Here's something to make you feel really, really old.
The first commercially available microprocessor chip was created in January 1986 – exactly 30 years from now.
Back then, a team of Stanford University researchers and Silicon Valley veterans joined forces and created something that completely changed the way we see computers today.
If it weren’t for these guys, who knows what modern computers would look like today.
Those people were current-day Stanford University president John L. Hennessy, Skip Stritter from Motorola and John Moussouris from IBM. They formed a small start-up company named MIPS Computer Systems Inc.
So in January 1986, the team unveiled R2000 CPU, a 32-bit processor which had 110,000 transistors.
According to a follow-up press release, the MIPS CPU units have been at the heart of ‘most exciting’ and ‘most iconic’ consumer products, including the original Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64 consoles, but all the way to today’s IoT devices and TVs.
Today, 32- and 64-bit MIPS CPUs are used in autonomous vehicles, wearables, Internet of Things devices and many, many others.
British-based tech R&D company Imagination Technologies used the opportunity to write a blog post remembering the story of the first microprocessor. It describes its inception and the stiff competition the product faced back then in Motorola 68000 and Intel 80386 microprocessors.
The first processor had speeds of up to a stunning 15 MHz!
“To put that into perspective, a MIPS-based CPU manufactured in 2015 using a 28nm process can include 24 to 48 high-frequency, superscalar cores running at up to 2.5 GHz, large and highly-associative L1 and L2 caches, and enormous DRAM bandwidth, representing an incredible increase in frequency speed and a remarkable shrinkage in semiconductor manufacturing processes,” says Imagination’s blog.
You can read more about the revolutionary product on this link.