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A microprocessor is a computer processor that incorporates the functions of a co

mputer's central processing unit (CPU) on a single integrated circuit (IC),[1] o
r at most a few integrated circuits.[2] The microprocessor is a multipurpose, pr
ogrammable device that accepts digital data as input, processes it according to
instructions stored in its memory, and provides results as output. It is an exam
ple of sequential digital logic, as it has internal memory. Microprocessors oper
ate on numbers and symbols represented in the binary numeral system.
The integration of a whole CPU onto a single chip or on a few chips greatly redu
ced the cost of processing power. The integrated circuit processor was produced
in large numbers by highly automated processes, so unit cost was low. Single-chi
p processors increase reliability as there are many fewer electrical connections
to fail. As microprocessor designs get faster, the cost of manufacturing a chip
(with smaller components built on a semiconductor chip the same size) generally
stays the same.
Before microprocessors, small computers had been implemented using racks of circ
uit boards with many medium- and small-scale integrated circuits. Microprocessor
s integrated this into one or a few large-scale ICs. Continued increases in micr
oprocessor capacity have since rendered other forms of computers almost complete
ly obsolete (see history of computing hardware), with one or more microprocessor
s used in everything from the smallest embedded systems and handheld devices to
the largest mainframes and supercomputers.
Contents [hide]
1 Structure
1.1 Special-purpose designs
2 Embedded applications
3 History
3.1 Firsts
3.1.1 CADC
3.1.2 Gilbert Hyatt
3.1.3 TMS 1000[dubious
3.1.4 Intel 4004
3.1.5 Pico/General Instrument
3.1.6 Four-Phase Systems AL1
3.2 8-bit designs
3.3 12-bit designs
3.4 16-bit designs
3.5 32-bit designs
3.6 64-bit designs in personal computers
3.6.1 Multi-core designs
3.7 RISC
4 Market statistics
5 See also
6 Notes
7 References
8 External links
A block diagram of the internal architecture of the Z80 microprocessor, showing
the arithmetic and logic section, register file, control logic section, and buff
ers to external address and data lines
The internal arrangement of a microprocessor varies depending on the age of the
design and the intended purposes of the microprocessor. The complexity of an int
egrated circuit is bounded by physical limitations of the number of transistors
that can be put onto one chip, the number of package terminations that can conne
ct the processor to other parts of the system, the number of interconnections it
is possible to make on the chip, and the heat that the chip can dissipate. Adva
ncing technology makes more complex and powerful chips feasible to manufacture.

The size of data objects became lar ger. and a 8-b it chip running 32-bit software is active most of the time.[4][5] So. 32 -bit words using integrated circuits with a capacity for only four bits each. Floating-point arithmet ic. or others). GPUs through the 1990s wer e mostly non-programmable and have only recently gained limited facilities like programmable vertex shaders. so 32-bit (a nd wider) processors produce more digital noise and have higher static consumpti on than narrower processors. Each operation of the ALU sets one or more flags in a status register. negative number. multiple circuits in parallel processed subsets of each dat a word. for example.[citation ne eded] . physical limitations of integrated circuits made such practices as a bit slice approach necessary. Graphics processing units may have no li mited or general programming facilities. For example. it was feasible to manufacture more a nd more complex processors on a single chip.A minimal hypothetical microprocessor might only include an arithmetic logic uni t (ALU) and a control logic section. it becomes fea sible to integrate memory on the same die as the processor. The control logic section retrieves instruction operation codes from memory. subtraction. Processor clock frequency has increa sed more rapidly than external memory speed. and other elements of the processor. While this required extra logic to handle. Nevertheless. the result was a system that could handle. so cache memory is necessary if the processor is not delayed by slower external memory. plus costs. allowing more transistors on a chip allowed word sizes to increase from 4and 8-bit words up to today's 64-bit words. except in the recent past. Occasionally. Special-purpose designs[edit] A microprocessor is a general purpose system. and operations such as AND or OR. as the chip must execute software with multiple instru ctions. and increases the processing speed of the system for many applications. Several specialized processing dev ices have followed from the technology. This CPU cache has t he advantage of faster access than off-chip memory. for example. Microcontrollers integrate a microproces sor with peripheral devices in embedded systems. for example. but had to be carried out in software. As integrated circuit technology advanced. This creates a delic ate balance between software. hardware and use patterns. and complex i nstructions could be used to make more compact programs. carry and overfl ow within each slice. sped u p floating point calculations. more on-chip registers sped up programs. was often not available on 8-bit microprocessors. which indicate the results of the last operation (zero value. Additional features were added to th e processor architecture. registers. or both. overflow. With the ability to put large numbers of transistors on one chip. Instead of processing all of a long word on one integrated circuit. trade-offs apply: running 32-bit arithmetic on an 8-bit chip could end up using more power. A sin gle operation code might affect many individual data paths. 32-bit processors have more digital logic than narrower processors. and initiates whateve r sequence of operations of the ALU requires to carry out the instruction. The ALU performs operations such as additio n. Modern microprocessors go into low power states when possible.[3] Reducing digital noise improves ADC conversion r esults. or are part of a mixed-signal integrated circuit with noise-sensitive onchip analog electronics such as high-resolution analog to digital converters. 8-bit or 16-bit processors are better than 32-bit processors f or system on a chip and microcontrollers that require extremely low-power electr onics. A digital signal processor (DSP ) is specialized for signal processing. Integration of the floating point unit first as a sepa rate integrated circuit and then as part of the same microprocessor chip.

tools and test instruments. It used wire wrap c . General-purpose microprocessors in personal computers are used for compu tation. battery packs. bulky.[6] However. allowing upgrades in performance with minimal redesign of the product. an engine control system in an automobile can adjus t ignition timing based on engine speed. These include large and small household appliances. multimedia display. These were placed and soldered onto printed circuit boards. navigation and control were provided by a s mall custom processor called "The Apollo Guidance Computer". and any observed tendency for knocking allowing an automobile to operate on a ra nge of fuel grades. Incr easingly stringent pollution control standards effectively require automobile ma nufacturers to use microprocessor engine management systems. For example. low-cost. The large number of discrete l ogic gates used more electrical power and therefore produced more heat than a more i ntegrated design with fewer ICs. microprocessors. ambient temperature . The first use of the term "microprocessor" is attributed to Viatron Computer Sys tems describing the custom integrated circuit used in their System 21 small comp uter system announced in 1968. and hi -fi audio/visual components (from DVD players to phonograph turntables). computer processors were constructed o ut of small and medium-scale ICs each containing from tens of transistors to a few hundred. History[edit] The advent of low-cost computers on integrated circuits has transformed modern s ociety. 8-bit microprocessors use less power whe n operating and less power when sleeping than 32-bit microprocessors. to allow optimal co ntrol of emissions over widely varying operating conditions of an automobile. and communication over the Internet. or costly implementation t o achieve the results possible with a microprocessor. all onboar d computations for primary guidance. light switc hes/dimmers and electrical circuit breakers. Microprocessor control of a system can provide control strategies that would be impractical to implement using electromechanical controls or purpose-built elect ronic controls. providing digital control over myriad objects from appliances to automobiles to cellular phones and indus trial process control. smoke alarms. text editing. In the NASA Apollo space missions to the moon in the 1960s and 1970s. DVD video system and HDTV broadcast systems funda mentally require consumer devices with powerful. Such pr oducts as cellular telephones. toys. During the 1960s.[6][7][8][9] Embedded applications[edit] Thousands of items that were traditionally not computer-related include micropro cessors. M any more microprocessors are part of embedded systems. Intel introduced its first 4-bit microprocessor 4004 in 1971 and its 8-bit micro processor 8008 in 1972. The distance that signals had to travel between ICs on the boards limited a computer's operating speed. cars (and their acc essory equipment units). A microprocessor control program (embedded software) can be easily tailored to d ifferent needs of a product line. Different features can be implemented in different mode ls of a product line at negligible production cost. some people say a 32-bit microprocessor may use less average power than an 8-bit microprocessor when the application requires certain operations such a s floating-point math that take many more clock cycles on an 8-bit microprocesso r than a 32-bit microprocessor so the 8-bit microprocessor spends more time in h igh-power operating mode. load on the engine. No n-programmable controls would require complex.When manufactured on a similar process. and often multiple boards were interconnected in a chassis. car keys.

The design was complete by 1970. operated at military specifications and ha d larger chips -. Texas Instruments (TI) TMS 1000 (1971 S eptember). it was not a si ngle-chip processor.[13] Ray Holt graduated from California Polytechnic Univ ersity in 1968. The design was significantly (approximately 20 times) smaller and much more reliable than the mechanical systems it competed against. With present technology. pipelined. and Intel's 4004 (1971 November). Please improve th is article by adding secondary or tertiary sources. various kinds of automation etc. and two other support chips like the Intel 4004. parallel multi-microprocessor". "The scientific papers and literature published around 1971 revea l that the MP944 digital processor used for the F-14 Tomcat aircraft of the US N avy qualifies as the first microprocessor. and the MP944 chipset it u sed. Affordable 8-bit micropro cessors with 16-bit addressing also led to the first general-purpose microcomput ers from the mid-1970s on.[18][19] TMS 1000[dubious discuss][edit] .[16] Gilbert Hyatt[edit] Gilbert Hyatt was awarded a patent claiming an invention pre-dating both TI and Intel. (March 2010) For more details on this topic.ircuit boards whose only logic elements were three-input NOR gates.svg This section relies too much on references to primary sources. This system contained "a 20-bit. (2007). ROM. are fairly unknown. Since the early 1970s. but not before substantial royalties were paid out. followed soon after. In 1968. describing a "microcontroller". For this reason the CADC. Although interesting. Other embedded uses of 4-bit and 8-bit microprocessors. The Navy refused to allow publicatio n of the design until 1997.[11] and as such Moore later changed the period to two excellent computer engineering design by any standards. see Central Air Data Computer. and two year earlier.. Garrett AiResearch (which employed designers Ray Holt and Steve Geller) was invited to produce a digital computer to compete with electromechanical sys tems then under development for the main flight control computer in the US Navy' s new F-14 Tomcat fighter. the increase in capacity of microprocessors has followed Moore's law. and was used in all of the early Tomcat models. as was not the Intel 4004 they both were more like a set of parallel building blocks you could use to make a general-purpose form. printers. and began his computer design career with the CADC. RAM.[14] According to Parab et al.[17] The patent was later invalidated. such as terminals. and used a MOS-based chipset as the core CPU. Since then people[who?] have deb ated whether this was the first microprocessor. From its inc eption. using binary-coded decimal (BCD) arithmetic on 4-bit words. It conta ins a CPU. Its design indicates a major advance over Intel. Holt has stated that no one has compared this microprocessor with those that came later.[10] The first microprocessors emerged in the early 1970s and were used for electroni c calculators. CADC[edit] Question book-new."[15] This convergence of DSP and microcontroller architectures is known as a digital signal controller. it was shrouded in secrecy until 1998 when at Holt's request. It indicate s that today s industry theme of converging DSP-microcontroller architectures was started in 1971. the US Nav y allowed the documents into the public domain. this originally suggested that the number of components that can be fitted onto a chip doubles every year. it is actually every two years. It was mad e from the same P-channel technology.[12 ] Firsts[edit] Three projects delivered a microprocessor at about the same time: Garrett AiRese arch's Central Air Data Computer (CADC). It actually worked and was flying in the F-14 when the Intel 4004 was announced.

074. Gary Boone was awarded U.351.S. TI filed for a patent on the microprocessor. with TI as inventor and owner of the microprocessor p atent. .[20] TI stressed the 4-bit TMS 1000 for use in pre -programmed embedded applications. The computer-on-a-chip patent.757. Patent 3. with Intel paying royalties to TI for the microprocessor patent. while the concept defined in the patent is more akin to a microcontroller.S. called the "micr ocomputer patent" at the time. A computer-on-a-chip combines the microprocessor core (CPU). and I/O (in put/output) lines onto one chip. introducing a version called the TMS1802NC on September 17. whi ch went on the market in 1974. Patent 4. The result of their work was the TMS 1000. Cochran of TI.306 for the single-chip microprocessor architecture on September 4. U. was awarded to Gary Boone and Michael J. Aside from this patent. memory. A history of these events is contained in court documentation from a legal disput e between Cyrix and Intel. In 1971 and again in 1976. Intel and TI entered into broad patent cross-licensin g agreements.The Smithsonian Institution says TI engineers Gary Boone and Michael Cochran suc ceeded in creating the first microcontroller (also called a microcomputer) and t he first single-chip CPU in 1971. 1971 that implemented a calculator on a chip. 1973. the standard meaning of mi crocomputer is a computer using one or more microprocessors as its CPU(s).