-2
\$\begingroup\$

This question already has an answer here:

Microchips have to be programmed to function. But if programmers (computers) are needed to program it, and they use microchips, how was the first one made?

\$\endgroup\$

marked as duplicate by The Photon, PeterJ, placeholder, user17592, Garrett Fogerlie May 13 '13 at 6:44

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Might be a duplicate of electronics.stackexchange.com/q/8685/8159. \$\endgroup\$ – Renan May 13 '13 at 3:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not all microchips need to be programmed to function. A microchip might contain just a single transistor. \$\endgroup\$ – The Photon May 13 '13 at 3:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why have nobody brought up punch cards yet? \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev May 13 '13 at 4:47
2
\$\begingroup\$

The first microchips were designed to fetch their code from an external memory chip, whether that be RAM, ROM, EPROM, core memory or a few other exotic technologies. The computers used in the day were made out of 100's of not 1000's of simple logic chips such as gates, latches, multiplexers, registers, buffers, counters and bus driver chips. These computers were leveraged with cross assemblers and compilers that could used to produce the target machine code for the first microchip computers. As microchips became more powerful a natural progression of bootstrap type activities allowed systems built around these computer chips to host much of their own development software - and of course support for the tools of the next following microchip technology. A process that continues on even today as technology keeps marching forward.

\$\endgroup\$
2
\$\begingroup\$

When the first microchips were made computers (not made of microchips) were already available.

When the first computers were built and programmed the were programmed the hard way, by hand, using paper and switches (or even wires).

\$\endgroup\$
1
\$\begingroup\$

It's a bit like the question about the chicken and the egg. Obviously, the first chicken hatched from an egg that was laid by something that was not a chicken, so the egg came first.

Similarly, the first programmable microchip was programmed by chips that were not themselves programmable — but those chips had been assembled into a larger system that was programmable.

\$\endgroup\$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.