Tuesday, August 25, 2009


In April 1974, Intel introduced the 8-bit 8080, the first general-purpose microprocessor. With the ability to execute 290,000 instructions per second and 64K bytes of addressable memory, the 8080 was the first microprocessor with the speed, power, and efficiency to become a key tool for designers. Development labs set up by Hamilton/Avnet, Intel's first microprocessor distributor, showcased the 8080 and provided a broad customer base which contributed to its becoming the industry standard. A key factor in the 8080's success was its role in the introduction in January 1975 of the MITS Altair 8800, the first personal computer. It used the powerful 8080 microprocessor and established the precedent that personal computers must be easy to expand. With its increased sophistication, expandability, and an incredibly low price of $395, the Altair 8800 proved the viability of home computers. [12][13]

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