Intel have cracked out the bubbly (and surely, some expensive scotch) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Intel 4004, the world's first commercially available microprocessor. The release of the 4004 triggered the start of the digital revolution. Most people have never even see a processor, but devices that contain them have been integrated so deeply into our everyday lives, they have become pretty much indispensable.
Intel have thrown some numbers around that are very impressive, comparing the Intel 4004 to the second-generation Intel Core processors. Compared to the Intel 4004, today's second-generation Intel Core processors are more than 350,000 times the performance and each transistor uses 5,000 times less energy. Impressive? Just a little.
Next year sees Intel CPUs being developed on Intel's next-generation 22nm manufacturing process and are set to deliver even more energy-efficient performance as a result of Intel's breakthrough 3-D Tri-Gate transistors that make use of a new transistor structure.