On this day 40 years ago, Intel Corporation introduced the world’s first commercially available microprocessor, the Intel 4004.

The microprocessor, also known as the Central Processing Unit (CPU), is the brain of all computers and many household and electronic devices.

Released in 1971, the Intel 4004 was a 4-bit central processing unit (CPU) with a maximum clock speed of 740 kHz and could execute between 46,300 and 92,600 instructions per second. The die of the 4004 processor consisted of 2,300 transistors.

By comparison today’s second-generation Intel Core processors run at 4Ghz, have almost one billion transistors and deliver more than 350,000 times the performance of the Intel 4004.

Founded on July 18, 1968, as Integrated Electronics Corporation, Santa Clara California based Intel is now the world's largest semiconductor chip maker by revenue. The company, which has over 96,000 employees, had over U.S. $43 billion in sales last year. Intel also makes motherboard chipsets, network interface controllers and integrated circuits, flash memory, graphic chips, embedded processors and other devices related to communications and computing.

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