A computer system is a collection of hardware and software components designed to provide an effective tool for computation. Computer system are used in every walk of life to assist us in the various tasks we perform. The wide availability of the internet has enhance the use of computer for information sharing and communication. Computer system allows us to store, process, display and communicate information. In any modern computer system even a simple one, in general needs several different programs in order to accomplish its various functions.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The first microprocessor

Microprocessor is a multipurpose, programmable, clock-driven, register based electronic device that reads binary instructions from a storage device celled memory, accepts binary data as input and processes data according to those instruction, and provides as output. It is essentially the central processing unit of computer fabricated on a single silicon chip.

In the mid 1940s, John Von Neumann, a brilliant mathematician at Princeton University, conceived a theoretical machine in which binary logic and arithmetic could work together in storing detailed programs and performing complex calculations.

The first commercially available microprocessor was the Intel 4004. Produced in 1971, it contained 2300 PMOS transistor. It was a programmable controller on a chip, which merges by today’s standards.

The 4004 was a 4 bit device intend to be used with some other devices in making a calculator. It was designed by Ted Hoff. A 4 bit microprocessor receives 4 bit of information from outside the microprocessor, performs the necessary processing on it, and then sends out of the microprocessor a 4 bit result.

Realizing that the microprocessor was a commercially viable product, Intel Corporation released the 8008 an extended 8 bit version of the 4004 microprocessor.

In 1974 Intel announced the 8080, which had a much larger instruction set than the 8008 and required only two additional devices to form functional CPU. Intel 8080 was the first commercially popular 8 bit microprocessor.

About six months after Intel released the 8080 microprocessor, Motorola Corporation introduced its MC6800 microprocessor.

Around 1978, Intel released 8086, the first 16-bit microprocessor. With 16 bit word size, it was possible to represent signed numbers in the range of -32,768 to +32,767, which is quite a decent range for performing arithmetic calculations.
The first microprocessor

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