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Intel's 8008 CPU Celebrates 40th Anniversary

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.