Chip Hall of Fame - A Walk Down Memory Lane
Chip Hall of Fame - A Walk Down Memory Lane
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Saturday, 01 July 2017

IEEE Spectrum has founded a Hall of Fame for Chips - the integrated circuits without which we would still be back in age of steam, or perhaps vacuum tubes.

I Programmer is bringing you this news because IEEE Spectrum seems to have launched its Chip Hall of Fame without much fanfare. We just happened to notice a series of posts about some of the microprocessors that were personally important back in the day - the MOS Technology 6502, the Intel 8088 (one of which hangs proudly on our office wall) and the Zilog Z80 (which hangs next to it).

Intrigued by this sudden and unexpected flood of nostalgia a bit of digging revealed a post by Stephen Cass, Senior Editor at IEEE Spectrum introducing the Chip Hall of Fame as a collection of:

stories of the greatest and most influential microchips in history - and the people who built them

explaining that the inspiration for the Hall comes from a 2009 article,  “25 Microchips That Shook The World”, with many of the first inductees taken from that list. There are however additions of more recent chips, such as the Arm 1 and the Amtel ATmega8 which powered the first generation of the Arduino Board.

The welcome message states:

To most, microchips are mysterious black boxes sprouting tiny metal pins, labeled with seemingly random strings of letters and numbers. But for those in the know, some chips stand out like a celebrity on the red carpet. Many of these integrated circuits found glory by directly powering products that transformed the world, while others cast a long shadow of influence over the computing landscape. And some became cautionary tales in their failed ambitions.

 

Currently there twenty seven integrated circuits included in the

Hall of Fame arranged in seven categories:

chipcats

Almost half of the inductees are microprocessors

chopproc

 

Another favorite has to be the Signetcs NE555 - the timer that wasted more time, literally, than any other chip known to mankind.

SigneticsNE555

 

 

It also goes to illustrate how decoratively some of the chips are presented - real arts of work as well as heros of technology.

chiphaaloffameIf you have anything to do with hardware you will enjoy this walk down memory lane - and yes the MK4096 4K bit memory chip is featured although not the 1103 1K bit chip that arguably killed core memory and led to the all solid state memory computers we still use today. 

Which important world changing chip do you think should be in the Hall of Fame?

For me it would be the 6809 - the only elegant microprocessor that ever made it into home computers. 

 

More Information

IEEE Spectrum Chip Hall of Fame

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UK Micros of the 1980s

Clive Sinclair And The Small Home Computer Revolution

 

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