19 Facts About Intel 4004


Intel 4004 is a 4-bit central processing unit released by Intel Corporation in 1971.

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Intel 4004 was the first significant example of large scale integration, showcasing the superiority of the MOS silicon gate technology.

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The first delivery of a fully operational Intel 4004 was in March 1971 to Busicom for its 141-PF printing calculator engineering prototype.

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Intel 4004 had already produced a calculator using TTL small scale integration logic ICs and were interested in having Intel reduce the chip count using Intel's medium scale integration techniques.

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Intel 4004 assigned the recently hired Marcian Hoff, employee number 12, to act as the liaison between the two companies.

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Intel 4004 was concerned that the still-small Intel would not have enough design staff to make seven separate chips at the same time.

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Intel 4004 raised these concerns with upper management, and Bob Noyce, the CEO, told Hoff he would support a different approach if it seemed feasible.

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Intel 4004 began to consider whether a truly general-purpose processor could be made cheaply enough to be used in a calculator.

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Intel 4004 suggested that the chip instead support subroutine calls and instructions be implemented as subroutines where possible.

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Intel 4004 modified the Branch Back instruction to clear the accumulator.

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At Intel 4004, Faggin began design of the new processor using this self-aligned gate process.

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Intel 4004 management was skeptical that their sales team could explain the product to their customers.

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Intel 4004 became the first commercial microprocessor available for general use.

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In December 1969, Intel 4004 was approached by Computer Terminal Corporation to produce a custom bipolar memory chip for a computer terminal they were designing, the Datapoint 2200.

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The Intel 4004 was used where the cost of implementation was the major concern, and became widely used in embedded controllers for applications like microwave ovens or traffic lights and similar roles.

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The MCS-4 family of four chips developed by Intel, of which the 4004 is the CPU or microprocessor, was far more versatile and powerful than the single-chip TMS1000, allowing the creation of a variety of small computers for various applications.

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Intel 4004 was fabricated using masks produced by physically cutting each pattern at 500x magnification on a large sheet of Rubylith photo-reducing it, and repeating i, a process made obsolete by current computer graphic design capabilities.

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The Intel 4004 was used in the first microprocessor-controlled pinball game, a prototype produced by Dave Nutting Associates for Bally in 1974.

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On 15 November 2006, the 35th anniversary of the 4004, Intel celebrated by releasing the chip's schematics, mask works, and user manual.

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