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Intel 4004

The first microprocessor, the Intel 4004, was developed by Intel Corporation. It was introduced in 1971. The Intel 4004 was a 4-bit microprocessor, and it marked a significant milestone in the history of computing as it brought a considerable amount of processing power to a single integrated circuit.

Year of Introduction: 1971
Architecture: 4-bit
Pins: 16
Clock Speed: 740 kHz (92,600 instructions per second)
Transistor Count: Around 2,300 transistors
Designer: Federico Faggin led the design team at Intel.

The Intel 4004 had a relatively small instruction set compared to modern processors. It had a total of 46 instructions. The instructions were designed to perform basic arithmetic, logic, and data manipulation operations. The 4004 was a 4-bit processor, and its small instruction set was suitable for the simple tasks it was intended to perform, primarily in calculators and other early computing devices.

The Intel 4004 was a 4-bit processor and had limited processing power compared to modern standards, but it was a groundbreaking development at the time. Although it might not have been as widely used in consumer devices as later microprocessors, it did find applications in certain products.

The Intel 4004 was initially developed for Busicom, a Japanese calculator manufacturer. The microprocessor was used in the Busicom 141-PF calculator.

The development of the microprocessor revolutionized the computing industry by enabling the creation of more compact and powerful computing devices. The Intel 4004 was initially designed for use in calculators, but it set the stage for the rapid advancement of microprocessor technology, leading to the development of increasingly powerful and versatile processors in the years that followed.

Intel 8008

The Intel 8008 was the second microprocessor developed by Intel. It was introduced in 1972, a year after the release of the Intel 4004, which was the first microprocessor. Like the 4004, the 8008 was a significant advancement in microprocessor technology, and it featured an 8-bit architecture, providing more processing power and capabilities than its predecessor.

Introduction: April 1972
Architecture: 8-bit
Pins: 18
Clock Speed: 500 to 800 kHz
Transistor Count: Approximately 3,500 transistors

The Intel 8008 microprocessor had an instruction set consisting of 48 instructions. This was a notable increase compared to the 46 instructions in the earlier Intel 4004. The expanded instruction set of the 8008 allowed for more versatile and complex operations, contributing to its broader range of applications in various computing devices.

The 8008 was used in a variety of applications, including early personal computers, embedded systems, and some military applications. The Intel 8008 marked an important step forward in the evolution of microprocessors, contributing to the development of increasingly powerful and versatile processors in the years that followed.


During the period following the introduction of the Intel 4004 and 8008 microprocessors in the early 1970s, several other companies also entered the microprocessor market. Here are some notable examples:

These companies, among others, played significant roles in the early development and diversification of the microprocessor market. The competition and innovations during this period laid the foundation for the rapid advancement of microprocessor technology in subsequent years.

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Updated January 25, 2024