Critical Mass

The microprocessor has brought electronics into a new era. It is altering the structure of our society.

–Robert Noyce and Marcian Hoff, Jr. “History of Microprocessor Development at Intel,” IEEE Micro, 1981

Figure 11. Ted Hoff Marcian “Ted” Hoff led the design effort for Intel’s first microprocessor.

(Courtesy of Intel Corp.)

In early 1969, Intel Development Corporation, a Silicon Valley semiconductor manufacturer, received a commission from a Japanese calculator company called Busicom to produce chips for a line of its calculators. Intel had the credentials: it was a Fairchild spinoff, and its president, Robert Noyce, had helped ...

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