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Issue No.01 - January-March (2007 vol.29)
pp: 34-48
Zbigniew Stachniak , York University, Canada
ABSTRACT
The SIM8-01 prototyping board was introduced by Intel in 1972 as a low-cost hardware aid for the development of applications involving Intel's 8008 microprocessor. This article traces the SIM8-01's development at Intel and analyzes its impact on the formation of the first wave of worldwide microcomputer activities.
INDEX TERMS
microprocessor development system, microcomputer, personal computer, Intel 8008
CITATION
Zbigniew Stachniak, "Intel SIM8-01: A Proto-PC", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.29, no. 1, pp. 34-48, January-March 2007, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2007.9
REFERENCES
1. F. Faggin et al., "The History of the 4004," IEEE Micro, vol. 16, no. 6, 1996, pp. 10-19, See also R.N. Noyce and M.E. Hoff Jr., "A History of Microprocessor Development at Intel," IEEE Micro, vol. 1, no. 1, 1981, pp. 8-21.
2. "Announcing a New Era in Integrated Electronics. A Microprogrammable Computer on a Chip!," Intel's advertisement in Electronic News,15 Nov. 1971.
3. E-mail communications with M.E. Hoff Jr., Sept. 2002–June 2003.
4. F. Faggin, "The Birth of the Microprocessor—My Recollections," invited paper presented at the Microprocessor Forum, San Jose, Calif., 15 Oct. 2001.
5. "'CPU on a Chip' Goes Public," EDN, vol. 16, no. 9, 1971, p. 14.
6. From the alternative, promotional brochure, Intel Corp., 1971.
7. Compare D. Frohman-Bentchkowsky, "ROM Can Be Electrically Programmed and Reprogrammed and Reprogrammed," Electronics,10 May 1971, pp. 91-95.
8. E-mail communications with Stanley Mazor, Sept. 2002–May 2003.
9. E-mail communications with Hal Feeney, June–July, 2002.
10. E-mail communications with Wayne Pickette, Apr.–June, 2003.
11. MCS-8 Micro Computer Set—8008: 8-Bit Parallel Central Processor Unit Users Manual, Intel Corp., March 1973, p. 120.
12. E-mail communication with Torstien Lund, June 2003.
13. For a more complete list from Intel's MCM-8 program library, see MCS-8 Micro Computer Set—8008: 8-Bit Parallel Central Processor Unit Users Manual, Intel Corp., Mar. 1973, p. 44, and Micro Computer System Pricing, Intel Corp., May 1973.
14. MCS-8 Micro Computer Set—8008: 8-Bit Parallel Central Processor Unit, Intel Corp., Apr. 1972.
15. "Microprocessor," Computer, July/Aug. 1972, p. 60.
16. Z. Stachniak, "The Making of the MCM/70 Microcomputer," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 25, no. 2, 2003, pp. 62-75, See also Z. Stachniak, The MCM/70 Microcomputer, Core 4.1, Computer History Museum, Sept. 2003, pp. 6-12.
17. José Laraya, oral history interview by Zbigniew Stachniak, Toronto, 13 Sept. 2001, York University Computer Museum archives.
18. R. Bul, "Un miniordinateur pour moins de 8500FF [Minicomputer for less than 8500FF]," zero.un.informatique, no. 228, 12 Feb. 1973, p. 1 and 5, For further information on the making of the Micral, see F. Garnelle, "Communication sur les choix architecturaux et technologiques qui ont présidé à la conception du 'Micral' Premier micro-ordinateur au monde" ["Notes on the architectural and technical design choices for the 'Micral'—the world's first micro-computer"], 5e Colloque: Historie de l'Informatique , ENSEEIT-INP, Toulouse (April 1998), pp. 1-9 (in French).
19. MF8008 Applications Manual, Microsystems Int'l Ltd.,Bull. 80007, 1974.
20. When introduced in 1972, the SIM8-01 was far too expensive for computer amateurs. By the time the hobbyists were ready to build their first microcomputers, the SIMs were discontinued and replaced by the Intellec series development systems—even less affordable to hobbyists.
21. E-mail communication with Jonathan Titus, Mar. 1999.
22. "Bare-bones and Stand-alone Microcomputers to Bow," Electronics, 24 May 1973, p. 130.
23. E-mail communication with Albert Yu, Nov. 2000.
24. J.H. Pugsley and C.B. Silio, "Microprocessors in Undergraduate Digital Design Laboratories," Proc. WABA Symp. Computers in Education, 1974, Also in Computers and Education , vol. 1, 1976, pp. 1–11.
25. E-mail communication with Charles B. Silio, Sept. 2002.
26. C.B. Silio and J.H. Pugsley, Microcomputer Software: SIM8 Monitor/Editor, tech. report no. EE 76–01 Electrical Eng. Dept., Univ. of Maryland, 1976.
27. J. Beitch Baron and D.E. Atkins, "An Educational Laboratory in Contemporary Digital Design," Proc. 2nd ACM Ann. Symp. Computer Architecture, ACM Press, 1975, pp. 225–231.
28. For further discussion of the Intel Intellec computers in relation to the minicomputer market of the 1970s, see R.K. Bassett, To the Digital Age: Research Labs, Start-up Companies, and the Rise of MOS Technology, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2002, pp. 274–275. See also P.E. Ceruzzi, A History of Modern Computing, MIT Press, 1998, pp. 222–224, and M. Kane, Microprocessor Software Development Tools Have Come of Age, Intel article reprint AR–61, July 1978.
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