Microprocessors Change The World Essay

1016 words - 5 pages

Microprocessors incorporate the functions of the computer's central processing unit by; “interpreting the instructions it has received from memory, and then performing the task required.” (labspace.open). Although microprocessor chips were first used in calculators, we can now find them in everyday appliances such as washing machines, microwaves, refrigerators, and automobiles. Microprocessors are the hearts (heart) of PCs and have had major impacts on "political upheavals worldwide, as well as the radical reconstructing of the publishing, entertainment, and communication industries" (mslater.com)
Federico Faggin, Ted Hoff, Stan Mazor (Intel), and Masatoshi Shima of Busicom worked ...view middle of the document...

” (Pbs.org/transistor). One year after Intel was founded its “first moneymaking product…the 3101 Schottky bipolar 64-bit static random access memory (SRAM) chip was released to the world...and in the same year Intel also produced the 3301 Schottky bipolar 1024-bit read-only memory (ROM).” (absoluteastronomy.com). These rapid technological progressions made it possible for the invention of their most influential device, the Intel 4004.
Before the invention of the Intel 4004, the integrated circuit (IC) had to be manufactured to fit a single purpose (Computers & the Internet). For this reason, Intel Co. decided to create a chip that could be programmed to meet any number of demands. In the early 1970s the calculator was the most advanced form of computing available, this made it the perfect instrument to be used as a test bed for the first commercial application of the microprocessor. Yoshio Kojima the president of Busicom presented Intel’s MCS-4 project leader Federico Faggin with the Busicom prototype. Busicom (Japanese company) “wanted Intel to produce a dozen chips that would power a new printing calculator." (ganssle.com) The Intel’s head of Application Research Department, Marcian “Ted” Hoff, was the first to discover that a chip could be made much more versatile if it was designed to run conventional computer programs. He was the only person to “recognize that the new silicon-gated MOS technology might make a single-chip CPU (central processing unit) possible” (fineeducation4all.blogspot.com). As manager of Applications Research, Ted suggested redesigning a set of one dozen custom logic circuits for Busicom calculator prototype into a more flexible general-purpose solution using fewer expensive packages. With the addition of Stan Mazor from Fairchild, Ted was able to configure the architecture around the 4-bit CPU (the 4004) thus the starting the creation of the 4004.
Among the engineers on the project, Federico Faggin, was the only one who had crucial knowledge of the new silicon gate process technology. Faggin, an Italian-born, educated physicist immigrated to the United States to work for Fairchild (an American semiconductor company) at Palo Alto...

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