The Microprocessor

The Intel 4004 microprocessor
The Intel 4004 microprocessor Credit: Intel Corporation

The microprocessor is a single integrated circuit that performs all data processing within a computer. The team of Federico Faggin, Ted Hoff, Stan Mazor, and Matsatoshi Shima developed the first microprocessor at Intel Corporation in 1970. Their device, called the “4004,” contained 2,300 transistors, ran at 108 kilohertz, and implemented a maximum of 45 instructions operating on 4-bits of data. Today, microprocessors contain tens of millions of transistors, have hundreds of instructions, and operate at gigahertz frequencies. Shown here are a variety of microprocessors.

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