Understanding Microprocessor

Variation A

A silicon chip that contains a CPU.
In the world of personal computers,
the terms microprocessor and CPU are
used interchangeably. At the heart
of all personal computers and most
workstations sits a microprocessor.
Microprocessors also control the
logic of almost all digital devices,
from clock radios to fuel-injection
systems for automobiles.

Three fundamental characteristics
differentiate microprocessors:

Instruction Set:

The set of instructions that the microprocessor
can execute.


The number of bits processed in a single instruction.

Clock Speed:

Given in megahertz (MHz), the clock speed determines
how many instructions per second the processor can execute.

In both cases, the higher the value, the more powerful
the CPU. For example, a 32-bit microprocessor that runs at
50 MHz is more powerful than a 16-bit microprocessor that
runs at 25 MHz.

In addition to bandwidth and clock speed, microprocessors
are classified as being either RISC (reduced instruction set
computer) or CISC complex instruction set computer.

Variation B

A complete central processing unit assembled on a single
silicon chip.

Variation C

An integrated circuit circuit that performs all the
functions of a CPU.

Variation D

An integrated circuit that contains the entire central
processing unit of a computer on a single chip

Variation E

Integrated circuit semiconductor chip that performs
the bulk of the processing and controls the parts of a

Variation F

An integrated circuit that contains a processor,
such as a central processing unit.

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