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Microprocessors: the engines of the digital age

Steve Furber


The microprocessor - a computer central processing unit integrated onto a single microchip - has come to dominate computing across all of its scales from the tiniest consumer appliance to the largest supercomputer. This dominance has taken decades to achieve, but an irresistible logic made the ultimate outcome inevitable. The objectives of this Perspective paper are to offer a brief history of the development of the microprocessor and to answer questions such as: where did the microprocessor come from, where is it now, and where might it go in the future?