The Computer History Museum celebrates the introduction of Intel’s 4004 micriprocessor 36 years ago. There were no customer-programmable microprocessors on the market before the 4004. It was the first and it was the enabling technology that propelled software into the limelight as a key player in the world of digital electronics design. Intel, which had been making memory chips, used the 4004 as a technical and marketing launch pad to develop an expertise in microprocessors that, in quick time, made it a market leader.
In celebration of this milestone anniversary and the November opening of Intel Museum’s new exhibit entitled, "The Intel 4004 Microprocessor ," Intel 4004 designers Ted Hoff and Federico Faggin take the stage with an historical perspective on the evolution of the 4004, from a special-order from Japanese calculator manufacturer Busicom, to a mass-produced device.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.