Birth of a Microprocessor


Photo by Z. Stachniak, courtesy of the David Sarnoff Library

Next month marks 40 years since Joseph Weisbecker published plans for the original ELF computer in the pages of Popular Electronics, but 5 years earlier Weisbecker was prototyping his ideas for a microprocessor out of discrete logic. Later Weisbecker would conceptualize his ideas for an inexpensive home computer as FRED (“Flexible Recreational and Educational Device”), eventually leading to RCA’s COSMAC series of microprocessors and the RCA VIP computer.

Thanks to Z. Stachniak and the David Sarnoff Library, we now have photographs of Weisbecker's prototype in the Gallery.

In completely unrelated news, today is Ringo Starr’s 76th birthday. Peace and love, everyone. :)

© Dave Ruske 2001-2022, except where noted