1968–1993

You know you’re old when you find stuff that commemorates something that happened 43 years ago and it was around the time you were born. Rummaging through my game cupboard (the one where you stuff all the monopoly versions you received for Christmas 26 years ago), I found this playing card set celebrating Intel‘s 25th anniversary.

The card set is filled with more-or-less interesting trivia facts about Intel, its CEOs, its new technologies, etc.

The 10 of club (10♣) introduces the Pentium processor (marked as 1993, but the © reads 1992), their first (I think) superscalar CPU with two pipelines: U and V. Also it seems rather quaint today as superscalar processors sport literally tens of execution units, it was quite the upgrade from the 80486.

The 10 of diamond (10♦) celebrates the 4004, the 16-pin, 4 bit data word, 8 bits instruction, 12 bits address, processor that started it all; the first complete CPU on a chip.

This 90K instruction per second CPU was not really impressive for the era. Indeed, the IBM 360 Model 30 could already perform 32 bits operations, at a rate of 30K-something instructions per second. No, what was awesome is that for the very first time a complete CPU was constructed out of a single piece of silicone instead of being the assembly of a bunch of discrete logic components on a board.

The other cards relate trivia:

A♦ 1993: Intel in Top 100 Best Company to work for
2♦ 1972: Intel acquires Microma Watches
3♦ 1976: Intel opens a shop in Aloha, Oregon
4♦ 1974: Grove, Moore, and Noyce with the 8080 Rubylith
5♦ 1973: Intel celebrates with custom bottles of Champagne
6♦ 1970: Intel introduces first DRAM chip
7♦ 1990: Award-wining 1992 Comdex booth
8♦ 1982: Intel’s 125% solutions to 1981’s slowdown
9♦ 1985: Intel introduces the 386 with 275000 transistors
T♦ 1971: The 4004
J♦ 1985: Intel opens its Folsom shop
Q♦ 1991: First Prime-Time TV commercial
K♦ Smugshot of Gordon E. Moore

The other 39 cards relate similar information (with a few errors here and there, such as the 1990 price for the “1992” booth; or maybe it’s only that it’s the 1992 booth shown?).

*
* *

These cards reminds us—me, at least—how far we progressed and let us foresee (or more exactly dream) how far we might be in another 40 years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: