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Intel 4004 microprocessor family

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At a glance

4-bit microprocessor
Technology (micron):
Frequency (MHz):
Intel 4004 was the first commercially available single-chip microprocessor in history. It was a 4-bit CPU designed for usage in calculators, or, as we say now, designed for "embedded applications". Clocked at 740 KHz, the 4004 executed up to 92,000 single word instructions per second, could access 4 KB of program memory and 640 bytes of RAM. The Intel 4004 was a part of MCS-4 chipset, which included the following chips:

  • 4001 - 256-bit mask ROM and 4-bit I/O device,
  • 4002 - 320-bit RAM and 4-bit I/O device,
  • 4003 - 10-bit shift register,
  • 4008 and 4009 - standard memory and I/O interface set.

Although the Intel 4004 was a perfect fit for calculators and similar applications it was not very suitable for microcomputer use due to its somewhat limited architecture. The 4004 lacked interrupt support, had only 3-level deep stack, and used complicated method of accessing the RAM. Some of these shortcomings were fixed in the 4004 successor - Intel 4040.

As the first single-chip microprocessor, the Intel 4004 is very popular with CPU collectors and non-collectors. Earlier Intel C4004 CPUs in white ceramic package are sought-after by beginner and intermediate collectors, and are usually sold for hundreds of dollars.

The only known second source manufacturer of 4004 microprocessors was National Semiconductor.

4004 major features and related families:

Previous Generation
Related Family
  • » 8-bit microprocessor
  • » 16 KB memory
  • » 7-level deep stack
  • » Interrupts
Next Generation
  • » 4-bit microprocessor
  • » 740 KHz
  • » 2 x 4 KB program memory
  • » 640 bytes data memory
  • » 7-level deep stack
  • » No interrupts
  • » 4004 object-code compatible
24-pin DIP

  • » 4-bit microprocessor
  • » 740 KHz
  • » 4 KB program memory
  • » 640 bytes data memory
  • » 3-level deep stack
  • » No interrupts
16-pin DIP

Production microprocessors

Intel C4004
740 KHz
16-pin ceramic DIP

4004 (C4004) processors in white ceramic package were produced until the second half of 1976. This particular processor is dated 8th week of 1975. Today the C4004 with visible traces (like the one on the picture) is the most rare and expensive version of Intel 4004.
Intel D4004
740 KHz
16-pin ceramic DIP

4004 microprocessors in plastic and ceramic (not white ceramic) packages were introduced around 1976. This ceramic 4004 is dated 1st week of 1981.
Intel P4004
740 KHz
16-pin plastic DIP
National Semiconductor INS4004D / 1NS4004D
National Semiconductor was the only second source company for the Intel 4004. The company announced second-sourcing of 4004 family at the beginning of 1975, started shipping samples in December 1974 - January 1975, and full production started in May - June 1975. National's version of MCS-4 family was called "Four-Bit Integrated Processor System" (FIPS), and included all chips from MCS-4 family - INS4001 ROM and I/O port, INS4002 RAM and I/O port, INS4003 serial shift register, INS4004 CPU, INS4008 address latch interface and INS4009 I/O tranfer port. National Semiconductor claimed that FIPS had 20% lower power consumption than MSC-4.

The naming convention for the 4004 processors was "INS4004" plus one letter representing package type. The chip on the picture is mistakenly marked as "1NS4004D".

It's not clear whether the INS4004N was manufactured or not. This processor was referenced in the National Semiconductors' FIPS (Four-bit Integrated Processing System) datasheet, and there was also a rumor between collectors that the INS4004 in plastic package exists, but no real pictures of this processor can be found anywhere.

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