Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Intel's 8008 CPU Celebrates 40th Anniversary

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 46 comments

Intel's second microprocessor, the 8008, celebrated its 40th birthday on April 1.

The company's first 8-bit processor was built as a result of a contract with Computer Terminal Corporation (CTC), which intended to use the chip in the Datapoint 2200 terminal. Intel delivered late and missed performance goals, which caused CTC to use its own CPU. Intel, however, had a non-exclusivity agreement and was able to sell the CPU to other customers, including Seiko.

The processor achieved only moderate success, but enabled Intel to gain visibility in the chip market and use it as a technology and marketing foundation for the 8080 CPU in 1974, which was used in the famous Altair 8080, and especially the 8088 processor in 1979, which was the processor used in the first IBM-PC, the IBM 5150, in 1981.

The 8008 was manufactured in 10 μm, integrated 29,000 transistors, was available with clock speeds from 200 to 800 KHz and shipped between 1972 to 1983. The 8008 is also the origin of CP/M, the "Control Program for Microprocessors" operating system that was written specifically for this chip.

Discuss
Display all 46 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    gilbertfh , April 2, 2012 1:12 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.
  • 21 Hide
    trumpeter1994 , April 2, 2012 1:12 PM
    18 pins in all its glory
  • 19 Hide
    Antimatter79 , April 2, 2012 1:17 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.
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    gilbertfh , April 2, 2012 1:12 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.
  • 21 Hide
    trumpeter1994 , April 2, 2012 1:12 PM
    18 pins in all its glory
  • 19 Hide
    Antimatter79 , April 2, 2012 1:17 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.
  • 4 Hide
    gilbertfh , April 2, 2012 1:22 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.
  • 6 Hide
    jdamon113 , April 2, 2012 1:47 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.

  • 11 Hide
    rosen380 , April 2, 2012 1:58 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 :) 
  • 11 Hide
    drwho1 , April 2, 2012 2:00 PM
    Intel's 8008 CPU Celebrates 40th Anniversary...

    Where is my piece of that cake?...
  • 3 Hide
    trumpeter1994 , April 2, 2012 2:46 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
  • -9 Hide
    tical2399 , April 2, 2012 2:46 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.
  • 9 Hide
    lca1443 , April 2, 2012 2:53 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.
  • 9 Hide
    XmortisX , April 2, 2012 2:53 PM
    Happy Bday 8008!
  • 9 Hide
    jasoncrussell , April 2, 2012 2:57 PM
    I reckon it could still give the new Bulldozer chip a run for it's money.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 2, 2012 3:15 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.
  • 6 Hide
    Reynod , April 2, 2012 3:17 PM
    Doug the original 1201 as it was called was in 10um PMOS (si gate Enhanded Load) and was in 18 pin DIP and ran up to 500kz initially.

    The 8008 had 3500 transistors.

    Yours in the article is an early 500Khz model too -1's ran up to 800Khz.

    http://www.pastraiser.com/cpu/i8008/i8008_opcodes.html

    Check page 2 for a decent pic of the beast !!

    http://www.classiccmp.org/8008/8008UM.pdf

    Austin O. "Gus" Roche was the true genius behind the 8008.

    :) 



  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , April 2, 2012 3:36 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.
  • 0 Hide
    shreeharsha , April 2, 2012 3:48 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.
  • 1 Hide
    eddieroolz , April 2, 2012 3:57 PM
    I'd love to own this part of history but I'm sure the collectors have already snapped them up.
Display more comments