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Intel Releases 4004 Microprocessor Schematics 174

Posted by kdawson
from the 2,300-transistors-and-nothin'-on dept.
mcpublic writes, "Intel is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Intel 4004, their very first microprocessor, by releasing the chip's schematics, maskworks, and users manual. This historic revelation was championed by Tim McNerney, who designed the Intel Museum's newest interactive exhibit. Opening on November 15th, the exhibit will feature a fully functional, 130x scale replica of the 4004 microprocessor running the very first software written for the 4004. To create a giant Busicom 141-PF calculator for the museum, 'digital archaeologists' first had to reverse-engineer the 4004 schematics and the Busicom software. Their re-drawn and verified schematics plus an animated 4004 simulator written in Java are available at the team's unofficial 4004 web site. Digital copies of the original Intel engineering documents are available by request from the Intel Corporate Archives. Intel first announced their 2,300-transistor 'micro-programmable computer on a chip' in Electronic News on November 15, 1971, proclaiming 'a new era of integrated electronics.' Who would have guessed how right they would prove to be?"
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Intel Releases 4004 Microprocessor Schematics

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  • Heh (Score:3, Funny)

    by Mitchell Mebane (594797) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @12:32AM (#16848446) Homepage Journal
    At first, I thought this was about Intel's new quad-core processors. How wrong I was. :P

    Wouldn't it be cool, though, if Intel did name the quad-core chips the 4004 series?
  • With a better FPU and a faster front-side bus, that chip could possibly be useful.

    As it is, I don't think it can even run a stripped down 1.0 Linux kernel.
    • by gadzook33 (740455) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @12:53AM (#16848578)
      No, no, it's fine. You just need to cross compile with ARCH=4004; OPTIMIZE_FOR_CPU=4004; STRIP_EVERYTHING_EXCEPT_RESET_INCLUDING_THE_KERNEL =true.
      • by mode13 (1023713) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @03:26AM (#16849284)
        I can see it now:

        From forums.gentoo.org / Architectures & Platforms / Gentoo on 4004 ...

        Yea, I just did a stage 1 install, it took 12865 hours but the binaries are TOTALLY optimized!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Try it out! The Java simulator on modern hardware should simulate it almost as fast as it ran 35 years ago in silicon.
    • Debian will probably catch up to it in a year or two.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      if you coupled it with a modern graphics card you should be able to use the 4004 to bootstrap linux into the graphics card and run it from there!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by springbox (853816)
      640 addressable bytes of memory should be enough for anyone....
  • by msobkow (48369) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @12:34AM (#16848462) Homepage Journal
    I can't say I miss the days of the nibble and CPUs measured in kilohertz.
  • Zzzz (Score:4, Funny)

    by KNicolson (147698) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @12:35AM (#16848464) Homepage
    Get back to me once you've ported Linux to it.

    And imagine OGG supporting a Beowolf cluster of them in Soviet Russia.
  • Fast-forward (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jmv (93421) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @12:39AM (#16848500) Homepage
    Who would have guessed how right they would prove to be?

    Who would have guessed chips produced 35 years later, would still inherit the brain-damaged ISA of the 4004. (OK, so the ISA probably didn't look too bad when it was for the 4004)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by the_humeister (922869)
      Actually, they're not the same. The 4004 has 46 instructions [pldos.pl]. The 8086 [wikipedia.org] has quite a bit more instructions and pretty much started us all on the x86 ISA, which weren't binary compatible with programs written for Intel's earlier processors.
      • Re:Fast-forward (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jmv (93421) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @01:08AM (#16848684) Homepage
        While not binary compatible, the 8086 [wikipedia.org] was a 16-bit improvement of the 8-bit 8080 [wikipedia.org], which was compatible with the 8008 [wikipedia.org], which AFAIK wasn't too far from the 4-bit 4040 [wikipedia.org] and the 4004 [wikipedia.org]... and that's why the space shuttle's boosters are sized according to a horse's rear end [astrodigital.org] and a 64-bit quad core CPU architecture that is influenced by the first 4-bit microcontroller.
        • Snopes says not quite [snopes.com]. Though the lesson of the story is true and profound.
          • Re:Railroad gauges (Score:5, Informative)

            by Cadallin (863437) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @05:04AM (#16849654)
            I really rather disagree with their conclusion. Although it was not "inevitable" the fact of the matter is that the rail road gauge that became dominant in the USA and Europe CAN be traced to the one adapted for rail use from carriages designed to fit on roads built to a standard specified originally by the Roman Legions based on the width of the asses of two standard war horses. That this is merely coincidental doesn't make it any less true, or less telling about the nature of beaurocracy and resistance to change. And the fact of the matter is that the standard does continue to affect rail shipping to this day, as it most definately determines what an oversize rail car or load is. Whether or not this actually had a direct impact on the Space Shuttle's SSRB's is less clear, although certainly they had to be designed so that they could be shipped from the factory to Cape Canaveral.

            The thrust of the point to me, is the very point that nobody sat around and actually considered what might be a good rail gauge to adopt for shipping lines, they just went ahead with a horribly odd standard that was already in existence.

            • Re:Railroad gauges (Score:4, Informative)

              by johnw (3725) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @05:15AM (#16849734)
              The thrust of the point to me, is the very point that nobody sat around and actually considered what might be a good rail gauge to adopt for shipping lines

              One man did. Isambard Kingdom Brunel did exactly that. He sat down and thought about what gauge to make his railway (The Great Western) and came up with 7 feet as a much more sensible value. He was entirely correct, but unfortunately his version was abandoned simply because far more people had used the existing default.

              John
              • by Teancum (67324)
                Keep in mind that the gague of the railroad has a strong influence on how tight you can have a turn radius when bending track. Larger gague tracks simply require much more room to turn. Over flat prarie and meadows this isn't that big of a deal, but when you get into mountains or along a sea coast it becomes a huge deal.

                For this reason alone, many of the mining railroads actually use a standard "narrow gague" for their tracks (and even a "cog" railroad to overcome the steep slope of the tracks). There is
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by rufty_tufty (888596)
                Not quite:
                Such a wide guage had a number of problems; namly its ability to turn corners fast (not much use for the north of england which is reasonably hilly and used for much of the frieght at the time because of the industry around there) and the difficulty of operating points on such a system. Not that these problems weren't solvable, but like all things in enginerring it's a compromise to best fit your current problem.
                • by johnw (3725)
                  Good job Brunel only had to route his line through the flat prairies of Cornwall then.
            • by nuzak (959558)
              > I really rather disagree with their conclusion.

              You can keep on believing whatever you want. It doesn't change the fact that the wheel width of wagons wasn't set based on the size of two horses asses. Yokes attacking to carriages are designed to to have a lot of play, and could and did pull everything from two-horse imperial chariots to the rickety donkey-drawn haywagons that brought in the goods sold every day. Hell, those wagons probably wore far more ruts than the imperial legions did, because the
              • by johnw (3725)
                I can assure you that there is no standard gauge for a horse's ass.
                ...or even for an ass's arse
        • While not binary compatible, the 8086 was a 16-bit improvement of the 8-bit 8080, which was compatible with the 8008, which AFAIK wasn't too far from the 4-bit 4040 and the 4004

          Indeed. Does this instruction ring a bell? Decimal adjust accumulator DAA [pldos.pl]
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Technician (215283)
      Who would have guessed chips produced 35 years later, would still inherit the brain-damaged ISA of the 4004

      Didn't ISA come out with the IBM using the 8086? The 4004 was more suited to things like a calculator.

      I did look it up.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industry_Standard_Arc hitecture [wikipedia.org]

      IBM PC XT ISA = Industry Standard Architecture released in 1981.

      The Intel 4004 processor was first fabricated in 1971 a decade before the ISA buss.

      http://www.intel4004.com/ [intel4004.com]

      Please don't re-write history. Blame IBM for ISA, n
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by 0racle (667029)
        ISA has many meanings

        ISA - Instruction Set Architecture

        There are others of course, but I just don't see how the Irish Sailing Association is relevant here.
        • "Industry Standard Architecture" (the old 16-bit expansion cards that coexisted with PCI on new motherboards until around 1999) could be relevant.
      • Re:Fast-forward (Score:5, Informative)

        by Mitchell Mebane (594797) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @01:05AM (#16848658) Homepage Journal
        ISA, as in "Instruction Set Architecture". Not the bus.
      • by LWATCDR (28044)
        What people are complaining about is the "Instruction Set Architecture" not the old ISA buss that PCI replaced. Some of us miss the good old ISA buss because it was so easy to hack and interface to :(

        You are in a way correct even if it is for the totally wrong reason. IBM used the 8088 for the PC not because they loved it but because it was cheap. If they had known that that it was going to be a run away standard that we would be living with to this day they would have never made it.
        If IBM knew then what
        • by mspohr (589790)
          If IBM had:

          - developed their own CPU instead of the "cheap" 8088

          - bought Microsoft and Digital Research or "written their own" OS

          Then the "IBM PC standard" would be in the same boat as the DEC PDP-8 and would be ancient history.

          • by LWATCDR (28044)
            I really doubt it.
            IBM could have sold both the OS and the CPU to clone makers and probably would have to keep the anti-trust off their backs. At the time IBM was in real danger of being broken up because of anti-trust litigation. That is one of the reasons that the System 36/38 was so different from the 360/370. IBM was getting ready to be split into different divisions if they lost.
            Even before the clones the PC was selling like hot cakes. It over took every other system as the business system to have back
            • by mspohr (589790)
              My point was that an IBM proprietary CPU and OS would not have been widely adopted even if IBM choose to sell it to OEMs (not likely given IBMs business model at the time).

              The reason the IBM PC became so popular was that IBM didn't control it and anyone could make a clone. If the clone makers all had to go to IBM for permission and parts, the market wouldn't have developed.

              The DEC PDP-8 (and PDP-11) were arguably better architectures and had arguably better software and were implemented (somewhat belated

              • by LWATCDR (28044)
                "The IBM PC succeeded because it was not proprietary. IBM couldn't control it. "
                IBM did everything it could to control it.
                They tried to sue people for copying their BIOS. Phoenix and Compaq went to great pains to legally reverse engineer the BIOS. The PC was wildly successful before the clones ever came out. It was much more propritary than the mass of faster and cheaper CP/M machines on the market at the time.
              • After writing 10k+ lines of code on the PDP-8, I can tell you that there's no argument that could convince me that it was a better architecture than the 8088/8086.

                One could almost sustain an argument that the PDP-11 was a better architecture than the 8088/8086 as far as it went, which at the time could be extended to a Mbyte of physical RAM (later instances of the -11 could get all the way to 4 Mbytes physical, as in the 11/73). Manipulating the APRs (active page registers), one could do some mild hackery
  • 4004 tic tac toe (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Salvance (1014001) * on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @12:40AM (#16848502) Homepage Journal
    The 4004 tic tac toe hardware from their unofficial site looks wicked ... http://mywebpages.comcast.net/jsweinrich/ [comcast.net]. I never thought I'd be drooling over electronic tic tac toe!
  • 640k (Score:3, Funny)

    by Aehgts (972561) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @12:44AM (#16848522) Homepage Journal
    Ah, back in the good old days when 640K _was_ enough for anyone...
    • Re:640k (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Reality Master 101 (179095) <.RealityMaster101. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @12:55AM (#16848600) Homepage Journal

      Ah, back in the good old days when 640K _was_ enough for anyone...

      Dude, my first computer had 256 Bytes (not K -- *BYTES*) of memory (Built form the September 1976 issue of Popular Electronics -- Build Your Own Microcomputer, based on the COSMAC 1802 processor). 640K was beyond freaking imagination.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Billly Gates (198444)
        Offtopic but I heard Weirld Al sing in New York a few years ago with the parody turkey on rye (Or pastrami). Now chicken pot pie. You may want to search for that song instead.
      • Ah, back in the good old days when 640K _was_ enough for anyone...

        Dude, my first computer had 256 Bytes (not K -- *BYTES*) of memory (Built form the September 1976 issue of Popular Electronics -- Build Your Own Microcomputer, based on the COSMAC 1802 processor). 640K was beyond freaking imagination.

        Yep. And the computer that controlled the Apollo spacecraft (designed while Billy Boy was still in single digit years), wasn't much better than your homebrew (around 8K IIRC). The fire control system I worke

        • Yep. And the computer that controlled the Apollo spacecraft (designed while Billy Boy was still in single digit years), wasn't much better than your homebrew (around 8K IIRC).

          According to the Apollo 15 ALSJ the descent guidance system had a five vector model of the terrain around the landing site.

      • by hughk (248126)
        The 1802 was designed 'down' as a controller for unfriendly environments such as space. It was also completely CMOS so used very little power. Although the instruction set was 'quirky', the processor was quite important becuase of the applications. Of course, the 4004 and later the 4040 were 'made' by washing-machines. That is to say if you build something cheap enough to replace the elctromechanical mechanisms (drum-timers) in domestic equipment - such as washing machines then your market is huge.
      • >640K was beyond freaking imagination.
        When I got my 48k Atari 400 back in early 1981, I couldn't get my head around how vast 48k was so I typed in 48k of rem statements then hit 'list' to watch it scroll by. Took quite a long time. I remember thinking 'Wow, so much space! I could do anything with that amount of data/program'
        It also hurt my fingertips due to the 400's touch sensitive keyboard.
        • When I got my 48k Atari 400 back in early 1981, I couldn't get my head around how vast 48k was so I typed in 48k of rem statements then hit 'list' to watch it scroll by. Took quite a long time. I remember thinking 'Wow, so much space! I could do anything with that amount of data/program' It also hurt my fingertips due to the 400's touch sensitive keyboard.

          I had a TRS-80 with 48K around that same time (1980), and I remember thinking it was IMPOSSIBLE to fill it up with enough program and just DIMing "big

      • I built the same system as you. (Still works) Also the RCA 1802 was the main processor used on the Voyager and Viking space probes.
        • I built the same system as you. (Still works) Also the RCA 1802 was the main processor used on the Voyager and Viking space probes.

          In the interest of full disclosure (and it's kind of funny), I have to admit that my construction from that article was a failure. I was 13 years old, and it was a tad beyond my not-so-m@d skilz. I saved up my allowance and bought each part as I could afford it, then when I had all the parts, I made the bright move to solder wires directly onto the chips, rather than using s

    • 640KB would have been a luxury. The 4004 had a 12-bit address bus, and so it could address 4K-words. Each machine word was 4-bits long, so it could address 2KB of RAM. This wasn't a huge limitation, since it only shipped with 40 bytes of RAM, and no MMU.
    • by morcego (260031) *
      Considering my first computer had 2K of RAM, I would consider 640K very nice.
      And yes, it was based on Z80.
  • by frakir (760204) <ockhamrazor@SLAC ... com minus distro> on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @12:56AM (#16848606)
    pasted from http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/4004/index.html [slashdot.org]> :

    The first microprocessor in history, Intel 4004 was a 4-bit CPU designed for usage in calculators, or, as we say now, designed for "embedded applications". Clocked at 740 KHz, the 4004 executed up to 92,000 single word instructions per second, could access 4 KB of program memory and 640 bytes of RAM. Although the Intel 4004 was perfect fit for calculators and similar applications it was not very suitable for microcomputer use due to its somewhat limited architecture. The 4004 lacked interrupt support, had only 3-level deep stack, and used complicated method of accessing the RAM. Some of these shortcomings were fixed in the 4004 successor - Intel 4040.
    • More Relevant Info? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by octalman (169480)
      Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but as I recall the 4004 wasn't a single-chip microprocessor. Depending on the chip set used, it took from two to four chips to put together a working microprocessor.

      Intel's first shur-nuff single-chip microprocessor was the gosh-awful, horribly slow 8008. They took so long to get past the 8008 and the only marginally better 8080 that Zilog brought out a much-improved, instruction set compatible version, the Z80, which dominated the microprocessor market for a nu
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by turly (992736)
        Dunno what you're smoking, fella, but Motorola never "got" the 6502. From this article [wikipedia.org]:

        The 6502 was designed primarily by the same engineering team that had designed the Motorola 6800. After quitting Motorola en masse, they quickly designed the 6501, a completely new processor that was pin-compatible with the 6800 (that is, it could be plugged into motherboards designed for the Motorola processor, although its instruction set was different). Motorola sued immediately, and MOS agreed to stop producing the

      • by Alioth (221270)
        Indeed - you can still buy a plain, newly manufactured Z80 processor today. It's still popular in embedded applications. There's also a microcontroller version of the Z80, the eZ80.
      • > Depending on the chip set used, it took from two to four chips to put together a working microprocessor.

        That's the way I remember it too. I seem to recall (at least) something about a multi-phased clock, and an address decoder thingie. I still have Intel databooks from that era, but I'm too lazy to look it up.

        Back in 1979/80 or so, I worked on readying for manufacture a prototype slot machine that Harrah's Casinos (there were only two then, Reno & Tahoe) had built using the 4004. Intel had qu
      • by julesh (229690)
        The first true computer-on-a-chip was Motorola's 6800, but they muffed their opportunity by waiting too long to market it and priced it too high. Worse, some employees stole their chip masks and modified the design, which they sold (cheaply, compared to the 8008 and 6800) as the 6502, which was adopted for the Apple.

        Err... that doesn't sound right to me.

        First: 6800 was released after the 8080, which really was a single-chip processor.
        Second: the 6502 was actually an innovative design, being the first microp
  • by Timesprout (579035) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @12:59AM (#16848620)
    wipe wipe
    "early gang bang porn, log it"
    wipe wipe
    "early vivid movie, looks like Jemma was young and need the money, log it"
    wipe wipe
    "some girl on girl stuff, log it" wipe wipe
    "holy crap I am taking this home"
  • This will cause a social revolution in Afghanistan. People will now be able to build their own 4004-based, and use them to download movies and MP3s against the will of the Taliban...

    • by Jesus_666 (702802)
      You're kidding, right? With these schematics the terrists could develop their own cruise missile control systems. Intel has doomed the Western world! DOOMED!
  • Era of Intel's Ways (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @01:13AM (#16848714) Homepage Journal
    Intel patented the 4004, which they tried to use to enforce a patent on the "microprocessor" generally - though Gilbert Hyatt [thocp.net] eventually won it, 20 years later.

    Does Intel still have a working patent protecting the 4004? And doesn't that patent include the schematics? What's the point of patenting an invention if other inventors can't tell whether they're reinventing what you've protected from "infringement"?
    • Well, you want a patent to be enforceable agaist others. So either you patent the entire microprocessor concept, or you patent one small invention that all microprocessors need to use. Intel probably patented the binary adder or something.
    • ...Does Intel still have a working patent protecting the 4004?...
      Hardly since patents are for a limited time only and at that time I think the time was 17 years from the patent being granted.
      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        Do you really believe that patents are only for a limited time? You do know that the patent on the microprocessor, invented in 1969, to which I linked, was granted only in 1990, right? And that's just one guy. Intel has the patent army of Genghis Khan.

        And even if they didn't, that's all the more reason that the 4004 schematics etc shouldn't be secret or private. They'd be public domain by now.
  • The 8008 was the real start of the micro-computing revolution. The Scelbi Mark 8H was the first system to really draw people's attention. By the time they figured out what might be done with it, the 8080's were released. The Altair was built, BillyG and friends wrote a basic interpreter in 4Kbytes, and the rest is history.
  • I recall my father coming home from work (chemistry lecturer in higher education) and saying that he'd got access to calculators. A few weeks later I went over with him and played for a while on a Busicom, nixie tubes and all. This would be about 1972, I think, guessing from which building it was in.
  • Opening on November 15th, the exhibit will feature a fully functional, 130x scale replica of the 4004 microprocessor running the very first software written for the 4004. To create a giant Busicom 141-PF calculator for the museum, 'digital archaeologists' first had to reverse-engineer the 4004 schematics and the Busicom software.

    Well I, for one, welcome our gigantic calculator overlords. And remind them that as an internet personality, I could be useful in rounding up citizen's to slave away in their underg

  • ... only to encourage sales of dual core 8008... ;o)

    .
  • They've got a few Ken Starlings heading departments and a reportedly missing Federation Timeship Aeon sequestered under the buildings.

    Janeway will be BACK: for the timeship, the deep-fried alien jerky, AND the KFC chickens. And, she'll pick up a few humons from the White House to supply the Vidiians, cuz she's in NO mood to donate organs today. Fixing the timeline is a byatch!
  • Intel releases 4004 schematics? Man, that's a lot.

    Oh, wait...
  • 35 years ago this was the best personal computer you could get. Now the same company is bringing us processors which can simulate the entire thing in an interpreted language using a fraction of one percent of the available processing power.

    Even though another company would have done the same if Intel hadn't, they deserve some kudos for getting in there first and staying on top. No-one would have thought they'd be able to push x86 to where it is today.
  • where are the blinkenlights ?

    A custom DSBGA chip simulating a mosfet and including a driver for a tiny SMD LED could have shown the state of each individual gate.
  • Doesn't run Java.

  • ...I want the MOS 6581!
  • Most chips and circuits boards manufactured before 1978-1980 were drawn or taped by hand. By taping, I mean you pasted a mockup from thin drafting tapes, then photo-reduced them to circuit boards and chips. I did a fair share of them myself. There was a certain artistic statisfaction in doing this, somewhat like rebuilding your own car engine or remodeling a room in your house. I would dream of taping circuits in my sleep as my busy subconsious worked out upcoming issues, much like my brain computes anima
  • With all the engineering in India, that Intel museum must be the only thing left in the Montegue Expy building. Has anyone actually gone to the Intel museum? Sitting on Montegue Expy for 30 minutes to get to Intel sounds like work.

  • with only ~2000 transistors per processor element,
    what could one do with a 4096 Processor Array of 4bit 4004 Chips?
    hmm...

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