Thursday 15 September 2005

All about Processor!

These post contains some complex (if you are a beginner of course) notes about Processors, that might be a little helpful for you if you want to know more about how the processor works.

Here is a picture of a processor that I happened to have. It's an intel processor I believe. Click on it to expand. (for your information no computers were harmed to get this cpu) And by the way sorry for the wierd picturs I had digital camera problems while I tried to take them! For more pictures visit

Processors are also known as Microprocessors and CPU's. Visit how stuff works, wikipedia for more details.
CPU is the most well known microprocessor.
What a processor is and how a processor works:

A processor is like the brain of the computer that is a "complete computation engine".

The processor of the computer is made up of silicon on which transistors making up the microprocessor are carved or etched. A chip can contain countless transistors.
There are a lot things that make one type of processor diferent from another one.

Here are some the things that judge the quality of the processor.
Transistors- The first processors had about 6ooo transistors.

Processors now a days have about 125, 000, 000 transistors.

Microns- This is the size of the smallest wire in the chip. A human hair is about100 microns!!!!! The old ones had about 6 microns.Microns on a CPU today 0.09 microns!

Clock Speed- Old computers had about 2 Megahertz clock speed.

Computers have processors that clock up to 3.5 gigaherts.

Data width- This is the width of the ALU. The ALU stands for Arithmetic/ Logic unit. The unit that is responsible for the all the calculations.

MIPS- This stands for Millions of instuction per second. So this helps to tell us how fast the CPU is. Computers today can process about 7000 millions of instructions per second.

The microprocessor takes all the descisions. So it can also jump to a new set of instructions based on the descisions.

the things that a microprocessor has:
Adress Bus: this bus sends an address to the memory.
Data bus: Sends or recieves data form the memory.
RD (read) and WR(write) line: Tells memory whether it wants to set or get and addressed location.
Clock line: Lets a clock pulse sequence to to the processor.
Reset line: Resets the program counter to zero. This line can also restart the function
Instructions that change the program counter: Jumps
Program counter: It is a number that identifies the location of a sequence.
What are wire lines: Wire lines are lines of wires that are clustered together.
Cache: The amount of memory that is inbuilt with the processor. The bigger the cache the better the processor.

the processor is also connected to the RAM (randon access memory) and ROM(read only memory)

A microprocessor can perform a lot of instrustions. It microprocessor works on a set of instructions with the assembly language! Since it can perform so many instructions the chip tends to get heated us so computers have a fan to cool it off.
How does it perform those instructions you ask?
Well, what it does is it looks up the sequence of ones and zeroes in its memory through the program counter (see definitoin of program counter above) of course. Then when it identifies the sequence the CPU knows what to do next.The instruction or input we give would be pressing the a key. Then the code is sent to the cpu through the keyboard. The cpu looks it us and then sends a signal to the monitor to display the a!
That's a lot of processing.
The processor uses pins (sometimes) to connect to the mother board. This is how it completes the channel of processes. Like the processor above.

Thigs that a microprocessor takes care of and when the microprocessor goes to work.

Now that you know everything about the cpu or the processor of a computer. I have put together some facts that are interesting and will help you realize how good modern day computers are.
Speed- A computer today can do about a billion cycles per second if it has only one ghz of memory. Usually a computer has about 2 or so ghz 2,000,000,000 of cycles (sorry if I skip some zeros the number is just too big to remember) . AMD Athlons and P4's can go upto 3.06 Ghz!

All information on this post is taken from: How stuff works Wikipedia the free encyclopedia with over 726, 000 articles.
The picture of the processor belongs to me!! (and incase you are wondering, no computers were harmed to get that chip)

Got a question, tip or comment? Send them to and we'll try to answer it in a blog post!

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