Microprocessor History and Generation of Microprocessor

Fairchild semiconductors (founded in 1957) invented the first Integrated Circuit in 1959 that marked the microprocessor history. In 1968, Gordan Moore, Robert Noyce, and Andrew Grove resigned from the Fair child semiconductors and started their own company: Integrated Electronics (Intel). In 1971, the first microprocessor Intel 4004 was invented. A microprocessor is also known as a central processing unit in which numbers of peripherals’ are fabricated on a single chip. It has ALU (arithmetic and logic unit), a control unit, registers, bus systems, and a clock to perform computational tasks.

Microprocessor History
Microprocessor History

Architecture of Microprocessor

The microprocessor is a single IC package in which several useful functions are integrated and fabricated on a single silicon semiconductor chip. Its architecture consists of a central processing unit, memory modules, a system bus, and an input/output unit.

Architecture of Microprocessor
Architecture of Microprocessor

The system bus connects the various units to facilitate the exchange of information. It further consists of data, address, and control buses to perform data exchanging properly.

The Central processing unit consists of one or more arithmetic logic unit (ALU), registers, and control unit. Based on the registers also the generations of the microprocessor can be classified. A microprocessor consists of general-purpose and a special type of registers to execute instructions and to store the address or data while running the program. The ALU computes all arithmetic as well as logic operations on data and specifies the size of microprocessors like 16 bit or 32 bit.

The Memory unit holds the program as well as data and is divided into a processor, primary and secondary memory. The Input and output unit interfaces the I/O peripheral devices to the microprocessor for accepting and sending information.

Generation of Microprocessor

1st Generation: This was the period from 1971 to 1973 of microprocessor’s history. In 1971, INTEL created the first microprocessor 4004 that would run at a clock speed of 740 kHz. During this period, the other microprocessors in the market including Rockwell international PPS-4, INTEL-8008, and National semiconductors IMP-16 were in use. But, all these were not TTL compatible processors.

2nd Generation:  This was the period from 1973 to 1978 in which very efficient 8-bit microprocessors were implemented like Motorola 6800 and 6801, INTEL-8085 and Zilog’s-Z80, which were among the most popular ones. Owing to their super fast speed, they were costly as they were based on NMOS technology fabrication.

3rd Generation: During this period 16-bit processors were created and designed using HMOS technology. From 1979 to 1980, INTEL 8086/80186/80286 and Motorola 68000 and 68010 were developed. Speeds of those processors were four times better than the 2nd generation processors.

4th Generation: From 1981 to 1995 this generation developed 32-bit microprocessors by using HCMOS fabrication. INTEL-80386 and Motorola’s 68020/68030 were the popular processors.

5th Generation: From 1995 to until now this generation has been bringing out high-performance and high-speed processors that make use of 64-bit processors. Such processors include Pentium, Celeron, Dual and Quad-core processors.

Thus, the microprocessor has evolved through all these generations, and the fifth-generation microprocessors represent an advancement in specifications. Therefore, some of the processors from the fifth generation of processors with their specifications are briefly explained below.

Intel Celeron

Intel Celeron is introduced in April 1998. It refers to a range of Intel’s X86 CPUs for value personal computers. It is based on Pentium 2 and can run on all IA-32 computer programs.

Intel Celeron
Intel Celeron

From the year 2000 to up to now, here is a brief history of Intel Celeron processors.

The year 2000 marked the introduction of the following processors:

  • Jan 4-Intel Celeron Processor (533MHz)
  • Feb14-Mobile Intel Celeron Processor (450, 500 MHz)
  • June19-Low Voltage Mobile Intel Celeron Processor (500 MHz)

The year 2001 marked the introduction of the following processors:

  • Jan 3-Intel Celeron Processor (800 MHz)
  • Oct 2-Intel Celeron processor (1.2 GHz)

The year 2002 marked the introduction of the following processors:

  • Jan 3-Intel Celeron Processor (1.30 GHz)
  • Nov 20-Intel Celeron Processor (2.10, 2.20 GHz)

The year 2002 marked the introduction of the following processors:

  • Jan 14: Mobile Intel Celeron processor (2 GHz)
  • Low Voltage Mobile Intel Celeron Processor (866 MHz)
  • Nov 12: Mobile Intel Celeron Processor (2.50GHz)
  • Ultra-Low Voltage Mobile Intel Celeron Processor (800 MHz)

The year 2004-2007 marked the introduction of the following processors:

  • Jan4, 2004: Intel Celeron M processor 320 and 310 (1.3, 1.2 GHz)
  • July 20, 2004: Intel Celeron M processor Ultra Low voltage 353 (900 MHz)
  • March- Intel Celeron M processor 430-450 (1.73-2.0 GHz)
  • Nov 23: Intel Celeron D Processor 345 (3.06 GHz)

The year 2008 marked the introduction of the following processor:

  • Jan 2008 Celeron Core 2 DUO (Allendale)

Pentium

Pentium was introduced on March 2, in 1993. Pentium succeeded the Intel 486; The 4 indicates the fourth generation microarchitecture in the microprocessor’s history. Pentium refers to an Intel’s single-core x 86 microprocessor, which is based on the fifth-generation micro-architecture. This processor’s name was derived from the Greek word Penta, means five.

The original Pentium processor was succeeded by the Pentium MMX in 1996. This processor has a data bus of 64 bits. A standard single transfer cycle can read or write up to 64 bits at a time. The Burst read and writes back cycles are supported by the Pentium processors. These cycles are used for cache operations and transfer 32 bytes (size of the Pentium cache line) in 4 clocks. All cache operations are burst cycles for the Pentium.

Pentium
Pentium Processor

The year 2000 marked the introduction of the following processors:

  • March 20: Intel Pentium III processor (866, 850MHz)
  • March 8: Intel Pentium III processor (1GHz)
  • Nov 20: Intel Pentium 4 Processor (1.50, 1.40GHz)

The year 2001 marked the introduction of the following processors:

  • April 23: Pentium 4 Processor 1.7
  • July 2: Pentium 4 Processor (1.80, 1.60GHz)
  • Aug 27: Intel Pentium 4 Processor (2, 1.90 GHz)

The year 2002 marked the introduction of the following processors:

  • Jan 7: Intel Pentium 4 processor (2.20, 2GHz)
  • Jan 8: Intel Pentium III processor for servers (1.40 GHz)
  • April 2, 2002: Intel Pentium 4 Processor (2.40, 2.20 GHz)
  • Jan 21: Ultra Low Voltage Mobile Pentium III processor-M
  • Low Voltage Mobile Pentium III processor (866, 850MHz)
  • Nov 14, 2002: Intel Pentium 4 processor (3.06 GHz with HT technology)

The year 2003 marked the introduction of the following processors:

  • Mobile Intel Pentium 4 Processor-M (2. 40 GHz)
  • May 21: Intel Pentium 4 Processor with Hyper-Threading (2.80 C GHz, 2.60 C GHz, 2.40 C GHz)
  • Nov 3: Intel Pentium 4 Processor Extreme Edition (3.20 GHz)

The year 20004 marked the introduction of the following processors:

  • Feb 2, 2004: Intel Pentium 4 Processor (90nm) (3.40 GHz, 3.20 GHz, 3.0 GHz, 2.80 GHz)
  • Intel Pentium 4 Processor Extreme Edition (0.13 micron) (3.40 GHz)
  • April 7, 2004: Ultra Low Voltage Intel Pentium M Processor (1.10, 1.30 GHz)
  • Nov 15, 2004: Intel Pentium 4 Processor Extreme Edition supporting HT Technology (3.46GHz)

The year 2005-06 marked the introduction of the following processors:

  • Intel Pentium 4 Processor Extreme Edition supporting HT Technology (3.80GHz)
  • April 2005: Intel Pentium Processor Extreme Edition 840 (3.20 GHz)
  • The year 2007&08 marked the introduction of the following processors:
  • Intel Pentium Processor Extreme Edition 955 (3.46 GHz)
  • Intel Pentium Processor Extreme Edition 965 (3.73 GHz)

Xeon

Xeon processor is a 400 MHz Pentium processor from the Intel for use in workstations and enterprise servers. This processor is designed for multimedia applications, engineering graphics, Internet and large database servers.

Xeon
Xeon Processor

A brief history of Xeon processors

The year 2000-2001 marked the introduction of the following processors:

  • Jan 12: Intel Pentium III Xeon Processor (800 MegaHertz)
  • Sep 25, 2001: Intel Xeon Processor (2 Giga Hertz)
  • May 24: Intel Pentium III Xeon Processor (933 MegaHertz)

The year 2002-2004 marked the introduction of the following processors:

  • Jan 09, 2002: Intel Xeon Processor (2.20 Giga Hertz)
  • March 12, 2002: Intel Xeon Processor M (1.60 Giga Hertz)
  • March 10, 2003: Intel Xeon Processor 3 GHz (400 MHz system bus)
  • Nov 18: Intel Xeon Processor (2.80 Giga Hertz)
  • Oct 6, 2003: Intel Xeon Processor (3.20 Giga Hertz)
  • March 2, 2004: Intel Xeon Processor MP 3 GHz (4 MB L3 CACHE)

The year 2005-2008 marked the introduction of the following processors:

  • March 2005: Intel Xeon Processor MP (2.666 -3.666 Giga Hertz)
  • October 2005: Dual-Core Intel Xeon Processor (2.8 Giga Hertz)
  • August 2006: Dual-Core Intel Xeon-7140M (3.33-3.40 Giga Hertz)

This is all about the microprocessor’s history and the year-based processors’ production from INTEL. To avoid making this article too complex for the readers to understand, some intricate information about the various processors from different vendors has been exempted. Based on the information given here in this article, the readers are encouraged to post their suggestions and comments regarding the projects in the comment section given below.

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