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How does the 8008 processor work?

The historic 8008 processor is 45 years old: It was released on the 13th of March 1972. Ken Shirriff has a blog post that explains features of the CPU, from a die photo.

Compared to modern CPUs, the 8008 is weird in multiple ways: The storage for the stack is on chip instead of in memory, and it is not accessed in linear order for weird transistor saving reasons.

Things have changed since then a lot, but back then, a central processing unit was usually not a single die, but a bunch of discrete electronics on a board. Having enough transistors on a single die to make up a CPU inside a chip was a novel concept.

Die photos and analysis of the revolutionary 8008 microprocessor, 45 years old

Reverse-engineering the surprisingly advanced ALU of the 8008 microprocessor

Analyzing the vintage 8008 processor from die photos: its unusual counters

Published inFluffy Fluff

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