Questions Engineering

How does a microprocessor work?

Airtract

David Kreps

Hustle hard and stay humble

We are in the era of the cyber world where advancements are taking place rapidly. 

The microprocessor is a type of computer processor which performs all the logical as well as sequential operations (calculations). It incorporates the activities which are generally performed by the central processing unit (CPU) of a computer. A microprocessor is an integrated circuit (or a combination of integrated circuits) containing both combinational logical and digital sequential logic.

Working of a microprocessor

A microprocessor can be termed as the brain of a computer comprising of an Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU), Control Unit and a Register array.

  • Functions of Arithmetic and Logic Unit: This unit is responsible for performing all the arithmetical and logical operations on the data given as an input by the user (or sometimes from memory).  It is a fundamental building block for a CPU.

ALU performs arithmetical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc. as well as logical operations such as NOT, AND, OR, etc.

  • Functions of the Control Unit: Control Unit is responsible for handling all the processor control signal. CU decodes any given set of instructions and then direct all the other components like the computer memory, arithmetic and logic unit, input and output devices, etc. to respond to that set of instructions. CU handles all the data transfer taking place between CPU and ALU/input, output devices. 

  • Register Array: Register array is a control unit, which regulates arithmetical and logical unit.  These are responsible for staging data in memory and all the other functional units on the processing chip. 

So basically we see that a microprocessor is responsible for taking in input from the user, then process that data according to the given set of instructions and then display the results (generate output).

Advantages of using a microprocessor

  • Cost Efficient: Microprocessors uses integrated circuit technology which reduces the overall cost of a computer system.

  • Versatility: A single microprocessor can be used to perform different types of functions only by the alteration of the stored data. Hence a microprocessor shows excellent versatility.

  • High Speed: A microprocessor has the power to perform millions of operation per second.

  • Compact Size: A microprocessor uses integrated circuit technology, as a result of which the footprint of a microprocessor is minimal.

  • Power Efficiency: Microprocessors consists of MOSFETs, which are responsible for the low power consumption in a microprocessor.

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