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The History Of The Cpu Essay

3022 words - 12 pages

While it could be argued that the development of the CPU has it's roots as farback as 1617 with the creation of Napier's Bones, Blaise Pascal's digital adding machinein 1642, or Charles Babbage's Difference Engine and Analytical Engine in the early1820s - 1830s, the patent of the vacuum tube by Lee De Forest in 1906 was the actualstarting point for John Atanasoff & Clifford Berry's first electronic computer in 1937,incorporating the binary system still in use today. The other significant pre-transistorcontribution to the history of the CPU was the Eniac, a huge, high-powered, behemoth ofa machine built by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert in 1946.The invention of the transistor (short for "transfer resistance") by John Bardeen andWalter Brattain in 1947 was perhaps the single, foremost contribution to the developmentof the CPU & 2nd generation computers. Another tremendous step forward in thedevelopment of the CPU & the 3rd generation of computers was the invention of theintegrated circuit (IC) in 1959 by Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments September 12, 1958.That same year Robert Noyce's practical integrated circuit, invented at Fairchild Camera& Instrument Corp., allowed printing of conducting channels directly on the siliconesurface. The IC was a collection of transistors on a semiconductor base (or substratematerial) connected without wires, enabling the use of many more transistors in a verysmall area.With the advent of the integrated circuit, the next 10 - 12 years would be a raceto develop the Central Processing Unit (CPU) with a number of different competitorstrying to be the first to corner the market on this new technology in its infancy. Workbegins on the creation of the 1st commercially available microprocessor, the 4004, inearly 1970 and in December of 1970, the first run of 4004 microprocessors (at the timecalled the "mini-programmer") is manufactured by Intel. Due to a missing maskinglayer, the entire 1st run of 4004 processor is unusable. In January of 1971, a 2nd run of4004s are made. This time the processors work with only minor errors. A 3rd fabricationof 4004s are made in February of 1971 with corrected masking layers & within a fewmonths, Intel markets the chip and the first advertisement for the MCS-4 (MicrocomputerSystem 4-bit) microcomputer system appears in Electronic News & other major tradepublications. Clock speed of the CPU is 108 KHz. Performance is 60,000 operations persecond. It is made up of 2300 transistors (based on 10-micron technology), can address a4-KB memory over a 4-bit bus, & had an initial cost of $200.In April of 1972, Intel released it's 200-KHz 8008 chip, the 1st commercial 8-bitmicroprocessor. The MCS-8 accessed 16 KB of memory & used 3500 transistors (basedon 10-micron technology), & was capable of 60,000 instructions per second. The chipwas originally developed for Computer Terminal Corporation (later called Datapoint)and in 1973 it was also used as a basis for the...

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