Intel Corporation has been a major player in the computing industry for the past 55 years. Having been established in California long before it was known as the Silicon Valley of the world, Intel is now the biggest semiconductor chip manufacturer. The tiny products that support this global tech giant’s huge numbers, such as its 120,000 employees and $213 billion net worth, are semiconductor chips, which act as computer processors.

Computer systems wouldn’t function without processors. The development of the global computing sector, the expansion of the internet, and our current reliance on cloud services have all been largely attributed to Intel.  While the history of Intel is well known, that of its processors is less well known.

Here is a timeline of Intel processor history, beginning with the first processor that was commercially available, to honor the creation of products that have genuinely altered the course of human history.

The 4004, 8008, and 8800 from 1971 to 1981

The 4004, which came in a 16-pin ceramic dual in-line package, was the first full CPU to be housed on a single chip. The 4004 was first offered with a 108 kHz clock speed (which could be scaled up to 740 kHz). The 4004 had 2,300 transistors and produced performance of 0.07 MIPS using a 10 m (10,000 nm) process.

With 3,500 transistors and a clock speed of 0.5 to 0.8 MHz, the 8-bit 8008 replaced the 4004 in 1972. It was primarily used in the TI 742 computer. The 8080 came next in 1974 and had 4,500 transistors operating at up to 2 MHz in a 6,000 nm chip. It rose to fame for its use in the Boeing AGM-86 cruise missile and the Altair 8800.

None of these chips saw a lot of volume sales.

Tiger Lake in 2020

Tiger Lake is the name given to the most recent 11th-generation Intel Core mobile processors. They have taken the place of Ice Lake mobile processors, providing models with dual and quad cores. Since Skylake, this is the first processor to be simultaneously marketed under the Celeron, Pentium, Core, and Xeon brands.

Tiger Lake chips, the third generation of 10 nm processors, are created especially for portable gaming laptops. While the Core i9-11980HK offers a maximum boost clock speed of 5 GHz, they both offer refresh rates of 100 fps.