The Intel 4004 came out in 1971 and was the first CPU on a single chip! This week marks its birthday and we would like so say a quick thank you to the microprocessor that has transformed computing forever. A CPU, or central processing unit, is essentially the brain of a computer. Every piece of information input or output by the computer goes through the CPU. So you can imagine the impression made by the invention of such a tiny yet powerful CPU. Generations of CPUs born from the Intel 4004 have been, and continue to be, an integral part of our everyday lives.
The Intel 4004 was originally created for a calculator, but it quickly led to technological leaps in computing. Many common devices wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the powerful CPUs born from the Intel 4004. These products include laptops, streetlights, and cell phones. The Intel 4004 quite literally grandfathered many modern technologies. Here is a great article showing the evolution of technology thanks to the CPU.
While we celebrate Intel 4004’s birthday, I want to recognize the engineers who created it. Federico Faggin, Ted Hoff, and Stan Mazor were responsible for the planning and development of the Intel 4004. This little microprocessor reminds us of the humble origins of the ever-changing world of technology.
So take a moment to appreciate the little microprocessor that grandfathered the technological world of today.