From: Allison J Parent <>
Date: Sun Jan 11 17:45:15 1998

< I believe the Japanese Busicom calculator is even older and dates from
<about 1966.

busicom had some calcs before the one based on the 4004 but the 4004
design was 1971. By the there were other multichip designs but none
as low a chip count as the 4004 nor were the as general in application.
Up to that point calculator chip implementations were totally custom
singular designs.

Actually there were some chips before the intel part like the 3101 and
6700 bit slices. It took a lot of parts and design effort to make a
computer as general as the 4004 though those parts were far faster.

The 4004 and later parts were along the lines of reducing custom silicon
solutions or hard wired designs to programatic solutions. As
microprocessors became faster and self contained they were able to solve
more problems that were either silicon intensive, real estate intensive or
flat out too fast for digital solutions at the time. At the other end of
the spectrum they created markets and applications that would not have
been anticipated. After all who'ed ever though you'd need a custom
programmed micro for a microwave or washing machine?

Received on Sun Jan 11 1998 - 17:45:15 GMT

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