Microprocessors are vital components which play a critical role in the smooth running of a huge variety of equipment including computers, home security systems, radio and a full range of vehicles to name just a few.
Also known as the CPU (Central Processing Unit), the creation of the microprocessor enables communication between the different parts of a device and effective works as the brain of the computer.
Rapidly Advancing Technology
It is difficult to believe that a relatively short period of time ago, computers were rare and were not available for the wider public. It wasn’t until just over 30 years ago that pc’s began to enter out homes, and thanks to the qualities offered by microprocessors – really began to make an impact on our lives.
Technology has evolved to the stage that modern microprocessors can now easily perform extremely sophisticated operations in areas such as meteorology, aviation, nuclear physics and engineering, and take up much less space as well as delivering superior performance.
Just like microwaves or telephones, devices with microprocessors have become so integrated into our daily lives, that we cannot imagine a life without them.
How Do Microprocessors Work?
Microprocessors are constructed using several different sections: The arithmetic/logic unit (ALU) performs calculations on numbers and makes logical decisions; the registers are special memory locations for storing temporary information much as a scratch pad does; the control unit deciphers programs; buses carry digital information throughout the chip and computer; and local memory supports on-chip computation.
Currently there are even more complex microprocessors available which are constructed utilising other sections, often including: special sections of specialized memory, called cache memory, to speed up access to external data-storage devices. Modern microprocessors operate with bus widths of 64 bits (binary digits, or units of information represented as 1s and 0s), meaning that 64 bits of data can be transferred at the same time.
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