Why? Are you thinking of building a supercomputer with a bunch of them?
remove the XY to email me.
Arius - A Signal Processing Solutions Company
Specializing in DSP and FPGA design
Internet URL http://www.arius.com
Yeah, we're going to put 4k of them on a 0.13u die for giggles...
-george william herbert
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RTL? Are you sure there was a written RTL at all? Given the ISA,
this is probably an afternoon's project now.
The whole design of the 4004 is like a Rashomon story in real life --
everyone thinks they are the main contributor.
Four people are credited with designing the 4004: Ted Hoff, Stan
Mazor, Federico Faggin and Masatoshi Shima.
There are evidently bad feelings between Faggin and Hoff because
Faggin feels he did all of the real work, and Hoff got much of the
credit. Many accounts do not give Shima any credit, only giving
credit to the three Intel engineers (Shima was an engineer at Busicom,
a Japanese calculator company at the time, and later became an Intel
engineer). Nobody seems to give much credit to Stan Mazor, who was
"only" a software guy.
Interview with Shima (extremely interesting and detailed):
Another interview with Shima:
Interview with Hoff:
An e-mail from Mazor, and nice pictures of the 4004:
A really nice picture of the 4004:
A picture of three of the engineers (no Shima) years later:
Federico Faggin's initials on the 4004 -- the only initials on the
If it were my guess, I'd say that Faggin did most of the work, since
all of the engineers give credit to Faggin and themselves. Faggin did
all of the logic & circuit design, and drew the layout by hand in 6
months, pretty much by himself.
Hoff had the high-level idea, and did most of the ISA, but abandoned
the project after Faggin joined the company, because he (Hoff) thought
it would fail. Shima provided the motivation to do the project,
kibbitzed on the ISA. Mazor and Shima wrote test vectors, and did the
It would be really interesting to hear what the inside story is from
Intel "old-timers" ...
"The Intel 4004 Microprocessor: What Constituted Invention?"
IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 19, No. 3,
July - September 1997
This paper investigates the context for the development of one of
the earliest microprocessors, the Intel 4004. It considers the
contributions Intel employees, most notably Marcian E. "Ted" Hoff,
Jr., and Federico Faggin, made and contributions other people made
to this development who are not generally known, most notably
Tadashi Sasaki and Masatoshi Shima. The paper represents a case
study of how corporate and national cultures affect technological
development and of the many aspects of invention, including
conceptualization, logical design, engineering, fabrication,
capitalization, and marketing.
vol 19 no 3 TOC:
2. Hoff believed there were too many complex special chips and that
the micro engine was too high a level to be practical for Intel
to design and build and proposed an alternative architecture.
3. Hoff proposed a simpler architecture using 4-bit data path and
simple instructions based upon the PDP-8 model we were using at
Intel to run 'Focal' programs.
4. Shima and Busicom opposed the Intel architecture at first.
When I joined in Sept 1969 I was a computer designer for
more than 3 years and just worked on Symbol at Fairchild, and
did logic design on decimal floating point unit (like calculator).
5. Hoff and I did program 'snipets' to prove how we could code the
'4004' to do calculator functions. I suggested enhancements to
ISA including; JIN, FIN, and FIM, and some other minor stuff.
The 4001- 4004 architecture was refined by Hoff and Mazor thru
Dec. 1969, and by Jan 1970 Busicom agreed to our architecture.
6. The highlights of the architecture are explained elsewhere but
include: on chip dynamic RAM for stack and registers, 4-bit data
path, time multiplexing 16-pins, and I/O ports integrated on
memory chips with local instruction decoding.
7. Faggin joined Intel after architecture was completed. Faggin did
all logic design, circuit design, layout, production supervision,
testing, etc. Faggin also 'invented' how to do capacitor with
silicon gate which had very low gate/diffusion capacitance for
bootstrapping amplifier for dynamic logic circuits.
8. Shima did all final calculator code, layout checking, logic checking
and greatly contributed to the success of project; he also changed
2 instructions BBL and ADDC.
9. Intel filed patents on unique features of 4004, and the holders
are Hoff, Faggin, Mazor.
In summary split the credit as follows;
Noyce supported Hoff's proposal.
Vasdasz was Hoff's boss and supported Hoff's choice.
Shima/Busicom proposed using ROM coded routines.
Hoff proposed simpler architecture and micro-coded vs special chips.
Mazor helped refine ISA and chip architecture and wrote test code.
Faggin did all chip design and took over 'ownership' of project.
Numerous Intel employees helped in: mask layout, testing,
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