My first personal computer was an Apple II clone. It ran a MOS Technology 6502 processor and I also had a separate card with a Zilog Z80 processor. That second card allowed me to run Wordstar. The 6502 had 3,510 transistors and the Z80 had 8,500 transistors. The 6502 had a clock speed of 1 MHz and the computer boasted 4 KB of RAM. I ran that setup in the early 1980s
In 1984, I purchased the original IBM PC. It ran on the Intel 8088 microprocessor and it featured 29,000 transistors.
I remember touring Digital Equipment‘s fab plant in Hudson, Massachusetts in the mid-1990s. This plant fabricated the Alpha 21164A chip. An impressive technological achievement for a RISC processor. It featured about 10 million transistors.
I also remember being awestruck as Intel kept putting more and more transistors on a microprocessor. In 2000, the Pentium 4 offered over 40 million transistors.
Someone passed me this slideshare deck. And it made this observation:
A new iPhone CPU has 625 times more transistors than a 1995 Pentium. iPhone launch weekend: Apple sold 25 times more CPU transistors than were in all the PCs on Earth in 1995.
Inside the iPhone 6 is an Apple A8 microprocessor. It is a 64-bit system on a chip.
It contains 2 billion transistors.