Say Happy Birthday to the Original Microprocessor

The Intel 4004 arrived on the scene in 1971 and was the first CPU on a single chip! This week marks its birthday and we want so say a quick thank you to the microprocessor that has transformed computing forever. A CPU, or central processing unit, is basically the brain of a computer. Every bit 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 devices would not exist if it weren’t for the powerful CPUs born from the Intel 4004. These devices 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 made up 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 take a moment to appreciate the little microprocessor that grandfathered the technological world of today.