The Busicom Calculator vs. The Intel Pentium 4
In 1971, the Information Age officially started when Intel introduced the first microprocessor, which had a speed of 108 KHz (108 thousand instructions per second), and was the equivalent of 2,300 transistors. "This breakthrough invention powered the Busicom calculator (see left picture above) and paved the way for embedding intelligence in inanimate objects as well as the personal computer," according to Intel.
With constant innovation and improvement (see Intel's timeline), the current generation of microprocessors (Pentium 4, introduced in 2004, see photo above) run at 3.6 GHz (3.6 billion instructions per second) and are the equivalent of almost 100 million transistors.
Compared to the original 4004 chip, the current Pentium 4 is 33,333 times faster, an impressive technological advance over a 38-year period that has to be unprecedented in human history. According to Intel, if automobile speed had increased similarly over the same period, you could now drive from San Francisco to New York in about 13 seconds.