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RetroShield 4004 Honors the World's First Microprocessor


In 2021, the world's first microcontroller, the Intel 4004, turns 50 years old. Leading up to its memorable anniversary date, Erturk Kocalar of 8-Bit-Force introduced the RetroShield 4004 for the Arduino Mega. This shield lets you easily run real code on an actual Intel 4004 microprocessor.

We covered RetroShields in the past, specifically the MOS 6502 version. These shields use an Arduino Mega to emulate the support logic needed to turn a microprocessor chip into an 8-bit computer. (Well, 4-bit in this particular case.) RetroShields are a great way to do low-level programming on the original CPUs without wiring (and debugging) a breadboard full of 7400-series parts.

The RetroShield 4004 is similar to the previous versions. It accepts a real Intel 4004 IC, and the Arduino emulates the RAM and ROM. Kocalar did take this shield one step further by emulating the first commercial device to feature the 4004 ...


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