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Milestones in Microprocessor Development

This timeline traces the development of the microprocessor, the key electronics device that enabled the development of the PC.

Spencer Chin

August 30, 2022

7 Slides

Many of the improvements in the speed and computing ability of today’s PCs and embedded systems can be traced to the microprocessor, which has evolved from the 4-bit devices in the early 1970s to today’s 64-bit devices and multi-core processors. Microprocessors, which contains the arithmetic, logic, and control circuitry required to perform the functions of a computer's central processing unit, have benefitted from trends such as greater chip integration and the implementation of multiple-core architectures. Microprocessors have enabled the dramatic leaps in high-speed PCs, servers for vast communications networks, and are driving applications in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The companies that have played a part in the microprocessor revolution are a who’s who in electronics history, including Texas Instruments, Intel, AMD, and Motorola.

The following gallery traces some key milestones in the rich history of the microprocessor.

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News covering the electronics beat. He has many years of experience covering developments in components, semiconductors, subsystems, power, and other facets of electronics from both a business/supply-chain and technology perspective. He can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Author(s)

Spencer Chin

Senior Editor, Design News

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor with Design News, covering the electronics beat.

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