Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Intel at 50: The MCS-48 Family

By 1974, the combined potential of the microprocessor and erasable programmable read-only memory – both introduced in 1971 – was beginning to reveal itself, but the two products had to be purchased and installed separately. That made them useful for customizable applications, but too expensive and cumbersome for use in the countless devices that populate modern life. 

Microcontrollers were single-package embedded systems designed to perform the same real-time control functions over and over — they could be produced and implemented on a large scale. In other words, microcontrollers could balance cost and usability to create a world underpinned by embedded semiconductor systems. Understanding this potential, Intel in 1974 committed to developing its first micro-control system, the MCS-48 series.