Chip revolution turns 30

The foundation of modern computing was something of an accident.

The Intel 4004 Microprocessor, which debuted thirty years ago Thursday, sparked a technological revolution because it was the first product to fuse the essential elements of a programmable computer into a single chip.

Since then, processors have allowed manufacturers to embed intelligence into PCs, elevators, air bags, cameras, cell phones, beepers, key chains and farm equipment, among other devices.

But that's not the way the story was supposed to turn out.

The 4004 was designed to be a calculator component for a Japanese manufacturer, which initially owned all rights to the chip. At the time, most Intel executives saw little promise in the product.

News source: ZDnet Australia

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