A microprocessor is the processor of the computer on a microchip. It is the active brain of a computer. It is an integrated circuit created on a very small silicon chip with millions of small off/ on switches, called transistors. A microprocessor performs the function of a CPU or Central Processing Unit of a computer. In the modern day computer terminology both the words microprocessor and CPU or central processing unit are used interchangeably. The transistors of the microprocessor are made of ultra superfine variety of aluminum and are laid out on microscopic lines that manipulate, store and control data. This manipulation and control of data by the microprocessor is done in a certain style of direction or programs given to the machine through software programs so that the computer can perform many necessary useful tasks.
A microprocessor is programed through software program to perform the logic and arithmetic operations to make data usable on RAM and chips. The arithmetic operations of a microprocessor include subtracting, adding, comparing numbers, transfers numbers from one area to another and other functions as per programming installed. These operations of a processor are embedded through a coding system. A microprocessor is like an engine that goes into motion and start own work once the ignition is on.
When a computer is turned on, the microprocessor receives the first instruction from BIOS or the Basic Input/output System, thereafter, either the operating system of the computer or the BIOS gives the instruction to perform as per the program. The speed of performing a task in a microprocessor depends on how fast it was designed. The speed of a microprocessor depends on the quality of its clock crystals and the processor (unit MHz or GHz) itself. The high performance microprocessors execute storage and distribution of Web content through the servers like streaming video and audio and a high-speed network supports the Webs infrastructure.
There are three main characters that differentiate microprocessors. Instruction set is the given or programed instructions that the microprocessor can perform. The speed of clock crystal units are MHz of GHz that decides how many directions or instructions the microprocessor can perform. Bandwidth is the number of bits it can process in a single instruction.
A microprocessor is also called as a logic chip of a computer has multiple independent function units. The basic design includes few essential functions such as, a control unit, a memory unit and an Arithmetic Logic Unit or ALU. The Arithmetic Logical Unit or ALU performs basic works like logical, arithmetic, and comparisons.
Microprocessors are not only found in computers. The help many modern electronic gadgets like, thermostat, telephone, mobiles, CD Players, traffic light, car and many others. These processors come in different bit versions of memory like 8, 16, 64, and more. Three leading manufacturers of processor are Intel, AMD, VIA.
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Microprocessors are of great significance to the computers as they have reduced the size while increasing the working ability. The entire computer bank that assisted NASA in 1969 previously held in Univac, the first computer produced in 1951 (that weighed 13 metric ton and consumed 125 KW of electricity), in the first moon landing, can be held in a small laptop today.