Intel 4004 - The World's First Microprocessor, P4004, 1980


Availability: 1 in stock

About this Chip

The chip offered here is a never used new-old-stock Intel P4004. It is about 3/4 inch long. The chip was made in the 11th week of 1980 in the Philippines. The 18 leads are tin and the body is black polyresin. There are no significant manufacturing defects. The printing is clear and bold, and all lines are straight and clean. This chip would be a great addition to your microprocessor collection.

About the 4004

The Intel 4004 was the world's first microprocessor. The 4004 was created by Intel with Ted Hoff and Federico Faggin as the lead designers and Stan Mazor and Masatoshi Shima as co-contributors. The 4004 provided a new tool to the world. Up to that time semiconductors and integrated circuits were built for specific purposes. The 4004 was the first semiconductor device that provided, at the chip level, the functions of a general-purpose computer. Federico Faggin signed the 4004 with his initials, FF, which can be seen at the lower right side of the 4004 chip die.

In 1970, computer designers had two choices in building their machines. The more common practice was to use printed circuit boards with 100's of logic chips arranged to the unique specifications of the machine. Building the central processor often required multiple large boards. The second approach was used to save space, but was much more expensive. Companies would commission the creation of custom chips. These chips would take the design implemented with 100's of logic chips and condense the design onto a few custom made chips. Changes were expensive and slow in coming.

Intel introduced the 4004 as “random logic”, in other words, the 4004 allowed designers to change the circuit's logic at random, through programming. Essentially, the physical chips that logic designers were building circuits with could now be represented by bit patterns in memory and implemented by the 4004 microprocessor. Although a common notion today, this was a very new concept and Intel spend lots of time and effort educating engineers across the country. Intel's interest was not in money to be made from selling the 4004, but in selling the memory to support it. Intel was a memory company, not a logic chip company. This was a chance to gain market share for memory at the expense of the logic chip manufacturers. 

The 4004 provided the basic building blocks that are still found in today's microcomputers: the arithmetic and logic unit and the control unit.  The 4-bit Intel 4004 ran at a clock speed of 108 kHz and contained 2300 transistors. It processed data in 4 bits, but its instructions were 8 bits long. The 4004 addressed up to 1,024 bits of program memory and up to 4,096 bits of data memory. It had sixteen 4-bit (or eight 8-bit) general-purpose registers, and an instruction set containing 46 instructions.

The 4004 was 1/8th inch wide by 1/6th inch long. This small microprocessor had more computing power than the first electronic computer, the ENIAC, which occupied 3,000 cubic feet and weighed 30 tons.

Please note:  The pictures are representative of the condition of the chip you will receive. They are guaranteed to be authentic and functioning 4004s made by Intel.