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Encyclopedia > Intel 4004
Intel 4004
Central processing unit

Intel C4004 microprocessor
Produced: From late 1971 to 1981[1]
Manufacturer: Intel
CPU speeds: 740 kHz
Instruction set: pre x86
Cores: 1
Socket: 16 pin

The Intel 4004 is a 4-bit central processing unit (CPU) released by Intel Corporation in 1971. Intel purports it is the world's first commercial microprocessor. The 4004 employed a 10 μm silicon-gate PMOS technology and could execute approximately 92,000 instructions per second.[2] CPU redirects here. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC, SEHK: 4335), founded in 1968 as Integrated Electronics Corporation, is an American multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... CPU redirects here. ... This article is about the SI unit of frequency. ... An instruction set is (a list of) all instructions, and all their variations, that a processor can execute. ... x86 or 80x86 is the generic name of a microprocessor architecture first developed and manufactured by Intel. ... Diagram of an Intel Core 2 dual core processor, with CPU-local Level 1 caches, and a shared, on-die Level 2 cache. ... In computer science, 4-bit is an adjective used to describe integers, memory addresses or other data units that are at most 4 bits wide, or to describe CPU and ALU architectures based on registers, address buses, or data buses of that size. ... CPU redirects here. ... Intel redirects here. ... A microprocessor is a programmable digital electronic component that incorporates the functions of a central processing unit (CPU) on a single semiconducting integrated circuit (IC). ... A micrometre (American spelling: micrometer, symbol µm) is an SI unit of length equal to one millionth of a metre, or about a tenth of the diameter of a droplet of mist or fog. ... pMOS logic uses p-type metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs) to implement logic gates and other digital circuits. ... Instructions per second (IPS) is a measure of a computers processor speed. ...


History and description

Intel 4004D
Intel 4004D

The 4004 was released in 16-pin CERDIP packaging on November 15, 1971. The 4004 is the first computer processor designed and manufactured by chip maker Intel, which previously made semiconductor memory chips. The chief designers of the chip were Federico Faggin (project leader and chip designer - developed the random logic methodology with silicon gate that made it possible to fit the microprocessor in one chip in 1970-1971) and Ted Hoff (formulated the architectural proposal in 1969) of Intel, and Masatoshi Shima of Busicom (later of ZiLOG, founded by Federico Faggin at the end of 1974, the first company entirely devoted to microprocessors). Shima designed the Busicom calculator firmware and assisted Faggin during the implementation. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... ICs in DIP14-Package Several PDIPs and CERDIPS. The large CERDIP in the foreground is an 8080 processor. ... is the 319th day of the year (320th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. ... Integrated circuit of Atmel Diopsis 740 System on Chip showing memory blocks, logic and input/output pads around the periphery Microchips with a transparent window, showing the integrated circuit inside. ... Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC, SEHK: 4335), founded in 1968 as Integrated Electronics Corporation, is an American multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... A semiconductor is a solid whose electrical conductivity is in between that of a conductor and that of an insulator, and can be controlled over a wide range, either permanently or dynamically. ... Federico Faggin (born 1 December 1941) is a physicist and electrical engineer considered to be one of the inventors of the microprocessor. ... Dr. Marcian Edward Ted Hoff Jr. ... Masatoshi Shima (嶋正利 Shima Masatoshi, born on August 22, 1943 in Shizuoka, Japan) was at least partly responsible for the design of the worlds first microprocessor, the Intel 4004. ... Busicom was a company that owned the rights to the first microprocessor but sold them back to Intel. ... Zilog, often seen as ZiLOG, is a manufacturer of 8-bit, 16-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit CPUs, and is most famous for its Intel 8080-compatible Z80 series. ... Federico Faggin (born 1 December 1941) is a physicist and electrical engineer considered to be one of the inventors of the microprocessor. ... Busicom was a company that owned the rights to the first microprocessor but sold them back to Intel. ...

Originally designed for the Japanese company Busicom to be used in their line of calculators (instead of the complex special purpose calculator chipset that Busicom had designed themselves and brought to Intel to have made, which Intel determined was too complex to make with the technology they had at the time), the 4004 was also provided with a family of custom support chips. For instance, each "Program ROM" internally latched for its own use the 4004's 12-bit program address, which allowed 4 KB memory access from the 4-bit address bus if all 16 ROMs were installed. The 4004 circuit was built of 2,300 transistors, and was followed the next year by the first ever 8-bit microprocessor, the 3,300 transistor 8008 (and the 4040, a revised 4004). Busicom was a company that owned the rights to the first microprocessor but sold them back to Intel. ... For other uses, see Calculator (disambiguation). ... Read-only memory (usually known by its acronym, ROM) is a class of storage media used in computers and other electronic devices. ... A kilobyte (derived from the SI prefix kilo-, meaning 1,000) is a unit of information or computer storage equal to either 1,000 bytes or 1,024 bytes (210), depending on context. ... An address bus is (part of) a computer bus, used by CPUs or DMA-capable units for communicating the physical addresses of computer memory elements/locations that the requesting unit wants to access (read/write). ... Assorted discrete transistors A transistor is a semiconductor device, commonly used as an amplifier or an electrically controlled switch. ... 8-bit refers to the number of bits used in the data bus of a computer. ... Intel 8008 The Intel 8008 was an early microprocessor designed and manufactured by Intel and introduced in April, 1972. ... Intel D4040 Microprocessor The Intel 4040 microprocessor was the successor to the Intel 4004. ...

As its fourth entry in the microprocessor market, Intel released the CPU that started the microcomputer revolution — the 8080. The Commodore 64 was one of the most popular microcomputers of its era, and is the best selling model of home computer of all time. ... AMD clone NEC 8080AF (2nd-source). ...

The Intel 4004 is said to have the computing power of the ENIAC, a 1946 supercomputer that weighed 27 tonnes and occupied 680 square feet (63 m2) of floor space. ENIAC ENIAC, short for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer,[1] was the first large-scale, electronic, digital computer capable of being reprogrammed to solve a full range of computing problems,[2] although earlier computers had been built with some of these properties. ...

A popular myth has it that Pioneer 10, the first spacecraft to leave the solar system, used an Intel 4004 microprocessor. According to Dr. Larry Lasher of Ames Research Center, the Pioneer team did evaluate the 4004, but "it was too new at the time to include in any of the Pioneer projects." Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to travel through the asteroid belt, and was the first spacecraft to make direct observations of Jupiter. ...

On 15 November 2006, the 35th anniversary of the Intel 4004, Intel celebrated by releasing the chip's schematics, mask works, and user manual. [3] is the 319th day of the year (320th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A schematic of the Washington Metro. ... A mask work is a two or three-dimensional layout of an integrated circuit (IC), i. ... A user guide, also commonly known as a manual, is a technical communication document intended to give assistance to people using a particular system. ...

First microprocessor commercially available and sold as a component set

According to Nick Tredennick, a recognized engineer and microprocessor designer, and an expert witness to the Boone/Hyatt patent case:

Here are my opinions from [the] study [I conducted for the patent case]. The first microprocessor in a commercial product was Four Phase Systems AL1. The first commercially available (sold as a component) microprocessor was the 4004 from Intel.[4] The AL1 was one of the earliest commercial microprocessors, first shipped in 1970 by Four Phase Systems (which was later acquired by Motorola). ...

Contrary to popular belief, the 4004 was not a single-chip microprocessor: operation required at minimum the 4004 CPU and 4001 ROM, adding the 4002 RAM for user data and 4003 I/O port shift register as needed. Intel produced its first true single-chip microprocessor, the 8085, in 1975. See page 310 (PDF page 333) in the referenced dissertation for discussion and comparison.[4] The Intel 8085 is an 8-bit microprocessor made by Intel in the mid-1970s. ...

Technical specifications

  • Maximum clock speed is 740 kHz[5][6]
  • Separate program and data storage (i.e., a Harvard architecture). Contrary to most Harvard architecture designs, however, which use separate buses, the 4004, with its need to keep pin count down, uses a single multiplexed 4-bit bus for transferring:
    • 12-bit addresses
    • 8-bit instructions
    • 4-bit data words
  • Instruction set contains 46 instructions (of which 41 are 8 bits wide and 5 are 16 bits wide)
  • Register set contains 16 registers of 4 bits each
  • Internal subroutine stack is 3 levels deep

In synchronous digital electronics, such as most computers, a clock signal is a signal used to coordinate the actions of two or more circuits. ... A kilohertz (kHz) is a unit of frequency equal to 1,000 hertz (1,000 cycles per second). ... The term Harvard architecture originally referred to computer architectures that used physically separate storage and signal pathways for their instructions and data (in contrast to the von Neumann architecture). ... In computer architecture, a bus is a subsystem that transfers data or power between computer components inside a computer or between computers and typically is controlled by device driver software. ... MUX redirects here. ... In computing, word is a term for the natural unit of data used by a particular computer design. ... An instruction set is (a list of) all instructions, and all their variations, that a processor can execute. ... In computer science, a subroutine (function, method, procedure, or subprogram) is a portion of code within a larger program, which performs a specific task and can be relatively independent of the remaining code. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Microarchitecture and pinout

Click the pictures to view the full-size versions.

Intel 4004 architectural block diagram.
Intel 4004 architectural block diagram.
Intel 4004 DIP chip pinout.
Intel 4004 DIP chip pinout.

Image File history File links 4004_arch. ... Image File history File links 4004_arch. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x1024, 41 KB) Source / Photographer: Appaloosa 16:29, 16 November 2005 (UTC) File links The following pages link to this file: Intel 4004 ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x1024, 41 KB) Source / Photographer: Appaloosa 16:29, 16 November 2005 (UTC) File links The following pages link to this file: Intel 4004 ... Pinout is a term used in electronics to describe how an electrical connector is wired. ...

Custom support chips

  • 4001: 256-byte ROM (256 8-bit program instructions), and one built-in 4-bit I/O port[7]
  • 4002: 40-byte RAM (80 4-bit data words), and one built-in 4-bit output port; the RAM portion of the chip is organized into four "registers" of twenty 4-bit words:
    • 16 data words (used for mantissa digits in the original calculator design)
    • 4 status words (used for exponent digits and signs in the original calculator design)
  • 4003: 10-bit parallel output shift register for scanning keyboards, displays, printers, etc.
  • 4008: 8-bit address latch for access to standard memory chips, and one built-in 4-bit chip select and I/O port[7]
  • 4009: program and I/O access converter to standard memory and I/O chips[7]

For the computer industry magazine, see Byte (magazine). ... Energy Input: The energy placed into a reaction. ... Different types of RAM. From top to bottom: DIP, SIPP, SIMM 30 pin, SIMM 72 pin, DIMM, RIMM RAM redirects here. ... For the traditional use of the word mantissa in mathematics, see common logarithm. ... In mathematics, exponentiation is a process generalized from repeated multiplication, in much the same way that multiplication is a process generalized from repeated addition. ... In digital circuits a shift register is a group of flip flops set up in a linear fashion which have their inputs and outputs connected together in such a way that the data are shifted down the line when the circuit is activated. ...

Naming the first microprocessor

When Federico Faggin designed the MCS-4 family he also christened the chips with distinct names: 4001, 4002, 4003, and 4004, breaking away from the numbering scheme used by Intel at that time which would have required the names 1302, 1105, 1507, and 1202 respectively. Had he followed Intel's number sequence, the idea that the chips were part of a family of components intended to work seamlessly together would have been lost[citation needed].

Intel's early numbering scheme for integrated circuits contemplated using a four-digit number for each component. The most significant digit position indicated the process technology used, as follows: The number "1" meant P-channel MOS, "2" indicated N-channel MOS, "3" was reserved for bipolar technology, and "5" was used for CMOS technology. All other numbers were not used.

The next most significant digit was used to indicate the generic function performed by the component, as follows: "1" was used for RAM, "2" indicated random logic, "3" indicated ROM, "5" meant shift register, "6" and "7" were used for one-time programmable ROM and EPROM respectively. The last two digits of the number were used to indicate the sequential number in the development of the component.


The Intel 4004 is one of world's most sought-after collectible/antique chips. Of highest value are 4004s that are gold and white, with so-called 'grey traces' visible on the white ceramic (the original package type). As of 2005, such chips have reached around US$1000 each on eBay. The slightly less valuable white and gold chips without grey traces typically reach $300 to $500. Those chips without a 'date code' underneath are earlier versions, and therefore worth slightly more. More recently however, these vintage ICs have been dropping in value due to their relative abundance as the market is now flooded with surplus stock from sellers looking to cash in on the Intel craze. 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the online auction center. ...

Original publications

  • F. Faggin and M.E. Hoff: "Standard parts and custom design merge in four-chip processor kit". Electronics/April 24, 1972, pp. 112-116
  • F. Faggin, M.Shima, M.E. Hoff, Jr., H. Feeney, S. Mazor: "The MCS-4 An LSI micro computer system". IEEE '72 Region Six Conference

Patents on 4004

  • US Patent 3,753,001 August 14, 1973. Faggin, Federico: Power supply settable bi-stable circuit.
  • US Patent 3,821,715 June 28, 1974. Hoff, Marcian; Mazor, Stanley; Faggin, Federico: Memory system for multi-chip digital computer.


  • IEEE Micro of December 1996 titled "Celebrating the Microprocessor". "The History of the 4004: Federico Faggin, Marcian E. Hoff Jr., Stanley Mazor and Masatoshi Shima. The 4004 design team tells its story".


  1. ^ http://www.cpushack.net/life-cycle-of-cpu.html
  2. ^ http://www.cpushack.net/chippics/Intel/MCS4/IntelP4004.html
  3. ^ Original schematic and masks from Intel
  4. ^ a b Citing online message posted by Nick Tredennick, 12 May 2002, Subject: The 8008 and the AL1, quoted from Technological Innovation in the Semiconductor Industry: A Case Study of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS), dissertation by Robert R. Schaller, page 317 (PDF page 340) http://www.xecu.net/schaller/schaller_dissertation_2004.pdf retrieved 28 November 2007
  5. ^ All of Intel's 4004 data sheets, including the very first data sheet from November 1971, clearly indicate that the minimum clock period is 1350 nanoseconds, which results in a maximum clock speed of 740 kHz. Unfortunately, many apparently reputable web pages and other sources list an incorrect clock speed of 108 kHz; even Intel's own pages on the 4004's history say this. The 4004's minimum instruction cycle time is 10.8 microseconds (8 clock cycles), and it seems most likely that someone in the past confused this with a clock speed. This error has now propagated very widely.
  6. ^ The original clock speed design goal was 1MHz, the same as the IBM 1620 Model I.
  7. ^ a b c a 4001 ROM+I/O chip cannot be used in a system along with a 4008/4009 pair.

The IBM 1620 Model I was the original implementation of the IBM 1620 scientific computer, introduced in 1959. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
The Intel 4004 Home (644 words)
He demostrated that the 4004 could be used for applications other than calculators and vigorously campaigned inside Intel to make the 4004 available to the general market.
After having led from the beginning all of Intel's microprocessor development activity, at the time of his leaving Faggin was heading all of the MOS chip design activity, with the exception of dynamic memories.
Intel’s management punished Faggin by disowning him of his many contributions, attributing most of his credits in the creation of the microprocessor to Ted Hoff, and by encouraging lesser contributors to grab a bigger share and play a bigger role than they did to diminish Faggin's legacy.
Intel 4004 - the First Microprocessor from 1971 (0 words)
The Intel 4004 was originally designed for use in a Busicom scientific calculator, but Intel engineers realized the design of the chip afforded multi-purpose use - thus the microprocessor was born.
The 4004 contains 2000 transistors and is a 4-bit microprocessor capable of processing 4 bits of information at a time at a rate of about 0.06 MHz.
But the 4004 found widespread use in many applications, including being used on the Pioneer 10 spacecraft launched in 1972.
  More results at FactBites »



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