What is a Microprocessor in a Computer and types of Microprocessor?

This article will give you information about Microprocessor in a Computer and its different types of bit microprocessor. The processor is a unit of computer system that interprets instructions and executes them.

What is a Microprocessor in a Computer?

The microprocessor is the heart of the computer. A PC’s performance depends on the capability and speed of the microprocessor.

The processing speed of a micro­processor in a computer is usually measure in Millions Instructions Per Second (MIPS).

The MIPS rating is used to specify the integer computation performance of a processor. The processing speed of a microprocessor for floating point computation is measured in Millions of Floating Point Instructions Per Second (MFLOPS).

A microprocessor is a combination of arithmetical, logical unit and control unit on a single integrated chip.

It requires power supply, clock system and the main memory to function as a com­plete Personal Computer (PC).

Microprocessor is also used in many other digital devices besides PCs and workstations. It works on the binary digits 0 and 1.

The CPU (Central Processing Unit) of a less powerful computer may contain a single microprocessor. The CPU of a bigger workstation may contain a number of microprocessors on one or more motherboards.

The major parts of a microprocessor in a computer includes:

  • Arithmetic Logical Unit (ALU)
  • Control Unit (CU)

” The combination of ALU and CU is known as a microprocessor.

Microprocessors are distinguished from each other by the following criteria:

  • The architecture, the presence and size of cache memory, the inclusion of a floating point math co-processor, etc.
  • The size of data that can be manipulated at one time: 16 bits, 32 bits, or 64 bits. The word bit means binary digit.
  • The size of the external bus, that is, the width of the path data. For instance with 64 bits bus, 8 characters can be sent simul­taneously, while a 16-bit bus requires four separate opera­tions to perform the same data transfer.
  • Maximum addressable memory, which limits the amount of memory that can be installed in the computer.
  • The internal and external clock frequency, that is, the speed at which the processor itself works and the speed at which it can communicate with other components.

Check out:

Types of Microprocessor in a Computer

8-bit Microprocessor

An 8-bit microprocessor can handle a combination of 8 bits at a time. These bits are formed by 0s and 1s, such as 10011000, 01110001, etc.

The most popular 8-bit microprocessor was Intel 8085. But they are now superseded by more powerful ones.

16-bit Microprocessor in a computer

A 16-bit microprocessor manipulates 16 bits at a time. Thus, a 16-bit computer means that the word length of this computer is 16-bits and the processor manipulates 16-bits of data at a time.

An exam­ple of 16-bit microprocessor is Intel 80286.

32-bit Microprocessor

A 32-bit microprocessor, means that its word length is 32 bits. Some examples are Intel 80386, 80486, etc.

These types of micro­processors were used in expensive PCs earlier.

64-bit Microprocessor in a computer

64-bit microprocessors are used in very powerful workstations server and mini computers.

An important 64-bit microprocessor based computer is DEC’s (Digital Equipment Corporation) Alpha Server.

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