by hand or with a typewriter, watching TV from a cathode ray tube, and lots more we may never have known.
So much of which we now take for granted today.
intel 4004.jpg

https://www.tweaktown.com/news/8275...y-of-world-changing-4004-processor/index.html
 
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Aurelius

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For context as to how early this tech is: the first vaguely home-oriented computer, the Altair 8800, used an Intel 8080 chip that was effectively two generations past this. It's funny to realize that even the simplest microcontroller in your phone is probably far more powerful than any of these early Intel CPUs.
 

DejaWiz

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My first (well, my family's first) IBM PC/compatible was a Packard Bell with an 8088 and 640k RAM soldered onto the MoBo.
Sprung for the Paradise EGA 480 video card and a 14" 640x480 EGA monitor.
No HDD...only 5.25" 360k and 3.5" 720k FDDs.
Booted DOS 3.31 off of the 5.25".
Many, many hours spend modding the config.sys and autoexec.bat files to get certain games to run. Fun times.
This baby was clocked at 4.77 MHZ and could be boosted to a scorching 8 MHz with a single press of the TURBO BUTTON!

Made quite a jump, as our next family PC was an Am386-SX40 with 4x256k RAM.
Very first HDD was purchased for this computer: Samsung 255MB.
Also upgraded the 3.5" FDD to a 1.44MB beast.
Ended up replacing the repurposed EGA vc out of the old PB with a Cirrus Logic 1MB SVGA vc bought at a Walmart and picked up a 15" SVGA monitor from a Best Buy that was on their open box/clearance table in the middle of an aisle.
Found a local computer shop that had a set of used 4x1MB compatible SIMMs, but they wanted $35 a piece for them, so we never went beyond 1MB RAM with this one.

Anyway, I first encountered an Intel 4004 many years later in college - it was the heart of an old PLC interface that my instructor showed to the class, but it was non-operational. I can't remember what microprocessor was driving the newer PLC interfaces that we actually got to program.
 

toast0

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Jan 26, 2010
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50 years ago, Intel introduced the world to the first microprocessor, the Intel 4004.
The grandfather of CPUs started the computer revolution and led the way to the digital world we know today.
Without it we could still be playing board games, creating all those documents and spreadsheets by hand or with a typewriter, watching TV from a cathode ray tube, and lots more we may never have known.
So much of which we now take for granted today.
View attachment 413109
https://www.tweaktown.com/news/8275...y-of-world-changing-4004-processor/index.html

The 4004 is a big deal, of course, but the Magnavox Oddysey was home video games with discrete transitors and diodes. Plenty of computers and terminals were available in that style. Also, the 4004 didn't come from nowhere; it was a big advance in transistor count and some other things in an IC, but ICs were a thing and transistor counts were increasing, someone was going to do it.
 

clockdogg

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the freaking TURBO BUTTON needs to come back in a big way.
Still recall this excerpt from the "Turboshooting" section of my 'Famous Makers' 286 clone manual: " The TURBO button is located on the fear side of the unit."
 

defaultluser

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The 4004 is a big deal, of course, but the Magnavox Oddysey was home video games with discrete transitors and diodes. Plenty of computers and terminals were available in that style. Also, the 4004 didn't come from nowhere; it was a big advance in transistor count and some other things in an IC, but ICs were a thing and transistor counts were increasing, someone was going to do it.
Yeah, they proved that you could make ut, but outside Busicom, nobody was interested inb such a complex system (4004 required three different power planes, and multiple different support chips.)

The 6502 (5v Depletion Mode) was the first chip to offer dense enough peripheral chips, combined with a single 5v TTL-standard PSU! They made the Atari 2600 with only three ICs: 6507 + RIOT + TIA.

Intel had been mostly treading water since thew 4004, and was the reason Faggins left to create the z80
 

OutOfPhase

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The 6502 (5v Depletion Mode) was the first chip to offer dense enough peripheral chips, combined with a single 5v TTL-standard PSU! They made the Atari 2600 with only three ICs: 6507 + RIOT + TIA.
The 6502 was a wonderful little thing.
 

Red Falcon

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May 7, 2007
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For context as to how early this tech is: the first vaguely home-oriented computer, the Altair 8800, used an Intel 8080 chip that was effectively two generations past this. It's funny to realize that even the simplest microcontroller in your phone is probably far more powerful than any of these early Intel CPUs.
Heh, most microcontrollers on SSDs are now as powerful as an early-2000s desktop, and in some ways more so.
Tech-wise, we have come a long ways since the venerable 4004, though that's how it always starts, very small. 💾
 
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