The evolution of microprocessors has been known to follow Moore’s law, which suggests that the complexity of an integrated circuit, with respect to the minimum component cost, doubles every 24 months.

This rule has been generally followed, since the humble beginning of microprocessors as the drivers for calculators to the present-day scenario where every system, from the largest mainframes to the smallest handheld computers, uses a microprocessor at its core.

The first microprocessor was introduced in 1971 by the Intel Corporation. It was a four-bit microprocessor, Intel 4004. Other four-bit microprocessors developed were Intel 4040 by Intel, PPS-4 by Rockwell International, T3472 by Toshiba and so on.

The first eight-bit microprocessor, named Intel 8008, was also developed by Intel in the year 1972. All these microprocessors were made using PMOS technology. The first microprocessor using NMOS technology was Intel 8080, developed by Intel in the year 1973.

Intel 8080 was followed by Intel 8085 in the year 1975, which became very popular. Other popular eight-bit microprocessors were Zilog’s Z80 (1976) and Z800, Motorola’s MC6800 (1974) and MC6809 (1978), National Semiconductor’s NSC 800, RCA’s 1802 (1976) and so on.

The first multichip 16-bit microprocessor was National Semiconductor’s IMP-16, introduced in 1973. The first 16-bit single-chip microprocessor was Texas Instrument’s TMS 9900. Intel’s first 16-bit microprocessor was Intel 8086 introduced in the year 1978.

Other 16-bit microprocessors developed by Intel were Intel 80186 (1982), Intel 8088, Intel 80188 and Intel 80286 (1982). Other popular 16-bit microprocessors include Motorola’s 68000 (1979), 68010 and 68012, Zilog’s Z8000, Texas Instruments TMS 9900 series and so on.

32-bit microprocessors came into existence in the 1980s. The world’s first single-chip 32-bit microprocessor was introduced by AT&T Bell Labs in the year 1980. It was named BELLMAC- 32A. The first 32-bit processor introduced by Intel was iapx 432, introduced in 1981.

The more popular 32-bit microprocessor was Intel 80386, introduced by Intel in 1985. It was widely used for desktop computers. The 32-bit microprocessor family of Intel includes Intel 486, Pentium, Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Pentium III and Pentium IV.

AMD’s K5, K6 and K7, Motorola’s 68020 (1985), 68030 and 68040, National Semiconductor’s 32032 and 32332 and Zilog’s Z80000 are other popular 32-bit microprocessors. All these microprocessors are  based on CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computers) architecture.

The first commercial RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computers) design was released by MIPS Technologies, the 32-bit R2000. Some of the popular RISC processors include Intel’s 80860 and 80960, Motorola’s 88100 and Motorola’s, IBM and Apple’s PowerPC series of microprocessors.

While 64-bit microprocessor designs have been in use in several markets since the early 1990s, the early 2000s have seen the introduction of 64-bit microchips targeted at the PC market. Some of the popular 64-bit microprocessors are AMD’s AMD64 (2003) and Intel’s x86-64 chips. Popular 64-bit RISC processors include SUN’s ULTRASPARC, PowerPC 620, Intel’s Itanium, MIPS R4000, R5000, R10000 and R12000 and so on.

1 comment:

  1. Microprocessors function as the "brain" of a computer system. As technology has progressed, microprocessors have become faster, smaller and capable of doing more work per clock cycle.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...