The Intel 4004 is a 4-bit central processing unit considered to be the first commercially available microprocessor. A microprocessor is a single integrated circuit (or computer chip) that merges all the CPU functions of a computer into a single component. Microprocessors are the heart of modern computers.
They’re programmable, meaning they can be given instructions and return results based
on those instructions. Before their invention, multiple chips were
required to do the same thing, often spread across numerous racks. Before the 4004, Intel was a memory chip company. In late 1969, the Nippon Calculating Machine
Corporation, also known as Busicom, contracted Intel to create a dozen custom chips for use
in their Busicom 141-PF digital calculator. Intel didn’t have the manpower to complete
the contract as written. That forced Federico Faggin and his team to think smarter, and
came up with a single chip general purpose design that could do the work of all twelve.
The resulting 2,300 transistor chip had as much processing power as the room-filling ENIAC. In contrast to today’s multi-gigahertz CPU’s,
the 4004 ran at a modest 740 khz. The 4004 was only one part of the MCS-4 chipset. The 4001 was a required 256 byte ROM. The 4002 provided an optional 40 bytes of RAM. The 4003 was a shift register for I/O functions, also optional. Intel wisely bought out the rights from the
soon-to-be-bankrupt Busicom and decided to sell the powerful chips commercially. The 4004 debuted with a price tag of $60 in
November of 1971, though rumor has it there were sales as early as March of that year. While the Intel 4004 had an important part
in computer history, it isn’t the first microprocessor. That honor goes to the MP-944, part of the
Central Air Data Computer found inside the F-14 Tomcat. Moreover, the design for the
TI TMS 1000 microprocessor was actually completed before the Intel 4004, but Texas Instruments
didn’t sell it to the public until 1974. The Intel 4004 would eventually be succeeded
by the Intel 4040, 8008, 8080, and onward to the 8086, leading to the famous x86 microprocessor
family that powers most desktop computers to this day. During the 35th anniversary of the 4004 in
2006, Intel celebrated by releasing a wealth of technical information to mark the occasion,
including mask works, schematics, and other documentation. If you’d like to find out more about the
Intel 4004, check the links in the description. If you found this informative and want to
know more random things in three minute bites, be sure to hit subscribe. Thanks for watching!

3 Minutes On… The Intel 4004 Microprocessor

67 thoughts on “3 Minutes On… The Intel 4004 Microprocessor

  • December 23, 2014 at 10:48 pm
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    2:05 MP944
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNdD8jEPqos

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  • March 21, 2015 at 4:22 pm
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    Thanks, great informative piece.

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  • May 12, 2015 at 8:11 pm
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    BUT, can it play Crysis?

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  • May 30, 2015 at 7:58 pm
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    4004 visualizations!

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  • August 22, 2015 at 8:26 am
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    Pentium is the for st true x86 because I386 dose not have parallel support for a 2 algorithms at once because Dos is just the base for any 16 bit software and DOS software is just an extension of the same algorithm.

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  • January 7, 2016 at 3:22 pm
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    i have a Intel 4004 in my CPU collection.

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  • March 30, 2016 at 5:16 pm
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    But the question is can it run notepad or minesweeper 4K 60fps.

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  • August 25, 2016 at 5:01 am
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    the future of microprocessor in the past

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  • August 26, 2016 at 1:42 am
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    I would like to buy one, anyone know where I could find one?

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  • August 29, 2016 at 11:47 am
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    I was wondering why this chip is worth 795.00? you can still buy them. Why would you pay that much for it?

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  • November 11, 2016 at 12:31 am
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    Beautiful.. computer hardware is like magic

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  • November 29, 2016 at 7:23 pm
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    i was born several decades too late…..

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  • December 2, 2016 at 4:51 am
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    those things are really expensive on ebay right now

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  • December 3, 2016 at 9:06 am
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    I was a bit disappointed that you chose not to even mention the Z80 CPU. Although I believe it was made by a different manufacturer, it was still the spiritual successor to the 8080 and could run software written for the 8080 since its instruction set was a superset of the 8080's. Although not a powerful CPU by today's standards, it was still a very versatile CPU and definitely deserves a mention.

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  • December 3, 2016 at 11:30 pm
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    1:54
    Get out of breath there?

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  • December 4, 2016 at 2:35 am
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    my first CPU was a 6502.

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  • December 6, 2016 at 4:34 am
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    Clock speeds really don't mean much anymore compared to sheer throughput. a 8 thread CPU at 1ghz will outperform a 4 thread at 2ghz simply because it has the ability to manage more data streams simultaneously with the right software.

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  • December 10, 2016 at 5:03 pm
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    but can it run Crysis?

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  • December 11, 2016 at 9:34 pm
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    The 4004 is rather lovely to study and play with, you can read the datasheet and write code for it in raw hex in a matter of hours. What most people don't understand about the 4004 is it is less a general purpose CPU and more a "multichip microcontroller".

    The 8048 microcontrollers and beyond are spiritual successors to the 4004 I understand.

    The 8080, then 8086 that all our PCs hark from have their roots in the 8008 which was the first general purpose single chip CPU I think.

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  • December 20, 2016 at 2:19 am
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    used to have a couple, not just the CMOS series!

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  • December 20, 2016 at 6:38 pm
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    4 bit….

    need 8 of them just to process a 32 bit request.

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  • January 20, 2017 at 3:48 am
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    Behold the start of the computer revolution.

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  • January 22, 2017 at 12:15 am
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    lol I live in the same town as federico faggin. I mean, doesn't live anymore

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  • February 5, 2017 at 3:28 pm
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    but can it run crysis 3

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  • February 5, 2017 at 3:30 pm
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    so which is better, 4004 or i7 6700k?

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  • May 9, 2017 at 2:54 am
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    Correction:

    The original Busicom chipset consisted of 7 chips, 3 of which were for the CPU and the other 4 for other functions.

    The Intel MCS-4 chipset simplified it down to 4 chips, 1 of which was for the CPU (Intel 4004) and the other 3 for other functions.

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  • May 18, 2017 at 5:56 pm
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    1:54 commersieeehh

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  • May 27, 2017 at 7:35 pm
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    great video mate !

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  • July 2, 2017 at 9:09 pm
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    Does 4 bit means only 16 instructions?

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  • July 26, 2017 at 4:46 am
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    Imagine a Beowulf cluster…

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  • July 28, 2017 at 12:06 am
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    A i7 ad played before this

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  • August 8, 2017 at 6:26 pm
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    I would like to see a 3 minute video on visionaries like Federico Faggin or Chuck Peddle maybe even Jack Tramiel

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  • August 20, 2017 at 9:03 am
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    very very good

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  • August 25, 2017 at 5:20 pm
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    Why were some older IC's and processors gold capped?

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  • October 18, 2017 at 2:00 am
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    its 3 min 14 seconds >:(

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  • October 28, 2017 at 4:54 pm
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    First Microprocessor Book http://FirstMicroprocessor.com/firstmicroprocessorbook

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  • November 28, 2017 at 3:07 am
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    Music sucks!!!!

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  • January 20, 2018 at 8:01 am
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    I'm post 4004 era…. but I've heard the way the "4004 generation" engineer's speak about it so I know it must have been something to behold 🙂 Must have been a pivotal moment. Just missed it : Cheers!

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  • February 17, 2018 at 7:23 pm
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    8086 powering desktops today? try again… we are using x64 now not x86, even in 2014 we were using x64

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  • February 19, 2018 at 1:15 pm
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    This loud background music makes me want to destroy something

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  • March 17, 2018 at 7:26 pm
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    $60 in 1971 so today that would be $375 about the same price as a high-end intel cpu. Feels like some kind of irony.

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  • April 3, 2018 at 9:32 am
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    dear kids, this video shows, that is NOT enough, to have knowledge and good business idea.
    You need biiiiiiiiig money to succeed. And we all know, who manages the big money.

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  • April 9, 2018 at 1:06 pm
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    Great work of Dr. Shima.

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  • May 20, 2018 at 1:50 am
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    Can it run Doom natively without video cards?

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  • May 20, 2018 at 3:28 am
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    The first MPU was 1 bit the Turing machine. XD

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  • June 8, 2018 at 6:46 am
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    The Texas Instruments TMS 1000 is not a microprocessor, it is a microcontroller. The difference being that a microprocessor needs additional external components, such as ROM and RAM memory, and input output circuitry to work. A microcontroller has some embedded memory already and input output circuitry making it a factory programmable "computer-on-a-chip" design. The TMS 1000 is famous for being the first "calculator-on-a-chip" from TI, with an integrated ROM containing code for operating as a calculator.

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  • June 18, 2018 at 5:37 am
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    I would like find a ram card for my 8088/8086, i now someone is making a new cards like emulators.

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  • July 23, 2018 at 4:31 am
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    does it run doom?

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  • October 1, 2018 at 8:44 am
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    Thx for review my intel 😀

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  • October 4, 2018 at 9:30 pm
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    BUT CAN IT RUN CRYSIS?

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  • December 10, 2018 at 4:10 pm
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    1:13 jenny in trouble, remember…no stich, no story

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  • December 20, 2018 at 4:34 am
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    @3Minutes On: Seriously, the background music is to loud, it makes it hard to hear the narrator.

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  • January 18, 2019 at 8:48 pm
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    Can it handle 2 chrome tabs?

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  • February 3, 2019 at 12:27 pm
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    Thumbs down. The thumping background music was so annoying, I watched 30 seconds and stopped it.

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  • February 20, 2019 at 6:51 pm
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    Supprised a processor that basicly does nothing but add 2 numbers between 0 and 15 looks that complicated in the scematic

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  • February 24, 2019 at 7:54 pm
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    $60 in 1971 = about $375 in today's money.

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  • March 12, 2019 at 3:10 pm
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    What speech synthesis are you using for your videos? Sounds nice.

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  • March 20, 2019 at 4:08 pm
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    -120Fps

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  • May 13, 2019 at 4:25 am
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    You sound like the announcer from Portal2

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  • June 7, 2019 at 6:01 am
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    i play pubg on intel 4004,in ultra setting

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  • August 2, 2019 at 5:43 pm
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    Music?

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  • September 2, 2019 at 8:21 am
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    1:27 Just a minor nitpick on the chart: Intel's 80386 never exceeded 33 MHz, while AMD's went up to 40 MHz.

    Removing Intel's name from that chart would easily remedy this.

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  • September 5, 2019 at 10:32 am
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    Can i Play the witcher 3 4k on low Settings with this cpu ?

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  • September 26, 2019 at 5:55 pm
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    I worked on the first ATM machines by Docutel. They had an inside unit that had multiple cash dispensers from one mini computer. The dispenser ran on a i4004 microprocessor. The card reader, cash dispenser were all controlled by the i4004.

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  • October 8, 2019 at 6:59 am
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    My 23 dollars Core i3
    Intel 4004: Am i a joke to you?

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  • November 7, 2019 at 10:58 pm
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    It’s mind blowing that such primitive processor like the 4004 chip did had as much power as a whole room filled Iniac computersystem, that’s like shrinking down a whole room into a size not bigger then a small biscuit.

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  • November 14, 2019 at 2:38 pm
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    shame about the music and the poly filler

    Reply

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