Microprocessors - The Early MPUs, Part 2 - PPS-4, F8, 8008, 6100, 6701, IMP-00A, 2650


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About this Artwork

This collection contains some of the earliest, and perhaps more esoteric, microprocessors. These designs are among the very first microprocessors, but when compared with the Intel 4004, MOS 6502, or Zilog Z80, they are relatively obscure. Many of these were the first microprocessors for their respective companies and, in fact, played important roles in the development of the microprocessor industry. The design variation of these devices is amazing. All developed in the 1970s, some were 4-bit, others 8-bit, one even 12-bit. They used TTL, PMOS, NMOS, and CMOS technologies. Whether the job was to run mini-computer software or control a pinball machine, early microprocessor designers were free to decide what their microprocessor would look like and act like. They could focus on its function.

The internal architecture of these microprocessors is quite varied. The 6100 was designed as a DEC mini-computer on a chip. The 8-bit F8 and 2650 were good at realtime control and powered early video consoles. The PPS-4 is best known for powering Gottlieb pinball machines. The Intel 8008 was the first 8-bit microprocessor. The IMP-00 and 6700 were both bit-slice designs. The PPS-4, 6700, and IMP-00 were 4-bit devices, while the 6100 was a 12-bit device. Some of these favored more registers, others fewer. Some had stack implementations, others didn’t. With no preset notion of what a microprocessor should be, designers let the function guide the design. 

The background image of the artwork is of the Rockwell PPS-4 microprocessor. The microprocessors in this display are the Rockwell PPS-4 (11660EC), Fairchild F8 (F3850PC), Intel 8008 (D8008), Intersil 6100 (IM6100AIPL), Monolithic Memories 6700 (6701D), National Semiconductor IMP-00A (IMP-00A/520J), and the Signetics (2650AI).


    The artwork is framed in an 11"x14" black shadow box frame, with glass. All framing materials are acid-free. A narrative about the artwork that includes the artist’s signature is placed on the back of the artwork.

    Please note:  The look of the artifacts in the artworks may vary, each piece is unique.