STANFORD, Calif. Silicon Valley's de facto historian, Rob Walker, is at it again. Walker this week announced that he and the Stanford Silicon Valley Archives released its latest digital video documentary titled, "The Microprocessor Chronicles."
Available on DVD, the documentary recounts the history of the microprocessor and provides a behind-the-scenes look into the strategic moves and missteps of the leading companies, with an emphasis on Intel.
All profits from the sale of "The Microprocessor Chronicles," which was sponsored in part by EE Times, will go to Stanford University to support continued research and chronicling of the history of the semiconductor industry.
"The microprocessor has become truly ubiquitous," said Walker, a Silicon Valley native and engineer who conducted the interviews that form the backbone of the program. "This program provides the context for that phenomenal growth by examining in depth the technology, business and personal stories of the pioneers."
Based in part on this oral history project, the new documentary includes nearly four hours of commentary on the technology, business and personal stories of the industry's pioneers, much of it in their own words. Gordon Moore, Ted Hoff, Stan Mazor and Federico Faggin tell the story of the first commercially available microprocessors, the MCS-4, followed by the 8008. The story delves into the competitive struggles with such firms as Motorola, Zilog and AMD, again narrated by Intel veterans, as well as the chimerical challenge from RISC computing.
In the final chapter, Stanford President John Hennessy speculates on the next advances in microprocessors.
This production is part of the Stanford and Silicon Valley Archives Project, which since 1983 has preserved historical documents about Silicon Valley as a center of technology and entrepreneurship.