This Week in IT History: Calculated Act

Intel released the 4004, a single-chip microprocessor, on Nov. 15, 1971. It's considered among one of the most influential chips in the Intel line, since it helped spur Intel's growth in the early years. Even though the chip had one function -- to operate as a calculator -- Intel sold millions of them to companies like Busicom, who incorporated them into desktop calculators. (You might be more familiar with calculators from NCR, which were manufactured by Busicom.)

Years ago, a rumor had circulated that the 4004 chip found its way on board the Pioneer 10 deep space probe, but the rocket scientists who built the probe denied it. Perhaps it would have been a fitting tribute.

Posted by Michael Domingo on 11/15/2010 at 11:59 AM


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