Take a look at the evolution of the microprocessor
The microprocessor is the heart and the brain of every computer because it is the place where all logical decisions take place. Ever since its invention, the microprocessor has come a long way from being the early simplistic one to the extremely complex processors of today. We shall take a look at how the microprocessor made this journey and how it evolved. Due to the huge amount of data, we have decided to split this timeline into two parts. In the first of this two part series, we will cover the microprocessor timeline up to the year 1990, while the rest will be covered in the next part.
We shall start with the Intel 4004, which was a 4-bit, 2300 transistors, 740 KHz, 0.06 MIPS processor. Incidentally, this was not for a computer as we know it, but was used in a Busicom calculator.
Intel develops the 8008, which was used in the Mark-8.
1974 Intel launches the 8080, which was used in the Altair.
1974 Motorola also jumps into the microprocessor business with the MC6800. This was easier to implement than its Intel counterpart, as it required only one voltage and no support chips to operate. This was generally used in peripheral and industrial control.
1975 MOS Technology (a company formed by ex-members of Motorola's design team) launches the MC6501, which is pin-compatible with the MC6800, but can do a lot more because of support for several addressing modes not available in the MC6800. Motorola sued MOS and MOS had to bear legal costs as well as destroy every MC6501 they ever produced.
1975 MOS Technology facing Motorola's lawsuit against the MC6501 launches the MC6502, which is basically the same processor but not pin-compatible with the Motorola MC6800. This processor was used in the Apple 2 and Commodore VIC 20 after MOS Technology was acquired by Commodore in this year.