A microprocessor is an electronic computer central processing unit (CPU) that is made from many transistors on a single semiconductor integrated circuit (or chip). Before microprocessors, CPUs were made from discrete (separate) transistors; and before that, from vacuum tubes.
The world's first commercial microprocessor was the 4-bit 4004, released on November 15, 1971, invented by Marcian Ted Hoff. This was later followed by the 8008. These processors are the precursors to the very successful Intel 8080, Zilog Z80, and a series of derivative Intel 8-bit processors, as well as being an ancestor of the 16-bit 8086 family which powers most modern PC type computers.
Examples of early 16-bit microprocessor families include the Motorola 68000 and Zilog Z8000. Intel introduced the 8086 family as a more cost effective way of porting software investments from the 8080 lines, and succeeded in winning much business on that premise.
Microprocessors and Architectures
- Intel 8080, 8085, Zilog Z80
- 8086, 8088, 80186, 80286, 80386, 80486, x86
- K5, K6, K6-2, Duron, Athlon, Opteron
- Pentium, Pentium Pro, Celeron, Pentium II, Pentium III, Pentium 4
- Motorola 6800, 6809, MOS 650x (e.g. 6502)
- 68000 family, 88000, ColdFire
- 320xx microprocessor
- PowerPC family - G4
- PA-RISC family
- ARM family, StrongARM
- DEC Alpha
- MIPS architecture
- Atmel AVR architecture
- OpenCores OpenRISC architecture