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And Now This... A Flexible Approach

Bendable circuitry has a surprisingly long history

1 min read
Photo: Ben Alsop
Photo: Ben Alsop

Electronic circuits that can bend and flex seem to bring out the science fiction writer in many a reporter (and indeed they’ve been used in numerous sci-fimovies and TV shows as a convenient way to underline the futuristic nature of a setting). Current excitement about the technology is centered on materials such as OLEDs and carbon nanotubes. But as this ad from May 1965 shows, the exciting future of flexible circuits is actually an old story. (Also worth noting is the reference to Princess telephones, which were first introduced in 1959 and sold until 1994. They are now considered a collectible design classic.)

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How Ted Hoff Invented the First Microprocessor

Hoff thought designing 12 custom chips for a calculator was crazy, so he created the Intel 4004

14 min read
How Ted Hoff Invented the First Microprocessor

The rays of the rising sun have barely reached the foothills of Silicon Valley, but Marcian E. (Ted) Hoff Jr. is already up to his elbows in electronic parts, digging through stacks of dusty circuit boards. This is the monthly flea market at Foothill College, and he rarely misses it.

Ted Hoff is part of electronics industry legend. While a research manager at Intel Corp., then based in Mountain View, he realized that silicon technology had advanced to the point that, with careful engineering, a complete central processor could fit on a chip. Teaming up with Stanley Mazor and Federico Faggin, he created the first commercial microprocessor, the Intel 4004.

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