Microprocessor

microprocessorsprocessorchipprocessorschipsembedded microprocessor32-bitCPUmicro-circuitrymicro-processor
A microprocessor is a computer processor that incorporates the functions of a central processing unit on a single integrated circuit (IC), or at most a few integrated circuits.wikipedia
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8-bit

8-bit computereight-bit8
The size of data objects became larger; allowing more transistors on a chip allowed word sizes to increase from 4- and 8-bit words up to today's 64-bit words.
8-bit is also a generation of microcomputers in which 8-bit microprocessors were the norm.

32-bit

32-32 bit32
While this required extra logic to handle, for example, carry and overflow within each slice, the result was a system that could handle, for example, 32-bit words using integrated circuits with a capacity for only four bits each.
32-bit microcomputers are computers in which 32-bit microprocessors are the norm.

Clock signal

clock cycleclockclock cycles
The microprocessor is a multipurpose, clock driven, register based, digital integrated circuit that accepts binary data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory, and provides results as output.
The preeminent example of such complex chips is the microprocessor, the central component of modern computers, which relies on a clock from a crystal oscillator.

4-bit

four-bit44-
The size of data objects became larger; allowing more transistors on a chip allowed word sizes to increase from 4- and 8-bit words up to today's 64-bit words. Building on an earlier Busicom design from 1969, Intel introduced the first commercial microprocessor, the 4-bit Intel 4004, in 1971, followed by its 8-bit microprocessor 8008 in 1972.
Some of the first microprocessors had a 4-bit word length and were developed around 1970.

Digital signal processor

DSPDSPsdigital signal processors
A digital signal processor (DSP) is specialized for signal processing.
A digital signal processor (DSP) is a specialized microprocessor (or a SIP block), with its architecture optimized for the operational needs of digital signal processing.

16-bit

16 bit16-16
So, 8- or 16-bit processors can be better than 32-bit processors for system on a chip and microcontrollers that require extremely low-power electronics, or are part of a mixed-signal integrated circuit with noise-sensitive on-chip analog electronics such as high-resolution analog to digital converters, or both. Affordable 8-bit microprocessors with 16-bit addressing also led to the first general-purpose microcomputers from the mid-1970s on.
16-bit microcomputers are computers in which 16-bit microprocessors were the norm.

Vision processing unit

machine vision
Other specialized units exist for video processing and machine vision. (See: Hardware acceleration.)
A vision processing unit (VPU) is (as of 2018) an emerging class of microprocessor; it is a specific type of AI accelerator, designed to accelerate machine vision tasks.

System on a chip

SoCsystem-on-a-chipsystem-on-chip
So, 8- or 16-bit processors can be better than 32-bit processors for system on a chip and microcontrollers that require extremely low-power electronics, or are part of a mixed-signal integrated circuit with noise-sensitive on-chip analog electronics such as high-resolution analog to digital converters, or both. Systems on chip (SoCs) often integrate one or more microprocessor or microcontroller cores.
An SoC integrates a microcontroller or microprocessor with advanced peripherals like graphics processing unit (GPU), Wi-Fi module, or one or more coprocessors.

64-bit computing

64-bit64 bit64
The size of data objects became larger; allowing more transistors on a chip allowed word sizes to increase from 4- and 8-bit words up to today's 64-bit words.
64-bit CPUs have been used in supercomputers since the 1970s (Cray-1, 1975) and in reduced instruction set computing (RISC) based workstations and servers since the early 1990s, notably the MIPS R4000, R8000, and R10000, the DEC Alpha, the Sun UltraSPARC, and the IBM RS64 and POWER3 and later POWER microprocessors.

Microcontroller

microcontrollersMCUmicro-controller
Microcontrollers integrate a microprocessor with peripheral devices in embedded systems. These tend to have different tradeoffs compared to CPUs.
Microcontrollers are designed for embedded applications, in contrast to the microprocessors used in personal computers or other general purpose applications consisting of various discrete chips.

Supercomputer

high-performance computingsupercomputinghigh performance computing
Continued increases in microprocessor capacity have since rendered other forms of computers almost completely obsolete (see history of computing hardware), with one or more microprocessors used in everything from the smallest embedded systems and handheld devices to the largest mainframes and supercomputers.
The CM-1 used as many as 65,536 simplified custom microprocessors connected together in a network to share data.

Microcomputer

microcomputersmicrocomputingmicro-computer
Affordable 8-bit microprocessors with 16-bit addressing also led to the first general-purpose microcomputers from the mid-1970s on.
A microcomputer is a small, relatively inexpensive computer with a microprocessor as its central processing unit (CPU).

Very Large Scale Integration

VLSIvery-large-scale integrationVLSI design
By the late 1960s, designers were striving to integrate the central processing unit (CPU) functions of a computer onto a handful of very-large-scale integration metal-oxide semiconductor chips, called microprocessor unit (MPU) chipsets.
The microprocessor is a VLSI device.

Intel

Intel CorporationIntel Corp. Intel Corporation
Three projects delivered a microprocessor at about the same time: Garrett AiResearch's Central Air Data Computer (CADC), Texas Instruments' TMS 1000 (September 1971) and Intel's 4004 (November 1971, based on an earlier 1969 Busicom design).
It is the world's second largest and second highest valued semiconductor chip maker based on revenue after being overtaken by Samsung, and is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers (PCs).

Busicom

Busicom Corp.
Three projects delivered a microprocessor at about the same time: Garrett AiResearch's Central Air Data Computer (CADC), Texas Instruments' TMS 1000 (September 1971) and Intel's 4004 (November 1971, based on an earlier 1969 Busicom design). Building on an earlier Busicom design from 1969, Intel introduced the first commercial microprocessor, the 4-bit Intel 4004, in 1971, followed by its 8-bit microprocessor 8008 in 1972.
Busicom was a Japanese company that owned the rights to Intel's first microprocessor, the Intel 4004, which they created in partnership with Intel in 1970.

Viatron

Viatron Computer Systems
The first use of the term "microprocessor" is attributed to Viatron Computer Systems describing the custom integrated circuit used in their System 21 small computer system announced in 1968.
Viatron coined the term "microprocessor" although it was not used in the sense in which the word microprocessor is used today.

Moore's law

computational powerincreasing performanceMoore’s Law
Since the early 1970s, the increase in capacity of microprocessors has followed Moore's law; this originally suggested that the number of components that can be fitted onto a chip doubles every year.
Advancements in digital electronics are strongly linked to Moore's law: quality-adjusted microprocessor prices, memory capacity, sensors and even the number and size of pixels in digital cameras.

Integrated circuit

integrated circuitsmicrochipchip
The microprocessor is a multipurpose, clock driven, register based, digital integrated circuit that accepts binary data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory, and provides results as output. A microprocessor is a computer processor that incorporates the functions of a central processing unit on a single integrated circuit (IC), or at most a few integrated circuits.
In 1970, he joined Intel in order to develop the first single-chip central processing unit (CPU) microprocessor, the Intel 4004, for which he received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2010.

Transistor

transistorstransistorizeddiscrete transistor
The complexity of an integrated circuit (IC) is bounded by physical limitations on the number of transistors that can be put onto one chip, the number of package terminations that can connect 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.
A logic gate consists of up to about twenty transistors whereas an advanced microprocessor, as of 2009, can use as many as 3 billion transistors (MOSFETs).

Ray Holt

Raymond M. Holt
In 1968, Garrett AiResearch (who employed designers Ray Holt and Steve Geller) was invited to produce a digital computer to compete with electromechanical systems then under development for the main flight control computer in the US Navy's new F-14 Tomcat fighter.
From 1968 to 1970, Holt developed the first microprocessor chip set for Garrett AiResearch's Central Air Data Computer for the F-14 Tomcat.

Personal computer

PCPCspersonal computers
General-purpose microprocessors in personal computers are used for computation, text editing, multimedia display, and communication over the Internet.
The introduction of the microprocessor, a single chip with all the circuitry that formerly occupied large cabinets, led to the proliferation of personal computers after 1975.

Intel 4004

40044004 (MCS-4) projectfirst commercially available microprocessor (Intel 4004)
Three projects delivered a microprocessor at about the same time: Garrett AiResearch's Central Air Data Computer (CADC), Texas Instruments' TMS 1000 (September 1971) and Intel's 4004 (November 1971, based on an earlier 1969 Busicom design). Building on an earlier Busicom design from 1969, Intel introduced the first commercial microprocessor, the 4-bit Intel 4004, in 1971, followed by its 8-bit microprocessor 8008 in 1972.
Three other CPU chip designs were produced at about the same time: the Four-Phase Systems AL1, done in 1969; the MP944, completed in 1970 and used in the F-14 Tomcat fighter jet; and the Texas Instruments TMS-1000 chip, announced in September 17, 1971.

Federico Faggin

Faggin, FedericoFaggin, Federico
The microprocessor was designed by a team consisting of Italian engineer Federico Faggin, American engineers Marcian Hoff and Stanley Mazor, and Japanese engineer Masatoshi Shima.
Federico Faggin (born 1 December 1941) is an Italian physicist, inventor and entrepreneur, widely known for designing the first commercial microprocessor.

Bit slicing

bit slicebit-slicebit-slice processor
Occasionally, physical limitations of integrated circuits made such practices as a bit slice approach necessary.
Bit slicing more or less died out due to the advent of the microprocessor.

Calculator

pocket calculatorcalculatorselectronic calculator
The first microprocessors emerged in the early 1970s and were used for electronic calculators, using binary-coded decimal (BCD) arithmetic on 4-bit words.
Pocket-sized devices became available in the 1970s, especially after the Intel 4004, the first microprocessor, was developed by Intel for the Japanese calculator company Busicom.