Intel 8080

From Academic Kids

The Intel 8080 was an early microprocessor designed and manufactured by Intel. The 8-bit CPU was released in April 1974 running at 2 MHz, and is generally considered to be the first truly usable microprocessor CPU design.

Description

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Intel_C8080A_9064_33001_N8384_top.jpg
Intel C8080A Processor
The Intel 8080 was the successor to the Intel 8008 (this was due to it being assembly language source-compatible because it used the same instruction set developed by Computer Terminal Corporation). The 8080's large 40 pin DIP packaging permitted it to provide a 16-bit address bus and an 8-bit data bus, allowing easy access to 64 kilobytes of memory. It had seven 8-bit registers (six of which could be combined into three 16-bit registers), a 16-bit stack pointer to memory (replacing the 8008's internal stack), and a 16-bit program counter.

The 8080 had 256 I/O ports (allowing I/O devices to be connected without the need to allocate memory space – as is required for memory mapped devices – but at the expense of having programmers deal with separate I/O instructions). The first single-board microcomputer was built on the basis of the 8080.

Impact

The 8080 was used in many early computers, such as the MITS Altair 8800 and IMSAI 8080, forming the basis for machines running the CP/M operating system (the later, fully compatible and more capable, Zilog Z80 processor would capitalize on this, with Z80 & CP/M becoming the dominant CPU & OS combination of the period much like x86 & MS-DOS for the PC a decade later). Shortly after the launch of the 8080, the Motorola 6800 competing design was introduced, and after that, the MOS Technology 6502 clone of the 6800.

At Intel, the 8080 was followed by the compatible and electrically more elegant 8085, and later by the assembly language compatible 16-bit 8086 and then the 8/16-bit 8088, which was selected by IBM for its new PC to be launched in 1981. The 8080, via its ISA, thus made a lasting impact on computer history.

This article was originally based on material from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, which is licensed under the GFDL.


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