The Intel 4004 Microprocessor: What Constituted Invention?

  title={The Intel 4004 Microprocessor: What Constituted Invention?},
  author={William Aspray},
  journal={IEEE Ann. Hist. Comput.},
  • W. Aspray
  • Published 1 July 1997
  • Business
  • IEEE Ann. Hist. Comput.
Investigates the context for the development of one of the earliest microprocessors, the Intel 4004. It considers the contributions made by Intel employees, most notably Marcian E. "Ted" Hoff, Jr. and Federico Faggin, and the contributions other people made to this development who are not generally known, most notably Tadashi Sasaki and Masatoshi Shima. This paper represents a case study of how corporate and national cultures affect technological development and of the many aspects of invention… 

Figures from this paper

The MIL MF7114 Microprocessor

  • Z. Stachniak
  • Computer Science, Engineering
    IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
  • 2010
The MF7114 was an early 4-bit single-chip microprocessor designed and built by Microsystems International between 1970 and 1972. The MF7114's genesis is the design work on Intel's first

Digital Foundations: The Making of Silicon-Gate Manufacturing Technology

From 1960 onward, the expanding use of microchips played a major role in the establishment of the digital world. This paper examines the dominant manufacturing technology for microchips in this

Multi-core processors - An overview

This paper briefs on evolution of multi-core processors followed by introducing the technology and its advantages in today's world and detailing on the challenges currently faced by multi- core processors and how the industry is trying to address these issues.

A Company of Legend: The Legacy of Fairchild Semiconductor

  • D. A. Laws
  • Business
    IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
  • 2010
Some of the key personalities who worked at Fairchild Semiconductor are surveyed and their technological and management contributions are described.

Visualizing CPU Microarchitecture

The framework supports showing CPU internals at various levels (from single transistor, through logic gates, ending with registers, operation decoders and ALU) and allows for execution of real code and detailed analysis of fetch–decode–execute cycle, measurement of cycles per operation or measurement of the CPU activity factor.

The Path to Best Effort

Hardware, architecture, software, and systems innovations behind best e-ort computing, with its crucial re-framing of computer security as an aspect of robustness and synchronization rather than correctness and isolation are highlighted.


This paper briefs on evolution of multi-core processors followed by introducing the technology and its advantages in today's world and detailing on the challenges currently faced by multi- core processors and how the industry is trying to address these issues.

A Review on Microprocessor with Multi-Core

The technologies and its advantages in modern world are presented and the currently challenges faced by multi-core Processors and microprocessors and versions of processors and also future scope of microprocessor are explained.


Analysis of Multi-core Architectures like varying the number of cores, recovery and performance related study is presented.

Systems, Components and Technological Discontinuities: The Case of the Semiconductor Industry

This paper uses the semiconductor industry to describe a model of technological change that sheds light on the mechanism by which many technological discontinuities occur. The model combines two



Marcian E. Hoff Jr

  • T. Perry
  • Computer Science
    IEEE Spectrum
  • 1994
A profile of Marcian E. Hoff, the architect of the first commercial microprocessor and the single chip coder/decoder (codec) and a career as high-tech detective, helping patent attorneys defend their cases.

Solid state/computers: Demystifying microprocessor design: Big chips require artful compromises, as demonstrated by this design case history

  • M. Shima
  • Art, Computer Science
    IEEE Spectrum
  • 1979
Discusses the art of microprocessor design using the design of the Zilog Z8000 as an example of how it should be done.

Evolution of the concept of a computer on a slice

An analysis of popular logic types indicates that the transistor-transistor-logic circuit is well suited for use in logic-array arrays, and the achievement of a significant portion of a computer arithmetic function on a single wafer appears entirely feasible.

The conquest of the microchip

Hans Queisser tells the exciting story behind the birth of a new industry and a new knowledge that has resulted not only in a restructuring of science, technology, and industry but also in major

A history of the world semiconductor industry

Development of the thermionic valve. Historical survey of early research in semiconductors. Development of the transistor. Major technical processes used in semiconductor device fabrication. Review

Limitations in solid-state technology

In a field in which success is a matter of record some constructive criticism is in order to spur even greater and more meaningful progress. In this vein the present article highlights shortcomings

The standard historical works on the history of semiconductors

  • A History of the World Semiconductor Industry . London: Peter Peregrinus,
  • 1982

A History of Microprocessor Development at Intel

In its first decude, the ''computer on a chip'' has achieved power, applicability, and pervasiveness unimagined even by its developers.

Careers/Profile: Marcian E. Hoff

  • IEEE Spectrum, pp. 46-49, Feb. 1994.
  • 1994