As people got better at making silicon chips they started to put more
and more electronic circuits onto them.
The chips themselves were encased in a black, ceramic material with
lots of metal 'pins' sticking out that would allow them to be soldered
onto a circuit board.
It was only a matter of time before people put enough electronic circuits
onto a silicon chip to make a whole computer. This chip was called a
Microprocessor: it contained the main parts of the central processing
unit and it enabled people to make the small, fast computers that we
The first microprocessors were made in the early years of the 1970s
by the Intel Corporation. The first
microprocessor was called the 4004 - it was designed to be a general-puprose,
programmable chip that could be used for many different jobs.