Gov. & the machine(s) we love

Noel Chiappa jnc at
Sat Oct 31 13:45:55 CDT 2015

    > From: Brent Hilpert

    > - ca. 1970: The well-known story of the 4004 is that Busicom .. asked
    > Intel to manufacture a set of ASIC LSI chips, of Busicom's design, for
    > a new calculator. .. Hoff, who looked at the multiple chip designs and
    > conceived instead of a software (firmware) solution running in a
    > 'computer' processor .. If I have it right, because the MCS-4 family
    > was developed under the contract to Busicom, Intel had to do some
    > business wrangling to get the rights back to their MCS-4 design to sell
    > it as a general-purpose processor independently of Busicom.

According to "The Man Behind the Microchip" (by Berlin, the Noyce bio - can
highly recommend), Intel had agreed to a price to produce the ASIC's, and
Hoff, who was only supposed to be an advisor to the Japanese engineers
designing the ASIC's (they arrived at Intel at the end of June, '69), decided
they couldn't meet that price point, and dreamed up the uP. Busicom wasn't
impressed, but Noyce told him to go ahead as a backup. Later, Busicom execs
over-ruled their engineers and went with Intel's approach.

When they started to go into production, there was a lot of competition in
the calculator business, and Busicom wanted to cut the price from Intel;
Intel agreed (in September '71), if they were given the rights to sell it for
non-calculator applications.


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