Intel 4004 - Moore's Law In Pictures
Though the word “microprocessor” wasn’t used until the 1970s, integrated circuit processors found their way into various complex systems as early as NASA moon missions in the mid-1960s. By the late 1960s, this expensive and high-end technology was nearly ready for prime time. Companies wanted to place them in calculators. In 1969, a new company, Intel, was called upon to build a microprocessor for a Japanese desktop calculator company called Busicom, whose original design called for seven different chips. The Intel team figured out how to fit the necessary components onto one chip. It took two years and various engineers to get there, but in 1971, the 4-bit Intel 4001 began shipping, which makes it the first commercially available microprocessor.