Forgotten PC History

Eric Smith eric at
Fri Aug 8 20:44:22 CDT 2008

Roy J. Tellason wrote:
> The other thing that I took some notice of was mention of an 18-pin chip 
> package as "recently developed" at one point in the story,  and later on the 
> mention of the 40-pin package as being then available.

The 18 pin-per-package limit claims regarding the 4004 and 8008 have 
been around for a long time, and I think they came from interviews with 
Intel's founders and/or early employees, but I think they're factually 
incorrect, at least as commonly stated.

The 24-pin DIP was very well established by 1968, and was already used 
by TI at that time.  There were certainly higher pin-count packages at 
that time also.  I'm not sure about the 40-pin DIP, but in 1969 
Fairchild was shipping at least one memory chip in a 36-pin DIP, though 
that particular package never became popular.

Possibly whatever specific company Intel was contracting with to supply 
lead frames and ceramic packages didn't yet offer higher pin count 
packages, but they obviously were available from some vendors since 
other semiconductor companies like Fairchild and TI were using them.


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