Crack open the bubbly and light the candles.
The Intel 4004 Microprocessor debuted thirty four years ago on Wednesday. The chip sparked a technological revolution because it was the first product to fuse the essential elements of a programmable computer into a single chip.
Initially, team-Intel designed the processor to be a calculator component for a Japanese manufacturer, which initially owned all rights to the chip.
In addition to being functional, the gold and white chip was also one of the first processors to have a futuristic millipede look to it.
The chip is the brainchild of three engineers: Ted Hoff, Stan Mazor and Federico Faggin. At its release, the 4004 processed 4 bits of data, ran at 108 kilohertz (a tenth of 1 megahertz) and could perform mathematical calculations. Plus, it cost less than $100.
CNET News.com's Michael Kanellos brilliantly relates the rest of the back story, which you can read about here.