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 would like 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 piece of information input or output by the computer goes through the CPU. So you can imagine the impression made by the invention of such a small 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 wouldn’t 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. Here is a great article showing the evolution of technology thanks to the CPU.

We can’t say happy birthday to the Intel 4004 without mentioning the engineers in charge of its development. Federico Faggin led the design and development of the Intel 4004 with Ted Hoff, and Stan Mazor. In this ever-changing world of technology we can lose sight of its humble origins. The Intel 4004 was no small player in this.

So lets set aside a second to show our esteem for the little microprocessor that grandfathered the modern CPU.

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