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While it could be argued that the development of the CPU has its roots as far back as 1617 with the creation of Napiers Bones Blaise Pascals digital adding machine in 1642 or Charles Babbages Difference Engine and Analytical Engine in the early 1820s - 1830s the patent of the vacuum tube by Lee De Forest in 1906 was the actual starting point for John Atanasoff Clifford Berrys first electronic computer in 1937 incorporating the binary system still in use today The other significant pre-transistor contribution to the history of the CPU was the Eniac a huge high-powered behemoth of a machine built by John Mauchly and J Presper Eckert in 1946 The invention of the transistor short for transfer resistance by John Bardeen and Walter Brattain in 1947 was perhaps the single foremost contribution to the development of the CPU 2nd generation computers Another tremendous step forward in the development of the CPU the 3rd generation of computers was the invention of the integrated circuit IC in 1959 by Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments September 12 1958 That same year Robert Noyces practical integrated circuit invented at Fairchild Camera Instrument Corp allowed printing of conducting channels directly on the silicone surface The IC was a collection of transistors on a semiconductor base or substrate material connected without wires enabling the use of many more transistors in a very small area With the advent of the integrated circuit the next 10 - 12 years would be a race to develop the Central Processing Unit CPU with a number of different competitors trying to be the first to corner the market on this new technology in its infancy Work begins on the creation of the 1st commercially available microprocessor the 4004 in early 1970 and in December of 1970 the
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