MERIT Solutions Blog

The 40th Birthday of the Intel 4004

The Intel 4004 was released 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 which has transformed computing forever.

The Intel 4004 was released 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 which has transformed computing forever. A CPU, or central processing unit, is basically the brain of a computer. Every piece of information input or output by the computer goes through the CPU. So you can imagine the impact made by the invention of such a little 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 products would not 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. Check out this article showing the evolution of technology due to the CPU.


We can’t acknowledge the Intel 4004 without introducing the engineers responsible for developing it. Federico Faggin, Ted Hoff, and Stan Mazor comprised the team responsible for the design and development of the Intel 4004. It’s easy to lose sight of the humble origins of today’s technological world, but the Intel 4004 reminds us of how far we have come.


So lets take a minute to reflect on how significant the CPU that grandfathered computer science has been.

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Sunday, September 22 2019

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