From the sweet as a nut files: we've come across a web site that has recreated the original software that ran on Intel's first commercial microprocessor - the 4004, released in 1971. The story of the 4004's creation is the stuff of legend, and most semiconductor veterans will know the tale. For those who don't, here's a brief …
Forget the 4004 simulator...
Just install Vista on your new Quad Core system for that 1971 computing feeling
A couple of months ago intel has made the schematics of the 4004 avaialble.
you can download the schematics from intels website as a pdf file. they are scans of the original drawings in chinese-ink on chalk paper.
really interesting to see how the adorable thing was built.
i believe there is a german website that has a verilog or vhdl implementation of not only the 4004 but the support chips as well. They even have it running some game. implemented in an FPGA ...
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Nice plug, Ashlee!
Book is GREAT - bought copies for family and friends.
Although I'd always thought the 4004 was commissioned by Datapoint for their broadband-networked computers c. 1972. But that's what you hear when you're living in San Antonio in 1973, about 2 miles from Datapoint Drive...
AHAH! Remembered the broadband...
...was ARCnet! Still have an old ARCnet adapter for an IBM PC somewhere, along with my 2780/3780 emulator/BISYNC adapter board...
ARCnet is still alive
ARCnet is still alive in some realtime applications like video mixers.
That, or, Vixta.org
one may fiddle with the 4004, or in the same time frame, try out the Vixta.org livecdrom...
how soon we forget
how soon we forget that whilst Intel 4004 actually failed in the real world of the first manned lunar landing !
Or that the unfortunate Zilog's much faster innovative Z80A , a virtual reverse engineered superior copy of the venerable but very slow i8008(in many ways a virtual doubled up version of the 4004 to increase the unit's word address and memory limitation size) went on to set the standards for much of the future generations of general purpose CPU's , GPU's and RISC chips we now see today , all by using a simple set of additional instructions to manipulate the machines registers !
This innovation forced the Intel Engineers to totally incorporate and reverse engineer much of the rivals hard wired micro code into the ground breaking i8086/88 series on which virtually all the modern pc's can call the real father of today's desktops and mobile note books !
Or how even Intel's main rival AMD forced a whole line of chips to be relegated to the not so bright dumb and stupid idea box as they themselves had to literally re-engineer from scratch yet again !
Life in the industry is full of both circles , ironies and some very dumb but very expensive ideas that never really worked either inside the lab or out in the real world .
Perhaps we should give the award to Zilog and it's Z80A instead ?
Space exclamation mark
"how soon we forget that whilst Intel 4004 actually failed in the real world of the first manned lunar landing !"
This is nonsense. The Apollo computer was designed at MIT and built by Raytheon, although as we all know it was just an empty box made out of cardboard, with some flashing lights in it. The Intel 4004 was not released until 1971, two years after the "first" (cough) "moon" (cough) "landing" (splutch). In fact there is no moon, it's just a reflection of the sea.
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The best book about Intel...
...is "Inside Intel", written by Tim Jackson in 1997.
Real hair-raising stuff - and very interesting; it's about as addictive as a good novel.
I think I still have the 4040 (improved 4004) manual somewhere.
Someone gave it to me in '73. Started me off in computing. He was working at a factory in Coventry on the Foleshill Rd. Can't remember the name of the co (?DuPont?) but very early adopters in the UK.
... was upwards compatible from the Intel 8080, not 8008.
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