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.
Types of Microprocessor in a Computer
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.
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.