Microprocessor is a silicon chip that contains a CPU. Microprocessor has a single integrated circuit (IC, or microchip) which performs most of the functions of computer’s CPU. In the world of personal computers, the terms microprocessor and CPU are used interchangeably. At the heart of all personal computers and most workstations sits a microprocessor. Microprocessors also control the logic of almost all digital devices, from clock radios to fuel-injection systems for automobiles. The Intel 4004 microprocessor is regarded as the world’s first 8 bit microprocessor.
Basic characteristics differentiate microprocessor
Three basic characteristics differentiate microprocessors are: Instruction set, Bandwidth and clock speed.
- Instruction set : The set of instructions that the microprocessors can execute.
- Bandwidth : The number of bits processes in a single instruction.
- Clock speed : Given in megahertz (MHz), the clock speed determines how many instructions per second the processor can execute.
In both cases, the higher the value, the more powerful the CPU. For example, a 32-bit microprocessor that runs at 50 MHz is more powerful than a 16-bit microprocessor that runs at 25 MHz.
In addition to bandwidth and clock speed, microprocessors are classified as being either RISC (Reduced instruction set computer) or CISC (Complex instruction set computer)
More information about Microprocessors are available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microprocessor and to know all list of microprocessors visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_microprocessors