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Intel's 8008 CPU Celebrates 40th Anniversary

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April 2, 2012 1:12:21 PM

It is hard to believe that it was only 40 years ago this multi legged critter was crawling out of the primordial soup and doing less than a modern day calculator. I can't even imagine where it will be in 40 years more.
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April 2, 2012 1:12:28 PM

18 pins in all its glory
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April 2, 2012 1:17:57 PM

Ahh, takes me back to the good old days, when you really had to know how to use a computer to do anything with it. Every kid that I knew that had a computer also was writing their own little programs out of the books that came with them, and most of us were only 7 to 9 years old. Moving from my first computer with the 8008 to the 8088 a few years later was a huge jump in performance and capability, and with that came my first memories of Sierra games, Falcon, Thexder, etc. Yep, the good ol' days.
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April 2, 2012 1:18:56 PM

gilbertfhIt is hard to believe that it was only 40 years ago this multi legged critter was crawling out of the primordial soup and doing less than a modern day calculator. I can't even imagine where it will be in 40 years more.


We haven't really gotten far. Our operating systems still take the same amount of time to boot, and people don't seem to have become more productive at work - they're merely required to do more stuff to complete the same task.

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April 2, 2012 1:22:36 PM

neiroatopelccWe haven't really gotten far. Our operating systems still take the same amount of time to boot, and people don't seem to have become more productive at work - they're merely required to do more stuff to complete the same task.

Good inputs but now people don't even have to be at work for it to get accomplished by computers and robots running on modern day chips. To go from nothing to near artificial intelligence that can drive cars, fly airplans and build future computers and other components with little to no input from a humans tells me we have made huge strides.
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April 2, 2012 1:26:37 PM

ye but it hasn't improved anything much.

My old accord from 1990 was a great car on the road. Rode really nice and everything was fine.
Now my new car is one of those computerized things that makes beep noises when the road is cold and tells me when to change gear. But is it fun to drive ? no. It works for the primary purpose of getting me from a to b, but it's not a pleasant experience.
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April 2, 2012 1:47:54 PM

I remember when I first saw a screen with the blinking dos prompt. It was the first IBM- You could not imagine how large and heavy it was, at the time it was just all, and wow. I was very young so a 5000 dollar IBM was not way, but later I got a timex sinclair, I remember it took me half a day to program the code to enable more memory.
The big white boxed of that day, not to many home built yet. But those days there was a certain beauty in the PC world, as small as it was, each maker has something different, now requardless the name on the side or even if you build it yourself. It’s all the same made in China Crap. I miss the, NEW and cool factor. It’s all buzz words now.

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April 2, 2012 1:48:39 PM

Skynet?
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April 2, 2012 1:58:36 PM

Well, if you feel that way, you can buy a 1991 Accord on eBay for $700 right now... I'm sure you'll also save quite a bit on insurance :) 
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April 2, 2012 2:00:07 PM

Intel's 8008 CPU Celebrates 40th Anniversary...

Where is my piece of that cake?...
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April 2, 2012 2:46:00 PM

neiroatopelccye but it hasn't improved anything much.My old accord from 1990 was a great car on the road. Rode really nice and everything was fine. Now my new car is one of those computerized things that makes beep noises when the road is cold and tells me when to change gear. But is it fun to drive ? no. It works for the primary purpose of getting me from a to b, but it's not a pleasant experience.

I actually drive a 1992 accord lx.... although i suppose you probably go and troll about how it has an armrest attached to the drivers seat as well as an aftermarket radio..... because you know thats all bad
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April 2, 2012 2:46:35 PM

Antimatter79Ahh, takes me back to the good old days, when you really had to know how to use a computer to do anything with it. Every kid that I knew that had a computer also was writing their own little programs out of the books that came with them, and most of us were only 7 to 9 years old. Moving from my first computer with the 8008 to the 8088 a few years later was a huge jump in performance and capability, and with that came my first memories of Sierra games, Falcon, Thexder, etc. Yep, the good ol' days.


Sounds like the bad old days to me. I'd hate to have an understanding of command line or programming just to do basic tasks. For most of us simpler is better.
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April 2, 2012 2:53:15 PM

neiroatopelccWe haven't really gotten far. Our operating systems still take the same amount of time to boot, and people don't seem to have become more productive at work - they're merely required to do more stuff to complete the same task.


Seriously? Computers allow me to do the work of about 5-10 engineers from yesteryear.
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April 2, 2012 2:53:24 PM

Happy Bday 8008!
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April 2, 2012 2:57:40 PM

I reckon it could still give the new Bulldozer chip a run for it's money.
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Anonymous
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April 2, 2012 3:15:13 PM

"The Good Old Days"....... Yeah, there was some cool stuff about it back then , especially the variety of different platforms one could chose from. I found that the "Wintel" / "Apple Power PC" thing of the 1990's too limiting. It sucked the fun out of it for me.

These days, we do have some real choices. The old UNIX Workstations from SUN and other companies that some us used to drool over are a joke next to the SMP based Linux boxen you can put together for a pittance. The graphics, sound and other tools you can get- even the OSS stuff is amazing compared to what you could get then for tens of thousands in today's money. Heck, you can even have solid state storage in RAID 0 !

The old days where fun, perhaps more simple. But so much of what you can do now, and so easily, was impossible, impractical or close to it back then. Ever try running fractals on an old 8-bit ? What my computer could generate on a screen in a small fraction of a second is beyond what my old 6502 or Z80a could do in HOURS.

The old days where fun, but today can be more fun.
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April 2, 2012 3:36:25 PM

jdamon113I remember when I first saw a screen with the blinking dos prompt. It was the first IBM- You could not imagine how large and heavy it was, at the time it was just all, and wow. I was very young so a 5000 dollar IBM was not way, but later I got a timex sinclair, I remember it took me half a day to program the code to enable more memory. The big white boxed of that day, not to many home built yet. But those days there was a certain beauty in the PC world, as small as it was, each maker has something different, now requardless the name on the side or even if you build it yourself. It’s all the same made in China Crap. I miss the, NEW and cool factor. It’s all buzz words now.


A lot of parts aren't made in China or at least aren't made only in China. For example, Japan makes most of the high quality capacitors and similar parts for many parts of the computer including the good motherboards and video cards. A lot of DRAM is made outside of China. The list does go on. It doesn't go on as long as the list of things made in China, but it does go on pretty long.

jasoncrussellI reckon it could still give the new Bulldozer chip a run for it's money.


At least Bulldozer steamrolls Netburst.

tical2399Sounds like the bad old days to me. I'd hate to have an understanding of command line or programming just to do basic tasks. For most of us simpler is better.


Yes, because actually understanding what the computer is doing is worthy of hating it. Simpler is only better for people who are too lazy to do it the fast way. Command line is still the fastest way to do things on a computer even like two decades after we got common GUIs (if you count Windows 3.11 and prior as the early common GUIs) for people who know how to use it. In fact, command line still sees common usage by a lot of people for this reason (among other reasons too, but still).

Programming skill isn't a necessary thing even for using command line, but it helps. I still remember a little BASIC myself and even have some QBASIC programs that I wrote and occasionally use. Writing small programs is very easy and doesn't even take much thought. For example, most of the little things I write could be written by anyone with even a day or two of reading a few of the many tutorials on the internet. You could literally write small but useful programs just by looking up a tutorial and spending a few minutes or hours reading and practicing. For example, I have some programs that generate random keyboard characters (I just had to see how quickly I could write three completely different methods for accomplishing this) and some that do other things.
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April 2, 2012 3:48:26 PM

Dear Webmaster (of Tom's Hardware)

My RSS is not working, I am redirected to a page & informed to send email to webmaster@tomshardware.com, but it's bouncing back to my gmail account.

Regards.
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April 2, 2012 3:57:52 PM

I'd love to own this part of history but I'm sure the collectors have already snapped them up.
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April 2, 2012 4:14:17 PM

but can it run..... linux?

yes it can. the 8bit version runs on 6.5 KHz and these cpu's were available from 200 KHz. isn't linux great?

putting into perspective. 200Khz = 0.2Mhz = 0.0002Ghz.

An overclocked i7 3770K runs at 6.961 GHz. To match the same performance it would need a cluster of 34805 8008's.
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April 2, 2012 4:18:47 PM

jasoncrussellI reckon it could still give the new Bulldozer chip a run for it's money.

Nice try. A bit late for April fools though, eh?
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April 2, 2012 4:31:16 PM

drwho1Intel's 8008 CPU Celebrates 40th Anniversary...Where is my piece of that cake?...

The cake is a lie!
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Anonymous
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April 2, 2012 4:31:55 PM

@reynod - thanks for the link to the picture. I think my screen displays that in higher precision than the original mask would have needed.
@perry - I think your article confuses 8008 with 8080 in several places. Anything after about 1975 was probably 8080, and CPM certainly never ran on 8008. Despite the numeric similarity, they were quite different chips. The 8086 was the true successor to the 8080. Look at machines like Victor 9000 or Convergent for examples of what Intel 16-bit silicon was already doing well before the IBM PC showed up using the half-bussed and slower 8088 variant.
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April 2, 2012 4:42:41 PM

shreeharshaDear Webmaster (of Tom's Hardware)My RSS is not working, I am redirected to a page & informed to send email to webmaster@tomshardware.com, but it's bouncing back to my gmail account.Regards.

blazorthonA lot of parts aren't made in China or at least aren't made only in China. For example, Japan makes most of the high quality capacitors and similar parts for many parts of the computer including the good motherboards and video cards. A lot of DRAM is made outside of China. The list does go on. It doesn't go on as long as the list of things made in China, but it does go on pretty long.At least Bulldozer steamrolls Netburst.Yes, because actually understanding what the computer is doing is worthy of hating it. Simpler is only better for people who are too lazy to do it the fast way. Command line is still the fastest way to do things on a computer even like two decades after we got common GUIs (if you count Windows 3.11 and prior as the early common GUIs) for people who know how to use it. In fact, command line still sees common usage by a lot of people for this reason (among other reasons too, but still).Programming skill isn't a necessary thing even for using command line, but it helps. I still remember a little BASIC myself and even have some QBASIC programs that I wrote and occasionally use. Writing small programs is very easy and doesn't even take much thought. For example, most of the little things I write could be written by anyone with even a day or two of reading a few of the many tutorials on the internet. You could literally write small but useful programs just by looking up a tutorial and spending a few minutes or hours reading and practicing. For example, I have some programs that generate random keyboard characters (I just had to see how quickly I could write three completely different methods for accomplishing this) and some that do other things.


Look at what you said. A few hours of reading and a few more of practicing. Who wants to do that to learn how to make a computer do basic tasks??? If that is your hobby or desired vocation then I see why you should invest in learning the ins and outs of it.

Those kinda comments just reinforce that leet culture in computing. Its as if you have to have some baseline level of technical skill to be allowed to have a computer or at the very least own one without ridicule.

I don't have much tech skill (build my own rigs, install os, little basics like that) but my lack of skill should not make me any less worthy of having a computer than a person who does all the tasks you're talking about.

I took computer course as a freshman to meet the state computer requirement and It was an intro to programming course and it was horrible. We had to do things starting from the basic 'hello world" to more complex things.

I got an A- in the class but it was still the worst course I ever took. I can't imagine wanting to deal with that just for a little more functionality/customization from my os. You may like the long convoluted approach to computing and that's fine but some of us just want it to work and not have to know why.
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April 2, 2012 4:43:21 PM

Amazing how this processor is worth as much as it was when it was released.

Not because of it's use today, but because it's so legendary.
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April 2, 2012 5:04:47 PM

People take today's technologies for granted. Case in point, Bulldozer. It may not be as fast as Sandy Bridge, but it's an extremely sophisticated and powerful design nonetheless. Even just ten years ago nobody would've imagined something like it. And if you compare today's technologies to what we had when we were kids, you'll realize just how lucky we are to be using and enjoying such things.
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April 2, 2012 5:07:14 PM

Now! if Intel would NOT let OEMs write customizied graphics drivers for Intel HD graphics But, instead provide Intel software to run Intel intagrated graphics! Hay! Intel!!! OEM's do not update their graphics drivers as often as they should, and some OEM's (toshiba) do not update their customizied Intel graphics drivers ever! If you INTEL make the graphics processor, You provide the graphics drivers for your product, Including the needed software driver updates!
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April 2, 2012 6:03:17 PM

This brings back lots of memories...
Cassette tape drives, 5 1/4 inch floppy disks, green and bronze monitors, dot matrix printers, 5 1/4 inch 20mb hard drives, PRINT "Hello World!" CLS, 8088 boards with fully populated 1mb ram chips, in which it took an hour to change out the ram chips with a needle nose and a flat head =D what was it? 4 banks of ram with 8 chips each? One was a parity chip too, leaving 7 chips of each bank to do the work. Getting windows 3.11 to work in 386 enh mode on a 286 with 4 megs of ram. You had to tweak all your drivers in autoexec.bat/config.sys just right in order to have enough ram left over to start 3.11 in 386 mode.

Ah, the good ol days....
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April 2, 2012 6:05:05 PM

Oooooo, and making sure all your jumpers were right on the ISA cards so that you didn't have an IRQ conflict. IRQ 14 for master IDE, IRQ 15 for secondary....
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April 2, 2012 6:17:12 PM

Can't remember I was only a spermatocyte back then.
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April 2, 2012 6:25:42 PM

memadmaxOooooo, and making sure all your jumpers were right on the ISA cards so that you didn't have an IRQ conflict. IRQ 14 for master IDE, IRQ 15 for secondary....


I tried to get windows 3.1 to work on an 8088 once. I couldn't figure it out.
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April 2, 2012 6:46:06 PM

memadmaxOooooo, and making sure all your jumpers were right on the ISA cards so that you didn't have an IRQ conflict. IRQ 14 for master IDE, IRQ 15 for secondary....

Yes, and try to get an ISA network card, sound card, CD-ROM card (many of the first were not IDE), and internal modem all working together in Windows 3.1!
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a b å Intel
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April 2, 2012 7:54:44 PM

Those were the days........ However, I do have to admit that when something did not function properly I experienced a lot more frustration back then.
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April 2, 2012 8:12:08 PM

__-_-_-__but can it run..... linux?yes it can. the 8bit version runs on 6.5 KHz and these cpu's were available from 200 KHz. isn't linux great?putting into perspective. 200Khz = 0.2Mhz = 0.0002Ghz.An overclocked i7 3770K runs at 6.961 GHz. To match the same performance it would need a cluster of 34805 8008's.


Actually, GHz isn't a measure of performance, so your wrong. It would probably take millions, if not billions of 8008s to match a single i7-3770K. Also ,the 3770K only ran with clocks that high when on liquid nitrogen. There is also IPC to consider for performance. The 3770K probably has so much more IPC than the 8008 that even if the 3770K had a much lower clock frequency than the 8008, it would beat the 8008 in performance anyway. This is why the FX-4100 at 3.6GHz is beaten by the 3.3GHz i5-2500 and by a large margin too.

Also, clusters aren't 100% efficient, so it would take even more than the exact difference of the 8008 and 3770K because of this inefficient scaling that gets worse as more processors are added. Multicore performance scaling is much better when the cores are all on a fewer dies than there are cores (more than one core per die) and to a lesser extent, more dies per chip. Basically, four single core Xeons will lose to a single quad core Xeon if everything except for the core count is the same.

tical2399Look at what you said. A few hours of reading and a few more of practicing. Who wants to do that to learn how to make a computer do basic tasks??? If that is your hobby or desired vocation then I see why you should invest in learning the ins and outs of it.Those kinda comments just reinforce that leet culture in computing. Its as if you have to have some baseline level of technical skill to be allowed to have a computer or at the very least own one without ridicule. I don't have much tech skill (build my own rigs, install os, little basics like that) but my lack of skill should not make me any less worthy of having a computer than a person who does all the tasks you're talking about. I took computer course as a freshman to meet the state computer requirement and It was an intro to programming course and it was horrible. We had to do things starting from the basic 'hello world" to more complex things.I got an A- in the class but it was still the worst course I ever took. I can't imagine wanting to deal with that just for a little more functionality/customization from my os. You may like the long convoluted approach to computing and that's fine but some of us just want it to work and not have to know why.


First, I said a few hours of reading AND practicing, not a few hours of doing one and then the other. It's not nearly that difficult ( I picked it up in even less time than that and I'm no genius). Also, I never said that you don't deserve to use a computer just because you don't want to spend part of a single day to learn these things. Also, I self-taught myself BASIC. I took a course and yes, the course was FAR worse than just reading the book (mine was a small book, not some huge textbook) and a few tutorials and then practicing. I understand that taking the course was more annoying than it ever should have been (I hated it and learned more by a tutorial in a few minutes of reading than I did through weeks of the class).

It's also not even about knowing why the computer works. That is far more complex and is some seriously difficult to understand stuff without a basis in the subject. Learning to use the command line and some basic programming skills is very easy and practical. It's not even about customizing and getting features from the OS. The command line always has been and still is the fastest way to use a computer unless you type very slowly. That probably won't change unless we find a true genius working on a new UI.

The command line is actually very simple. It's not nearly as daunting as it seems and neither is QBASIC programming. For example, my favorite of my random character generating programs is only 14 lines long and each line is very short. One of my other programs is only three lines long.

As for the command line, it has it's uses and some of them are very important for me. For example, I sometimes have folders that I would like to have faster access to through open/save windows and the like, so I can assign a folder a drive name like C drive or E so it's both located in the My Computer as a drive and it's located where ever it is really at in the C drive's directory. The command line allows me to do this either through a simple and quick command or through a batch file that I can setup to run at system start up.

There are many other uses of the command line, including it being faster to access files and such through it, especially on a system with a lot of directories and files. All I need to know is the location of the file and I can jsut open it up in the cmd.exe program faster than I could in any other way. By the time I could have opened Computer, C drive, and went all the way to whatever file I need to get to at the time, I could have already been to it and several others if I use the command line to navigate to it.

The navigation command in the command line is very easy and simple, it's just cd (meaning change directory if I remember correctly) and type the directory a space after cd and hit enter. dir lists the full contents of the directory you are inside when you type it and you can specify a different directory a space after dir to list the contents of a directory other than the one you are currently navigated into.

There's so much more that the command line can do than the GUI and it does everything faster too. Sure, you might not want to take a few minutes out of your time to learn the very basics, but that's your own choice. I choose the faster and more practical way to use a computer, not the most complicated way. Just by knowing those two commands, you can use the command line for one of it's best advantages, it's speed in directory and file navigation. Does that really seem so complicated?
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April 2, 2012 9:40:36 PM

proud owner of one in my cpu collection :D 
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April 2, 2012 10:15:09 PM

neiroatopelccWe haven't really gotten far. Our operating systems still take the same amount of time to boot, and people don't seem to have become more productive at work - they're merely required to do more stuff to complete the same task.


Ah, DOS. Nothing more fun than plugging in a device, then manually adding in programming codes to make the DOS recognize the new hardware. When the DOS goes berserk, there's no automatic error-fixing features to stop it from crashing, and you have to manually reprogram it and do other stunts that today's average user would've pulled his/her hair out.

Oh, and if you want to install or launch a program, you have to manually type in codes to get the software installed or launched. And it has to be the exact codes. There's no installation software to make it go smoother and easier. And there's no GUI, or mouse.
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April 2, 2012 10:54:51 PM

Why do people write about stuff they know nothing about?

CP/M was NOT written for the 8008, which was a piece of crap. CP/M was written for the 8080, which was the first really powerful microprocessor that spurred the microcomputer revolution. The 4004, 8008, and 4040 all predate the 8080, and in a sense were the first microprocessors, but the reality is, the 8080 is the first since was the only one that mattered, and created the industry. The others were unsuitable for general purpose computing.
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April 2, 2012 10:59:35 PM

neiroatopelccye but it hasn't improved anything much.My old accord from 1990 was a great car on the road. Rode really nice and everything was fine. Now my new car is one of those computerized things that makes beep noises when the road is cold and tells me when to change gear. But is it fun to drive ? no. It works for the primary purpose of getting me from a to b, but it's not a pleasant experience.

All you are saying is that you are buying the wrong car, not that we havent improved anything much. Talk about rose colored glasses. Wake up.
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April 3, 2012 1:10:11 AM

neiroatopelccye but it hasn't improved anything much.My old accord from 1990 was a great car on the road. Rode really nice and everything was fine. Now my new car is one of those computerized things that makes beep noises when the road is cold and tells me when to change gear. But is it fun to drive ? no. It works for the primary purpose of getting me from a to b, but it's not a pleasant experience.


But now you can buy an Accord from 1990 on Ebay when you couldn't before.
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April 3, 2012 1:43:04 AM

While it's true that you had to work at things "back then" to get a productive computer today's dumbed down OS make it TOO easy for folks, the intelligence and intellect of so many people today is very shallow.

Sometimes hard work is worth it. We as a society have gotten a bit dull, fat, and lazy, always looking for the easy way out.
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April 3, 2012 2:10:26 AM

legacy7955While it's true that you had to work at things "back then" to get a productive computer today's dumbed down OS make it TOO easy for folks, the intelligence and intellect of so many people today is very shallow. Sometimes hard work is worth it. We as a society have gotten a bit dull, fat, and lazy, always looking for the easy way out.

TOO EASY? WTF?
Today when I needed to do remote assistance to help a client this is what happened:

Me: Load up Internet Explorer or Firefox
Him: What the fuck is that?
Me: Load up your Web Browser
Him: What the fuck is that?
Me: How do you get on the Internet?
Him: no response
Me: How do you get on google?
Him: Oh, I click on this blue e thing.
Me: Ok click on that.
Him: OK now what
Me: Go to the address bar and type in [our support address]
Him: Where the fuck is that?
Me: The upper most bar with text in it.
Him: OK got it. I see a whole bunch of results.
Me: OK, you didn't type in the address bar, you googled our address... You have to type in the uppermost bar of your browser.
Him: Where the fuck is that?
(Yes, he actually swore in nearly every response).

This is the kind of thing I get Every.Single.Day. Oh how I would love it to be "TOO EASY". I could type up volumes of incidents like this one, some funnier, some far more frustrating.

Honestly, all of our guys have thought about petitioning the government to implement some sort of licensing for computer use. You'd have to pass a basic test to be able to use a computer. We'd all totally support such a bill. I mean, if they can require a license to go fishing in this damn country we can require a license to get on the internet.
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April 3, 2012 2:40:01 AM

Now install Windows 8 on that!
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April 3, 2012 11:53:10 PM

human kind became a lot powerful on last 40 years ... alien invasion is coming :p 
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April 4, 2012 1:28:06 PM

We had an Intel SIM8-01 in our lab back in 1972 - Intel's development board for the 8008. Programmed in HEX initially, the assembler and then PL/M came later.

A few years later we lent it to the Science Museum in London. They never gave it back, so I hope they still have it.
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April 5, 2012 2:29:00 AM

chechakhuman kind became a lot powerful on last 40 years ... alien invasion is coming


How do you know *we* aren't the aliens?
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!