Intel 4004 story

The first microprocessor that Intel made was in response to the interest of a Japanese calculator company (BUSICOM) that wanted to make a family of scientific and business calculators.

Federico Faggin did the detailed design work (logic design, circuit design, chip layout, tester design and test program development) with help from Masatoshi Shima, a Busicom software and logic designer. Fagin had received the 4004 wafers from the manufacturing line at around 6 PM, in January 1971.

He demostrated that the 4004 could be used for applications other than calculators and vigorously campaigned inside Intel to make the 4004 available to the general market. Intel 4004 entered in production on November 15 th, 1971.

The first product based on Intel 4004 was the Busicom 141-PF Calculator, followed by clones like the Unicom P141 and the NCR 18-36.


Busicom 141-PF

Unicom P141

NCR 18-36