intel CPU history 

intel has made a fuck ton of CPUs. do you know how many? lots of them. every new process requires new factories and all kinds of waste. but did you know there's a DARK secret? ok maybe not DARK or a secret, but something really worth digging in to. so let's look at the history here

intel CPU history 

1971 intel releases their chip, the 4004. it's a 4-bit CPU max clocked around 750 KILOHERTZ. it has 2250 transistors and 16 pins. you'd use it with ROM, DRAM and shift registers. this bad boi could do some math shit, hit up maybe 16 registers (though you could only store like one number digit in 4 bits) and and 640 BYTES of RAM. it ran at 15 volts for some reason and used 5v logic levels. this shit was fucking DOPE

intel CPU history 

1972 calls. intel released the 8008, a fucking BYTE-oriented CPU. it was a bit slower but it was a step up: instead of calculators this was intended to drive a CRT terminal. but instead of 16 registers it had 7, with the rest being used for the program counter or call stack. yes, call stacks went in the registers. the 4004 had a 3 level call stack, the 8008 had 7. it had 18 pins, with 8 of them being the data bus and supported 14-bit addresses with 48 instructions

intel CPU history 

separate chips would be used to actually handle things like mapping memory, bank switching, IO registers and stuff. this is the kind of architecture you would have in a retrocomputer as many discrete chips were used to handle separate tasks, while modern 'system on a chip' dies include these all on one die. this saves cost, power and also allows faster computers as electronic signals are limited by the speed of light so modules have to be closer

intel CPU history 

what we'd call modern x86 'CPUs' are actually systems on chips like that but with a TON of shit packed in, including what use to be northbridge/southbridge chips. another more pressing reason for this kind of integration is pin count. each electronic chip needs power pins, data pins, clock pins, etc. this really still adds up to the point we have 'system on modules' or 'system in packages' which are just chips on a single PCB all connected with useful pins on a connector

intel CPU history 

anyway it's now 1974. intel released the 4004 which was a straight upgrade from the 4004. you get 8 more registers, INTERRUPTS and a larger subroutine stack. interrupts are a key feature in CPUs- it allows devices to make the CPU jump to certain sections of code, 'interrupt handlers'. this is a blessing and a curse because on one hand interrupts are necessary but also hard to handle. let me explain *pulls up whiteboard*

intel CPU history 

@jookia the 4004 was an upgrade to the 4004?

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intel CPU history 

@marnanel i think it was the 4040 oops

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