Over the hill?
Microprocessor turns 40
11/15/2011 5:10 PM EST
Intel’s 4004—regarded as the world’s first commercially available microprocessor—made its debut 40 years ago Tuesday.
SAN FRANCISCO—Intel Corp.’s 4004—regarded as the world’s first commercially available microprocessor—made its debut 40 years ago Tuesday (Nov. 15).
Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) said in a statement commemorating the anniversary that today’s second-generation Intel Core processors offer more than 350,000 times the performance of the 4004. Each of the second-generation Core transistors uses about 5,000 times less energy than the 4004’s, Intel said.
Since the introduction of the 4004 on Nov. 15, 1971, the price of a transistor has declined by a factor of about 50,000, Intel said.
To celebrate 40 years of microprocessor innovation—and look ahead to the next 40 years—Intel has complied a collection of photos, video interviews, opinion pieces and a number of info graphics and other materials.
This archive is available on Intel’s website.
Future microprocessors developed on Intel’s next-generation 22-nm manufacturing process—due out next year—will deliver better energy efficiency based on the company’s tri-gate transistors, according to Intel.
These new transistors will usher in the next era of Moore’s Law, making possible new innovations, according to Intel.
“The sheer number of advances in the next 40 years will equal or surpass all of the innovative activity that has taken place over the last 10,000 years of human history,” said Justin Rattner, Intel’s chief technology officer, in a statement.