Rejoice Intel's 4004 Microprocessor Turning 49 As we speak

Tim McNerney is the venture chief at, a web site commemorating Intel’s authentic 4004 microprocessor. He is additionally long-time Slashdot reader mcpublic, and shares information of a brand new open supply adapter — plus a fantastic second chip historical past:

Though Intel debuted its groundbreaking 4004 on November 15th, 1971, 49 years in the past at present, within the pages of Electronics Information, there’s something about Intel’s very first microprocessor that retains inspiring engineers to pay tribute to this historic chip.

Turkish iPhone engineer, Erturk Kocalar, (now at Google) and the pressure behind, simply added this 4-bit granddaddy to his open-source lineup of 8-bit “Retroshields.” These elegant little adapters allow you to rating your favourite, classic microprocessor on eBay and truly mess around with it with out having to wire up a multi-chip reminiscence and the peripherals wanted to make your little “engine” jolly enjoyable. An Arduino emulates the remainder of the system for you in software program and allows you to program and poke at your relic through USB from the consolation of a contemporary laptop computer.

Earlier than FPGAs and sure, even earlier than digital CAD, there was a convention of emulating {hardware} utilizing software program. In actual fact, it’s central to the 4004 Genesis story. Busicom, a Japanese maker of mechanical including machines, had designed its personal digital calculator chip-set and eagerly approached the now-famous Silicon Valley chip-maker to fabricate it. Again in 1969 Intel was only a tiny startup hoping to out of date core reminiscence with commodity semiconductors, and so they did not have additional logic designers on-staff. However Intel did have a prescient counter-proposal: we’ll construct you a basic goal computer-on-a-chip and emulate your customized calculator structure utilizing a ROM-conserving byte-code interpreter. Busicom agreed, and Intel managed to rent Italian famous person Federico Faggin away from Fairchild to craft a novel, customer-programmable microprocessor, which later, in 1975, German mechanical taxi meter maker Argo Kienzle would go on to launch the world’s first digital taxi meter. Beginning to see a sample of progress in on a regular basis automation?

For images, schematics, masks art work, code, graphical simulators, extra historical past, and the findings of a devoted workforce of “digital archeologists,” go to

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