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A microprocessor is a computer processor where the data processing logic and control is included on a single
integrated circuit An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuit 200px, A circuit built on a printed circuit board (PCB). An electronic circuit is composed of indivi ...

integrated circuit
, or a small number of integrated circuits. The microprocessor contains the arithmetic, logic, and control circuitry required to perform the functions of a computer's central processing unit. The integrated circuit is capable of interpreting and executing program instructions and performing arithmetic operations. The microprocessor is a multipurpose,
clock A clock or a timepiece is a device used to Measurement, measure and indicate time. The clock is one of the oldest Invention, human inventions, meeting the need to measure intervals of time shorter than the natural units: the day, the lunar ...

clock
-driven,
register A register is an authoritative list of one kind of information. Register or registration may refer to: Arts entertainment, and media Music * Register (music), the relative "height" or range of a note, melody, part, instrument, etc. * ''Regis ...
-based,
digital integrated circuit Digital electronics is a field of electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses active devices to control elect ...
that accepts
binary Binary may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Binary number In mathematics and digital electronics, a binary number is a number expressed in the base-2 numeral system or binary numeral system, which uses only two symbols: ty ...

binary
data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its
memory Memory is the faculty of the by which or is , stored, and retrieved when needed. It is the retention of information over time for the purpose of influencing future action. If s could not be remembered, it would be impossible for language, r ...
, and provides results (also in binary form) as output. Microprocessors contain both
combinational logic In automata theory Automata theory is the study of abstract machines and automaton, automata, as well as the computational problems that can be solved using them. It is a theory in theoretical computer science. The word ''automata'' (the plural ...
and sequential digital logic, and operate on numbers and symbols represented in the
binary number system In mathematics and digital electronics Digital electronics is a field of electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter ...
. The integration of a whole CPU onto a single or a few integrated circuits using
Very-Large-Scale Integration Very large-scale integration (VLSI) is the process of creating an integrated circuit An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuits on one small f ...
(VLSI) greatly reduced the cost of processing power. Integrated circuit processors are produced in large numbers by highly automated metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) fabrication processes, resulting in a relatively low
unit price A product's average price is the result of dividing the product's total sales revenue by the total units sold. When one product is sold in variants, such as bottle sizes, managers must define "comparable" units. Average prices can be calculated by ...
. Single-chip processors increase reliability because there are much fewer electrical connections that could fail. As microprocessor designs improve, the cost of manufacturing a chip (with smaller components built on a semiconductor chip the same size) generally stays the same according to
Rock's lawRock's law or Moore's second law, named for Arthur Rock or Gordon Moore, says that the cost of a semiconductor chip A semiconductor material has an Electrical resistivity and conductivity, electrical conductivity value falling between that of a E ...
. Before microprocessors, small computers had been built using racks of
circuit board A printed circuit board (PCB) is a laminated sandwich structure of conductive and insulating layers. PCBs have two complementary functions. The first is to affix electronic components An electronic component is any basic discrete device or ...

circuit board
s with many medium- and small-scale integrated circuits, typically of TTL type. Microprocessors combined this into one or a few large-scale ICs. The first commercially available microprocessor was the
Intel 4004 The Intel 4004 is a 4-bit In , 4-bit s, or other units are those that are 4 s wide. Also, 4-bit and architectures are those that are based on s, or es of that size. es (and thus es) for 4-bit CPUs are generally much larger than 4-bi ...

Intel 4004
. Continued increases in microprocessor capacity have since rendered other forms of computers almost completely obsolete (see
history of computing hardware The history of computing hardware covers the developments from early simple devices to aid calculation A calculation is a deliberate process that transforms one or more inputs into one or more results. The term is used in a variety of sens ...
), with one or more microprocessors used in everything from the smallest
embedded system An embedded system is a computer system A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out Sequence, sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Co ...
s and
handheld device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer small enough to hold and operate in the hand. Typically, any handheld computer device will have an LCD or OLED flatscreen interface, providing a touchscreen interface with digital buttons and k ...
s to the largest
mainframe A pair of IBM mainframes. On the left is the IBM z Systems z13. On the right is the IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper.">IBM_LinuxONE.html" ;"title="IBM z Systems z13. On the right is the IBM LinuxONE">IBM z Systems z13. On the right is the IBM LinuxONE R ...
s and
supercomputer upright=1.5, Computing power of the top 1 supercomputer each year, measured in FLOPS A supercomputer is a computer with a high level of performance as compared to a general-purpose computer. The performance of a supercomputer is commonly mea ...

supercomputer
s.


Structure

The complexity of an integrated circuit is bounded by physical limitations on the number of
transistors file:MOSFET Structure.png, upright=1.4, Metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), showing Metal gate, gate (G), body (B), source (S) and drain (D) terminals. The gate is separated from the body by an insulating layer (pink). A ...
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 In thermodynamics, dissipation is the result of an irreversible process that takes place in homogeneous Thermodynamic system, thermodynamic systems. In a dissipative process, energy (Internal energy, internal, bulk flow Kinetic energy, kinetic, or s ...
. Advancing technology makes more complex and powerful chips feasible to manufacture. A minimal hypothetical microprocessor might include only an
arithmetic logic unit In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and softw ...
(ALU), and a
control logicControl logic is a key part of a software program that controls the operations of the program. The control logic responds to commands from the user, and it also acts on its own to perform automated tasks that have been structured into the program. ...
section. The ALU performs addition, subtraction, and operations such as AND or OR. Each operation of the ALU sets one or more
flag A flag is a piece of fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crochetin ...
s in a
status register A status register, flag register, or condition code register (CCR) is a collection of status flag A flag is a piece of textile, fabric (most often rectangular or quadrilateral) with a distinctive design and colours. It is used as a symbol, a si ...
, which indicate the results of the last operation (zero value, negative number, overflow, or others). The control logic retrieves instruction codes from memory and initiates the sequence of operations required for the ALU to carry out the instruction. A single
operation code In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and softw ...
might affect many individual data paths, registers, and other elements of the processor. As integrated circuit technology advanced, it was feasible to manufacture more and more complex processors on a single chip. The size of data objects became larger; allowing more transistors on a chip allowed
word In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most lang ...
sizes to increase from 4- and
8-bit In computer architecture In computer engineering, computer architecture is a set of rules and methods that describe the functionality, organization, and implementation of computer systems. Some definitions of architecture define it as descr ...
words up to today's
64-bit In computer architecture In computer engineering Computer engineering (CoE or CpE) is a branch of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific method, scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other it ...
words. Additional features were added to the processor architecture; more on-chip registers sped up programs, and complex instructions could be used to make more compact programs.
Floating-point arithmetic In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and soft ...
, for example, was often not available on 8-bit microprocessors, but had to be carried out in
software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, hardware, from which the system is built and actually performs the work. At the low level lang ...

software
. Integration of the
floating-point unit A floating-point unit (FPU, colloquially a math coprocessor) is a part of a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform gene ...
, first as a separate integrated circuit and then as part of the same microprocessor chip, sped up floating-point calculations. Occasionally, physical limitations of integrated circuits made such practices as a
bit slice Bit slicing is a technique for constructing a central processing unit, processor from modules of processors of smaller bit width, for the purpose of increasing the word length; in theory to make an arbitrary n-bit CPU. Each of these component mod ...
approach necessary. Instead of processing all of a long word on one integrated circuit, multiple circuits
in parallel (such as a battery, or in this case a cell) and 3 resistance units Terminal (electronics), Two-terminal A terminal is the point at which a electrical conductor, conductor from a electrical component, component, device or electrical network, net ...
processed subsets of each word. 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 32-bit microcomputers are computers in which 32-bit microprocessors are the norm. Range for storing integers A 32-bit register can store 232 different values. The range (computer programming), range of integer values that can be stored in 32 bi ...
words using integrated circuits with a capacity for only four bits each. The ability to put large numbers of transistors on one chip makes it feasible to integrate memory on the same die as the processor. This
CPU cache A CPU cache is a hardware cache In computing, a cache ( , or in Australian English) is a hardware or software component that stores data so that future requests for that data can be served faster; the data stored in a cache might be the resu ...
has the advantage of faster access than off-chip memory and increases the processing speed of the system for many applications. Processor
clock frequency In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and softwar ...
has increased more rapidly than external memory speed, so
cache memory In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and sof ...
is necessary if the processor is not to be delayed by slower external memory.


Special-purpose designs

A microprocessor is a general-purpose entity. Several specialized processing devices have followed: * A
digital signal processor The NeXTcube from 1990 had a Motorola 68040 (25 MHz) and a digital signal processor Motorola 56001">Motorola_68040.html" ;"title="NeXTcube from 1990 had a Motorola 68040">NeXTcube from 1990 had a Motorola 68040 (25 MHz) and a digital signal proce ...
(DSP) is specialized for
signal processing Signal processing is an electrical engineering Electrical engineering is an engineering discipline concerned with the study, design, and application of equipment, devices, and systems which use electricity, electronics, and electromagnetis ...

signal processing
. *
Graphics processing unit A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a specialized designed to rapidly manipulate and alter to accelerate the creation of in a intended for output to a . GPUs are used in s, s, s, s, and s. Modern GPUs are very efficient at manipulating and ...
s (GPUs) are processors designed primarily for realtime rendering of images. * Other specialized units exist for
video processingIn electronics engineering, video processing is a particular case of signal processing Signal processing is an electrical engineering subfield that focuses on analysing, modifying, and synthesizing signals such as audio signal processing, sound ...
and
machine vision Machine vision (MV) is the technology and methods used to provide imaging-based automatic inspection and analysis for such applications as automatic inspection, process control, and robot guidance, usually in industry. Machine vision refers to ma ...
. (See:
Hardware acceleration Hardware acceleration is the use of computer hardware Computer hardware includes the physical parts of a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. ...
.) *
Microcontroller A microcontroller (MCU for ''microcontroller unit'') is a small computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of ...

Microcontroller
s integrate a microprocessor with
peripheral device A peripheral or peripheral device is an auxiliary device used to put information into and get information out of the computer. The term peripheral device refers to all hardware components that are attached to a computer and are controlled by the co ...
s in
embedded system An embedded system is a computer system A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out Sequence, sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Co ...
s. * Systems on chip (SoCs) often integrate one or more microprocessor or microcontroller cores with other components such as radio modems, and are used in smartphones and tablet computers.


Speed and power considerations

Microprocessors can be selected for differing applications based on their word size, which is a measure of their complexity. Longer word sizes allow each
clock cycle In electronics and especially Synchronous logic, synchronous digital circuits, a clock signal (historically also known as ''logic beat'') oscillates between a high and a low state and is used like a metronome to coordinate actions of digital Electro ...

clock cycle
of a processor to carry out more computation, but correspond to physically larger integrated circuit dies with higher standby and operating
power consumption Electric energy consumption is the form of energy consumption Energy consumption is the amount of energy or power used. Biology In the body, energy consumption is part of energy homeostasis. It derived from food energy. Energy consumption in ...
.CMicrotek
"8-bit vs 32-bit Micros"
.
4-, 8- or 12-bit processors are widely integrated into microcontrollers operating embedded systems. Where a system is expected to handle larger volumes of data or require a more flexible
user interface In the industrial design Industrial design is a process of design A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or specificati ...
, 16-, 32- or 64-bit processors are used. An 8- or
16-bit 16-bit microcomputer A microcomputer is a small, relatively inexpensive computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform gener ...
processor may be selected over a 32-bit processor for
system on a chip A system on a chip (SoC; or This article uses the convention that SoC is pronounced . Therefore, it uses the convention "an" for the indefinite article Indefinite may refer to: * the opposite of definite in grammar ** indefinite article ...
or microcontroller applications that require extremely
low-power electronics Low-power electronics are electronics, such as notebook processor A notebook processor is a Central processing unit, CPU optimized for Laptop, laptops. One of the main characteristics differentiating notebook processors from other CPUs is Low-pow ...
, or are part of a
mixed-signal integrated circuit A mixed-signal integrated circuit is any integrated circuit An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece (or "chip") of sem ...
with noise-sensitive on-chip
analog electronics Analogue electronics ( en-US, analog electronics) are electronic systems with a continuously variable signal, in contrast to digital electronics where signals usually take only two levels. The term "analogue" describes the proportional relations ...
such as high-resolution analog to digital converters, or both. Running 32-bit arithmetic on an 8-bit chip could end up using more power, as the chip must execute software with multiple instructions.


Embedded applications

Thousands of items that were traditionally not computer-related include microprocessors. These include household appliances, vehicles (and their accessories), tools and test instruments, toys, light switches/dimmers and electrical circuit breakers, smoke alarms, battery packs, and hi-fi audio/visual components (from
DVD player A DVD player is a device that plays DVD The DVD (common abbreviation for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital optical disc data storage format invented and developed in 1995 and released in late 1996. The medium c ...

DVD player
s to phonograph turntables). Such products as cellular telephones,
DVD video DVD-Video is a consumer video format used to store digital video on DVD The DVD (common abbreviation for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital optical disc data storage format invented and developed in 1995 and release ...
system and
HDTV High-definition television (HD or HDTV) describes a television system providing a substantially higher image resolution Image resolution is the detail an image holds. The term applies to digital images, film images, and other types of images. Hig ...

HDTV
broadcast systems fundamentally require consumer devices with powerful, low-cost, microprocessors. Increasingly stringent pollution control standards effectively require automobile manufacturers to use microprocessor engine management systems to allow optimal control of emissions over the widely varying operating conditions of an automobile. Non-programmable controls would require bulky, or costly implementation to achieve the results possible with a microprocessor. A microprocessor control program (
embedded softwareEmbedded software is computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions and data (computing), data that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, physical hardware, from which ...
) can be tailored to fit the needs of a product line, allowing upgrades in performance with minimal redesign of the product. Unique features can be implemented in product line's various models at negligible production cost. Microprocessor control of a system can provide control strategies that would be impractical to implement using electromechanical controls or purpose-built electronic controls. For example, an internal combustion engine's control system can adjust ignition timing based on engine speed, load, temperature, and any observed tendency for knocking—allowing the engine to operate on a range of fuel grades.


History

The advent of low-cost
computers A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Computer program, programs. These p ...

computers
on
integrated circuits An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuit 200px, A circuit built on a printed circuit board (PCB). An electronic circuit is composed of indivi ...

integrated circuits
has transformed
modern society Modernity, a topic in the humanities and social sciences, is both a historical period (the modern era Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or a ...
. General-purpose microprocessors in
personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or technician ...
s are used for computation, text editing,
multimedia display
multimedia display
, and communication over the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
. Many more microprocessors are part of
embedded system An embedded system is a computer system A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out Sequence, sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Co ...
s, providing digital control over myriad objects from appliances to automobiles to
cellular phone A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone A telephone is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the tra ...

cellular phone
s and industrial
process control An industrial process control in continuous production processes is a discipline that uses industrial control system#REDIRECT Industrial control system Industrial control system (ICS) is a general term that encompasses several types of control s ...
. Microprocessors perform binary operations based on
boolean logic In mathematics and mathematical logic, Boolean algebra is the branch of algebra in which the values of the variable (mathematics), variables are the truth values ''true'' and ''false'', usually denoted 1 and 0, respectively. Instead of elementary ...
, named after
George Boole George Boole (; 2 November 1815 – 8 December 1864) was a largely self-taught English mathematician, philosopher and logician, most of whose short career was spent as the first professor of mathematics at Queen's College, Cork in Irelan ...

George Boole
. The ability to operate computer systems using Boolean Logic was first proven in a 1938 thesis by master's student
Claude Shannon Claude Elwood Shannon (April 30, 1916 – February 24, 2001) was an American mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbe ...
, who later went on to become a professor. Shannon is considered "The Father of Information Theory". Following the development of
MOS integrated circuit file:MOSFET Structure.png, upright=1.6, MOSFET, showing metal gate, gate (G), body (B), source (S) and drain (D) terminals. The gate is separated from the body by an gate oxide, insulating layer (pink). The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-eff ...
chips in the early 1960s, MOS chips reached higher
transistor density upright=1.4, gate File:Kebun Raya Bali Candi Bentar IMG 8794.jpg, Candi bentar, a typical Indonesian gate that is often found on the islands of Java and Bali A gate or gateway is a point of entry to or from a space enclosed by walls. The w ...
and lower manufacturing costs than bipolar
integrated circuits An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuit 200px, A circuit built on a printed circuit board (PCB). An electronic circuit is composed of indivi ...

integrated circuits
by 1964. MOS chips further increased in complexity at a rate predicted by
Moore's law Moore's law is the observation that Transistor count, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit (IC) doubles about every two years. Moore's law is an observation and Forecasting, projection of a historical trend. Rather than a ph ...
, leading to
large-scale integration An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuit File:PExdcr01CJC.jpg, 200px, A circuit built on a printed circuit board (PCB). An electronic circuit i ...
(LSI) with hundreds of
transistors file:MOSFET Structure.png, upright=1.4, Metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), showing Metal gate, gate (G), body (B), source (S) and drain (D) terminals. The gate is separated from the body by an insulating layer (pink). A ...
on a single MOS chip by the late 1960s. The application of MOS LSI chips to
computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and software. It has sci ...

computing
was the basis for the first microprocessors, as engineers began recognizing that a complete
computer processor A central processing unit (CPU), also called a central processor, main processor or just Processor (computing), processor, is the electronic circuitry that executes Instruction (computing), instructions comprising a computer program. The CPU p ...
could be contained on several MOS LSI chips. Designers in the late 1960s were striving to integrate the
central processing unit A central processing unit (CPU), also called a central processor, main processor or just processor, is the electronic circuit 200px, A circuit built on a printed circuit board (PCB). An electronic circuit is composed of individual electroni ...

central processing unit
(CPU) functions of a computer onto a handful of MOS LSI chips, called microprocessor unit (MPU) chipsets. The first commercially produced microprocessor was the
Intel 4004 The Intel 4004 is a 4-bit In , 4-bit s, or other units are those that are 4 s wide. Also, 4-bit and architectures are those that are based on s, or es of that size. es (and thus es) for 4-bit CPUs are generally much larger than 4-bi ...

Intel 4004
, released as a single MOS LSI chip in 1971. The single-chip microprocessor was made possible with the development of MOS silicon-gate technology (SGT). The earliest MOS transistors had
aluminium Aluminium (aluminum in and ) is a with the  Al and  13. Aluminium has a density lower than those of other common , at approximately one third that of . It has a great affinity towards , and of on the surface when exposed to air ...

aluminium
metal gate A metal gate, in the context of a lateral metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) stack, is the gate electrode separated by an oxide from the transistor's channel – the gate material is made from a metal. In most MOS transistors since about the mid 1 ...
s, which Italian physicist
Federico Faggin Federico Faggin (, ; born 1 December 1941) is an Italian-American physicist, engineer, inventor and entrepreneur. He is best known for designing the first commercial microprocessor, the Intel 4004. He led the Intel 4004, 4004 (MCS-4) project and ...

Federico Faggin
replaced with
silicon Silicon is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Si and atomic number 14. It is a hard, brittle crystalline solid with a blue-grey metallic lustre, and is a Tetravalence, tetravalent metalloid and semiconductor. It is a member ...

silicon
self-aligned gate In electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electrical engineering that deals with the emission, behaviour and effects of electrons The electron is a subatomic particle In physical sciences, subatomic particles are ...
s to develop the first silicon-gate MOS chip at
Fairchild Semiconductor Fairchild Semiconductor International, Inc. was an American semiconductor A semiconductor material has an electrical conductivity Electrical resistivity (also called specific electrical resistance or volume resistivity) is a fundamental pr ...
in 1968. Faggin later joined
Intel Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personalit ...

Intel
and used his silicon-gate MOS technology to develop the 4004, along with
Marcian Hoff Marcian Edward "Ted" Hoff Jr. (born October 28, 1937 in Rochester, New York Rochester () is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds ...
, Stanley Mazor and
Masatoshi Shima is a Japanese electronics engineer Image:Silego clock generator.JPG, Printed circuit board Electronic engineering (also called electronics and communications engineering) is an electrical engineering discipline which utilizes nonlinear and acti ...

Masatoshi Shima
in 1971. The 4004 was designed for
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, which had earlier proposed a multi-chip design in 1969, before Faggin's team at Intel changed it into a new single-chip design. Intel introduced the first commercial microprocessor, the
4-bit In , 4-bit s, or other units are those that are 4 s wide. Also, 4-bit and architectures are those that are based on s, or es of that size. es (and thus es) for 4-bit CPUs are generally much larger than 4-bit (since only 16 memory locatio ...
Intel 4004, in 1971. It was soon followed by the 8-bit microprocessor
Intel 8008 The Intel 8008 ("''eight-thousand-eight''" or "''eighty-oh-eight''") is an early byte-oriented microprocessor A microprocessor is a computer processor where the data processing logic and control is included on a single integrated circuit, ...

Intel 8008
in 1972. Other embedded uses of 4-bit and 8-bit microprocessors, such as terminals,
printer Printers may be: Technology * Printer (publishing) In publishing, printers are both companies A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal ...
s, various kinds of
automation Automation describes a wide range of technologies that reduce human intervention in processes. Human intervention is reduced by predetermining decision criteria, subprocess relationships, and related actions — and embodying those predetermi ...
etc., followed soon after. Affordable 8-bit microprocessors with
16-bit 16-bit microcomputer A microcomputer is a small, relatively inexpensive computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform gener ...
addressing also led to the first general-purpose
microcomputer A microcomputer is a small, relatively inexpensive computer with a microprocessor as its central processing unit (CPU). It includes a microprocessor, Computer memory, memory and minimal input/output (I/O) circuitry mounted on a single printed ci ...
s from the mid-1970s on. 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. Since the early 1970s, the increase in capacity of microprocessors has followed
Moore's law Moore's law is the observation that Transistor count, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit (IC) doubles about every two years. Moore's law is an observation and Forecasting, projection of a historical trend. Rather than a ph ...
; this originally suggested that the number of components that can be fitted onto a chip doubles every year. With present technology, it is actually every two years, and as a result Moore later changed the period to two years.


First projects

These projects delivered a microprocessor at about the same time:
Garrett AiResearch Garrett AiResearch was a manufacturer of turboprop A turboprop engine is a turbine engine A gas turbine, also called a combustion turbine, is a type of Internal combustion engine#Continuous combustion, continuous and internal combustion en ...
's
Central Air Data ComputerThe F-14's Central Air Data Computer (CADC) computes altitude, vertical speed, air speed, and mach number 300px, An F/A-18 Hornet creating a vapor cone at transonic speed">vapor_cone.html" ;"title="F/A-18 Hornet creating a vapor cone">F/A-18 Ho ...
(CADC) (1970),
Texas Instruments Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is an America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country primarily located in North America North America is a ...
' TMS 1802NC (September 1971) and
Intel Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personalit ...

Intel
's (November 1971, based on an earlier 1969
Busicom kit, based on Intel 8080 chip, on the centre, Busicom calculator motherboard, based on Intel 4004 chip, and on the right, the Busicom calculator, fully assembled in Ueno Image:KaneijiPagoda1270.jpg, Pagoda of Kan'eiji, now in Ueno Zoo is a ...
design). Arguably, Four-Phase Systems AL1 microprocessor was also delivered in 1969.


Four-Phase Systems AL1 (1969)

The Four-Phase Systems AL1 was an 8-bit
bit slice Bit slicing is a technique for constructing a central processing unit, processor from modules of processors of smaller bit width, for the purpose of increasing the word length; in theory to make an arbitrary n-bit CPU. Each of these component mod ...
chip containing eight registers and an ALU. It was designed by Lee Boysel in 1969. At the time, it formed part of a nine-chip, 24-bit CPU with three AL1s, but it was later called a microprocessor when, in response to 1990s litigation by
Texas Instruments Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is an America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country primarily located in North America North America is a ...
, a demonstration system was constructed where a single AL1 formed part of a courtroom demonstration computer system, together with RAM, ROM, and an input-output device.


Garrett AiResearch CADC (1970)

In 1968,
Garrett AiResearch Garrett AiResearch was a manufacturer of turboprop A turboprop engine is a turbine engine A gas turbine, also called a combustion turbine, is a type of Internal combustion engine#Continuous combustion, continuous and internal combustion en ...
(who employed designers
Ray Holt Raymond M. Holt is a computer designer and businessman in Silicon Valley. From 1968 to 1970, Ray and his brother Bill Holt were on the Garrett AiResearch Garrett AiResearch was a manufacturer of turboprop A turboprop engine is a turbine eng ...
and Steve Geller) was invited to produce a digital computer to compete with
electromechanical In engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad ran ...
systems then under development for the main flight control computer in the
US Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot = , equipment = List of equipment of the United St ...
's new
F-14 Tomcat The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is an American carrier-capable supersonic aircraft, supersonic, twinjet, twin-engine, two-seat, twin-tail, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the United States Navy's Naval Fighter Exper ...

F-14 Tomcat
fighter. The design was complete by 1970, and used a -based chipset as the core CPU. The design was significantly (approximately 20 times) smaller and much more reliable than the mechanical systems it competed against and was used in all of the early Tomcat models. This system contained "a 20-bit,
pipelined Pipeline may refer to: Electronics, computers and computing * Pipeline (computing), a chain of data-processing stages or a CPU optimization found on ** Instruction pipelining, a technique for implementing instruction-level parallelism within a si ...
,
parallel Parallel may refer to: Computing * Parallel algorithm In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their a ...
multi-microprocessor". The Navy refused to allow publication of the design until 1997. Released in 1998, the documentation on the CADC, and the
MP944The F-14's Central Air Data Computer (CADC) computes altitude, vertical speed, air speed, and mach number from sensor inputs such as pitot and static pressure and temperature. Earlier air data computer systems were electromechanical computers, ...
chipset, are well known. Ray Holt's autobiographical story of this design and development is presented in the book: The Accidental Engineer.
Ray Holt Raymond M. Holt is a computer designer and businessman in Silicon Valley. From 1968 to 1970, Ray and his brother Bill Holt were on the Garrett AiResearch Garrett AiResearch was a manufacturer of turboprop A turboprop engine is a turbine eng ...
graduated from California Polytechnic University in 1968, and began his computer design career with the CADC. From its inception, it was shrouded in secrecy until 1998 when at Holt's request, the US Navy allowed the documents into the public domain. Holt has claimed that no one has compared this microprocessor with those that came later. According to Parab et al. (2007), This convergence of DSP and microcontroller architectures is known as a digital signal controller.


Pico/General Instrument

In 1971, Pico Electronics and
General Instrument General Instrument (GI) was an American electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses active devices to control e ...
(GI) introduced their first collaboration in ICs, a complete single-chip calculator IC for the Monroe/Litton Royal Digital III calculator. This chip could also arguably lay claim to be one of the first microprocessors or microcontrollers having
ROM Rom, or ROM may refer to: Biomechanics and medicine * Risk of mortality The risk of mortality (ROM) provides a medical classification to estimate the likelihood of inhospital death for a patient. The ROM classes are minor, moderate, major, and ex ...
,
RAM Random-access memory (RAM; ) is a form of computer memory In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic proces ...
and a
RISC In computer engineering Computer engineering (CoE or CpE) is a branch of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, v ...
instruction set on-chip. The layout for the four layers of the PMOS process was hand drawn at x500 scale on mylar film, a significant task at the time given the complexity of the chip. Pico was a spinout by five GI design engineers whose vision was to create single-chip calculator ICs. They had significant previous design experience on multiple calculator chipsets with both GI and Marconi-Elliott. The key team members had originally been tasked by
Elliott Automation Elliott Brothers (London) Ltd was an early computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as ...
to create an 8-bit computer in MOS and had helped establish a MOS Research Laboratory in
Glenrothes Glenrothes (; , ; sco, Glenrothes; gd, Gleann Rathais) is a town situated in the heart of Fife Fife (, ; gd, Fìobha, ; sco, Fife) is a council area{{Unreferenced, date=May 2019, bot=noref (GreenC bot) A council area is one of the are ...
, Scotland in 1967. Calculators were becoming the largest single market for semiconductors so Pico and GI went on to have significant success in this burgeoning market. GI continued to innovate in microprocessors and microcontrollers with products including the CP1600, IOB1680 and PIC1650. In 1987, the GI Microelectronics business was spun out into the
Microchip An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuit File:PExdcr01CJC.jpg, 200px, A circuit built on a printed circuit board (PCB). An electronic circuit i ...
PIC microcontroller PIC (usually pronounced as ''"pick"'') is a family of microcontroller A microcontroller (MCU for ''microcontroller unit'') is a small computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or l ...
business.


Intel 4004 (1971)

The
Intel 4004 The Intel 4004 is a 4-bit In , 4-bit s, or other units are those that are 4 s wide. Also, 4-bit and architectures are those that are based on s, or es of that size. es (and thus es) for 4-bit CPUs are generally much larger than 4-bi ...

Intel 4004
is generally regarded as the first true microprocessor built on a single chip, priced at The first known advertisement for the 4004 is dated November 15, 1971 and appeared in ''
Electronic News ''Electronic News'' was a publication that covered the electronics industry, from semiconductor A semiconductor material has an Electrical resistivity and conductivity, electrical conductivity value falling between that of a Electrical conductor ...
''. The microprocessor was designed by a team consisting of Italian engineer
Federico Faggin Federico Faggin (, ; born 1 December 1941) is an Italian-American physicist, engineer, inventor and entrepreneur. He is best known for designing the first commercial microprocessor, the Intel 4004. He led the Intel 4004, 4004 (MCS-4) project and ...

Federico Faggin
, American engineers
Marcian Hoff Marcian Edward "Ted" Hoff Jr. (born October 28, 1937 in Rochester, New York Rochester () is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds ...
and Stanley Mazor, and Japanese engineer
Masatoshi Shima is a Japanese electronics engineer Image:Silego clock generator.JPG, Printed circuit board Electronic engineering (also called electronics and communications engineering) is an electrical engineering discipline which utilizes nonlinear and acti ...

Masatoshi Shima
. The project that produced the 4004 originated in 1969, when
Busicom kit, based on Intel 8080 chip, on the centre, Busicom calculator motherboard, based on Intel 4004 chip, and on the right, the Busicom calculator, fully assembled in Ueno Image:KaneijiPagoda1270.jpg, Pagoda of Kan'eiji, now in Ueno Zoo is a ...
, a Japanese calculator manufacturer, asked Intel to build a chipset for high-performance desktop calculators. Busicom's original design called for a programmable chip set consisting of seven different chips. Three of the chips were to make a special-purpose CPU with its program stored in ROM and its data stored in shift register read-write memory. Ted Hoff, the Intel engineer assigned to evaluate the project, believed the Busicom design could be simplified by using dynamic RAM storage for data, rather than shift register memory, and a more traditional general-purpose CPU architecture. Hoff came up with a four-chip architectural proposal: a ROM chip for storing the programs, a dynamic RAM chip for storing data, a simple
I/O In computing, input/output (I/O, or informally io or IO) is the communication between an information processing system, such as a computer, and the outside world, possibly a human or another information processing system. Information, Inputs are t ...
device, and a 4-bit central processing unit (CPU). Although not a chip designer, he felt the CPU could be integrated into a single chip, but as he lacked the technical know-how the idea remained just a wish for the time being. While the architecture and specifications of the MCS-4 came from the interaction of Hoff with Stanley Mazor, a software engineer reporting to him, and with Busicom engineer
Masatoshi Shima is a Japanese electronics engineer Image:Silego clock generator.JPG, Printed circuit board Electronic engineering (also called electronics and communications engineering) is an electrical engineering discipline which utilizes nonlinear and acti ...

Masatoshi Shima
, during 1969, Mazor and Hoff moved on to other projects. In April 1970, Intel hired Italian engineer
Federico Faggin Federico Faggin (, ; born 1 December 1941) is an Italian-American physicist, engineer, inventor and entrepreneur. He is best known for designing the first commercial microprocessor, the Intel 4004. He led the Intel 4004, 4004 (MCS-4) project and ...

Federico Faggin
as project leader, a move that ultimately made the single-chip CPU final design a reality (Shima meanwhile designed the Busicom calculator firmware and assisted Faggin during the first six months of the implementation). Faggin, who originally developed the
silicon gateIn electronics, a self-aligned gate is a transistor manufacturing feature whereby a refractory gate (transistor), gate electrode region of a MOSFET (metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor) is used as a mask for the doping of the sourc ...
technology (SGT) in 1968 at
Fairchild Semiconductor Fairchild Semiconductor International, Inc. was an American semiconductor A semiconductor material has an electrical conductivity Electrical resistivity (also called specific electrical resistance or volume resistivity) is a fundamental pr ...
and designed the world's first commercial integrated circuit using SGT, the Fairchild 3708, had the correct background to lead the project into what would become the first commercial general purpose microprocessor. Since SGT was his very own invention, Faggin also used it to create his new methodology for
random logicRandom logic is a semiconductor circuit design technique that translates high-level logic descriptions directly into hardware features such as AND and OR gates. The name derives from the fact that few easily discernible patterns are evident in the ar ...
design that made it possible to implement a single-chip CPU with the proper speed, power dissipation and cost. The manager of Intel's MOS Design Department was Leslie L. Vadász at the time of the MCS-4 development but Vadász's attention was completely focused on the mainstream business of semiconductor memories so he left the leadership and the management of the MCS-4 project to Faggin, who was ultimately responsible for leading the 4004 project to its realization. Production units of the 4004 were first delivered to Busicom in March 1971 and shipped to other customers in late 1971.


Texas Instruments TMX 1795 (1970-1971)

Along with Intel (who developed the ), Texas Instruments developed in 1970–1971 a one-chip CPU replacement for the
Datapoint 2200 The Datapoint 2200 was a mass-produced desktop personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatical ...
terminal, the TMX 1795 (later TMC 1795.) Like the 8008, it was rejected by customer Datapoint. According to Gary Boone, the TMX 1795 never reached production. Since it was built to the same specification, its instruction set was very similar to the Intel 8008."Electronic Genie: The Tangled History of Silicon"
Frederick Seitz, Norman G.. Einspruch, University of Illinois Press, 1998, , pp. 228-229.
"The Surprising Story of the First Microprocessors"
Ken Shirriff, August 30, 2016, ieee.spectrum.org.


Texas Instruments TMS 1802NC (1971)

The TMS1802NC was announced September 17, 1971, and implemented a four-function calculator. The TMS1802NC, despite its designation, was not part of the
TMS 1000 The TMS1000 is a family of microcontrollers introduced by Texas Instruments in 1974. It combined a 4-bit central processor unit, read-only memory (ROM), read/write memory (RAM), and input/output (I/O) lines as a complete "computer on a chip". I ...

TMS 1000
series; it was later redesignated as part of the TMS 0100 series, which was used in the TI Datamath calculator. Although marketed as a calculator-on-a-chip, the TMS1802NC was fully programmable, including on the chip a CPU with an 11-bit instruction word, 3520 bits (320 instructions) of ROM and 182 bits of RAM.


Gilbert Hyatt

Gilbert Hyatt was awarded a patent claiming an invention pre-dating both TI and Intel, describing a "microcontroller".Hyatt, Gilbert P., "Single chip integrated circuit computer architecture"
Patent 4942516
, issued July 17, 1990
The patent was later invalidated, but not before substantial royalties were paid out.


8-bit designs

The
Intel 4004 The Intel 4004 is a 4-bit In , 4-bit s, or other units are those that are 4 s wide. Also, 4-bit and architectures are those that are based on s, or es of that size. es (and thus es) for 4-bit CPUs are generally much larger than 4-bi ...

Intel 4004
was followed in 1972 by the
Intel 8008 The Intel 8008 ("''eight-thousand-eight''" or "''eighty-oh-eight''") is an early byte-oriented microprocessor A microprocessor is a computer processor where the data processing logic and control is included on a single integrated circuit, ...

Intel 8008
, the world's first
8-bit In computer architecture In computer engineering, computer architecture is a set of rules and methods that describe the functionality, organization, and implementation of computer systems. Some definitions of architecture define it as descr ...
microprocessor. The 8008 was not, however, an extension of the 4004 design, but instead the culmination of a separate design project at Intel, arising from a contract with , of San Antonio TX, for a chip for a terminal they were designing, the
Datapoint 2200 The Datapoint 2200 was a mass-produced desktop personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatical ...
—fundamental aspects of the design came not from Intel but from CTC. In 1968, CTC's Vic Poor and Harry Pyle developed the original design for the
instruction set In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of Algo ...
and operation of the processor. In 1969, CTC contracted two companies,
Intel Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personalit ...

Intel
and
Texas Instruments Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is an America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country primarily located in North America North America is a ...
, to make a single-chip implementation, known as the CTC 1201. In late 1970 or early 1971, TI dropped out being unable to make a reliable part. In 1970, with Intel yet to deliver the part, CTC opted to use their own implementation in the Datapoint 2200, using traditional TTL logic instead (thus the first machine to run "8008 code" was not in fact a microprocessor at all and was delivered a year earlier). Intel's version of the 1201 microprocessor arrived in late 1971, but was too late, slow, and required a number of additional support chips. CTC had no interest in using it. CTC had originally contracted Intel for the chip, and would have owed them for their design work. To avoid paying for a chip they did not want (and could not use), CTC released Intel from their contract and allowed them free use of the design. Intel marketed it as the 8008 in April, 1972, as the world's first 8-bit microprocessor. It was the basis for the famous "
Mark-8 The Mark-8 is a microcomputer A microcomputer is a small, relatively inexpensive computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perfo ...
" computer kit advertised in the magazine ''
Radio-Electronics ''Radio-Electronics'' was an American electronics magazine that was published under various titles from 1929 to 2003. Hugo Gernsback Image:Radio News Nov 1928 Cover.jpg, 200px, right , Gernsback watching a television broadcast by his station WRN ...
'' in 1974. This processor had an 8-bit data bus and a 14-bit address bus. The 8008 was the precursor to the successful
Intel 8080 The Intel 8080 (''"eighty-eighty"'') is the second 8-bit microprocessor designed and manufactured by Intel. It first appeared in April 1974 and is an extended and enhanced variant of the earlier Intel 8008, 8008 design, although without binary ...
(1974), which offered improved performance over the 8008 and required fewer support chips. Federico Faggin conceived and designed it using high voltage N channel MOS. The
Zilog Z80 The Z80 is an 8-bit In computer architecture, 8-bit integer (computer science), integers or other data#Uses of data in computing, data units are those that are 8 bits wide (1 octet). Also, 8-bit central processing unit, CPU and arithmeti ...

Zilog Z80
(1976) was also a Faggin design, using low voltage N channel with depletion load and derivative Intel 8-bit processors: all designed with the methodology Faggin created for the 4004.
Motorola Motorola, Inc. () was an American Multinational corporation, multinational telecommunications company based in Schaumburg, Illinois, United States. After having lost $4.3 billion from 2007 to 2009, the company split into two independent pub ...

Motorola
released the competing in August 1974, and the similar
MOS Technology 6502 The MOS Technology 6502 (typically pronounced "sixty-five-oh-two" or "six-five-oh-two") William Mensch and the moderator both pronounce the 6502 microprocessor as ''"sixty-five-oh-two"''. is an 8-bit In computer architecture In computer ...
was released in 1975 (both designed largely by the same people). The 6502 family rivaled the Z80 in popularity during the 1980s. A low overall cost, little packaging, simple
computer bus In computer architecture In computer engineering, computer architecture is a set of rules and methods that describe the functionality, organization, and implementation of computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry ...
requirements, and sometimes the integration of extra circuitry (e.g. the Z80's built-in
memory refresh Memory refresh is the process of periodically reading information from an area of computer memory and immediately rewriting the read information to the same area without modification, for the purpose of preserving the information."refresh cycle" i ...
circuitry) allowed the
home computer Home computers were a class of microcomputers that entered the market in 1977 and became common during the 1980s. They were marketed to consumers as affordable and accessible computers that, for the first time, were intended for the use of a s ...

home computer
"revolution" to accelerate sharply in the early 1980s. This delivered such inexpensive machines as the Sinclair
ZX81 The ZX81 is a home computer Home computers were a class of microcomputers that entered the market in 1977 and became common during the 1980s. They were marketed to consumers as affordable and accessible computers that, for the first time, we ...

ZX81
, which sold for . A variation of the 6502, the
MOS Technology 6510 300px, Image of the internals of a Commodore 64 showing the 6510 CPU (40-pin DIP, lower left). The chip on the right is the MOS Technology SID, 6581 SID. The production week/year (WWYY) of each chip is given below its name. The MOS Technology 651 ...
was used in the
Commodore 64 The Commodore 64, also known as the C64 or the CBM 64, is an introduced in January 1982 by (first shown at the , January 7–10, 1982, in ). It has been listed in the as the highest-selling single computer model of all time, with independe ...

Commodore 64
and yet another variant, the 8502, powered the
Commodore 128 The Commodore 128, also known as the C128, C-128, C= 128,The "C=" represents the graphical part of the logo. is the last 8-bit In computer architecture, 8-bit integer (computer science), integers or other data#Uses of data in computing, d ...

Commodore 128
. The Western Design Center, Inc (WDC) introduced the CMOS
WDC 65C02 The Western Design Center The Western Design Center (WDC), located in Mesa, Arizona Mesa ( ) is a city in Maricopa County, in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is a suburb about east of Phoenix in the East Valley section of the Phoenix Met ...
in 1982 and licensed the design to several firms. It was used as the CPU in the
Apple IIe The Apple IIe (styled as Apple //e) is the third model in the of personal computers produced by . The ''e'' in the name stands for ''enhanced'', referring to the fact that several popular features were now built-in that were formerly only avail ...

Apple IIe
and personal computers as well as in medical implantable grade
pacemaker A cardiac pacemaker (or artificial pacemaker, so as not to be confused with the natural pacemaker of the heart The heart is a muscle, muscular Organ (anatomy), organ in most animals, which pumps blood through the blood vessels of the cir ...

pacemaker
s and
defibrillator Defibrillation is a treatment for life-threatening cardiac dysrhythmia Arrhythmia, also known as cardiac arrhythmia or heart arrhythmia, is a group of conditions in which the heartbeat is irregular, too fast, or too slow. The heart rate tha ...

defibrillator
s, automotive, industrial and consumer devices. WDC pioneered the licensing of microprocessor designs, later followed by
ARM In human anatomy, the arm is the part of the upper limb The upper Limb (anatomy), limbs or upper extremities are the forelimbs of an upright posture, upright-postured tetrapod vertebrate, extending from the scapulae and clavicles down to and incl ...
(32-bit) and other microprocessor
intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of ...
(IP) providers in the 1990s. Motorola introduced the MC6809 in 1978. It was an ambitious and well thought-through 8-bit design that was source compatible with the , and implemented using purely hard-wired logic (subsequent 16-bit microprocessors typically used
microcode In processor design Processor design is a subfield of computer engineering and electronics engineering (fabrication) that deals with creating a processor (computing), processor, a key component of computer hardware. The design process involves ch ...
to some extent, as
CISC CISC may refer to: *Caribbean Island Swimming Championships *Chongqing Iron and Steel Company * Clean intermittent self-catheterisation, a form of urinary catheterization *Complex instruction set computer *Criminal Intelligence Service Canada *Cana ...
design requirements were becoming too complex for pure hard-wired logic). Another early 8-bit microprocessor was the
Signetics 2650 The Signetics 2650 was an 8-bit microprocessor introduced in July 1975. According to Adam Osborne's book ''An Introduction to Microprocessors Vol 2: Some Real Products'', it was "the most minicomputer-like" of the microprocessors available at the ...
, which enjoyed a brief surge of interest due to its innovative and powerful
instruction set architecture In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of , ...
. A seminal microprocessor in the world of spaceflight was
RCA The RCA Corporation was a major American electronics company, which was founded as the Radio Corporation of America in 1919. It was initially a patent trust owned by General Electric General Electric Company (GE) is an American Multination ...
's
RCA 1802 The COSMAC is an 8-bit In computer architecture In computer engineering, computer architecture is a set of rules and methods that describe the functionality, organization, and implementation of computer systems. Some definitions of archi ...
(aka CDP1802, RCA COSMAC) (introduced in 1976), which was used on board the ''
Galileo Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei ( , ; 15 February 1564 – 8 January 1642), commonly referred to as Galileo, was an astronomer An astronomer is a scientist in the field of astronomy who focuses their studies on a specific qu ...
'' probe to Jupiter (launched 1989, arrived 1995). RCA COSMAC was the first to implement
CMOS Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS, pronounced "see-moss"), also known as complementary-symmetry metal–oxide–semiconductor (COS-MOS), is a type of metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor The metal–oxide–sem ...
technology. The CDP1802 was used because it could be run at very low power, and because a variant was available fabricated using a special production process,
silicon on sapphire Silicon on sapphire (SOS) is a hetero-epitaxial process for metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuit An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electron ...
(SOS), which provided much better protection against
cosmic radiation Cosmic rays are high-energy protons and atomic nuclei that move through space at nearly the speed of light. They originate from the Sun, from outside of the Solar System in our own galaxy, and from distant galaxies. Upon impact with Atmospher ...
and
electrostatic discharge Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the sudden flow of electricity Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion Image:Leaving Yongsan Station.jpg, 300px, Motion involves a change in position In physics, ...
than that of any other processor of the era. Thus, the SOS version of the 1802 was said to be the first radiation-hardened microprocessor. The RCA 1802 had a static design, meaning that the
clock frequency In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and softwar ...
could be made arbitrarily low, or even stopped. This let the ''Galileo'' spacecraft use minimum electric power for long uneventful stretches of a voyage. Timers or sensors would awaken the processor in time for important tasks, such as navigation updates, attitude control, data acquisition, and radio communication. Current versions of the Western Design Center 65C02 and 65C816 have static cores, and thus retain data even when the clock is completely halted.


12-bit designs

The
Intersil 6100 The Intersil 6100 is a single-chip microprocessor implementation of the 12-bit PDP-8 instruction set, along with a range of peripheral support and memory ICs developed by Intersil in the mid-1970s. It was sometimes referred to as the CMOS-PDP8. Sin ...
family consisted of a
12-bit Possibly the best-known 12-bit CPU is the PDP-8 The PDP-8 is a 12-bit Possibly the best-known 12-bit CPU is the PDP-8 and its relatives, such as the Intersil 6100 microprocessor produced in various incarnations from August 1963 to mid-1990. Man ...
microprocessor (the 6100) and a range of peripheral support and memory ICs. The microprocessor recognised the DEC
PDP-8 The PDP-8 is a 12-bit Possibly the best-known 12-bit CPU is the PDP-8 The PDP-8 is a 12-bit Possibly the best-known 12-bit CPU is the PDP-8 and its relatives, such as the Intersil 6100 microprocessor produced in various incarnations from Augu ...

PDP-8
minicomputer A minicomputer, or colloquially mini, is a class of smaller general purpose computers that developed in the mid-1960s and sold for much less than Mainframe computer, mainframe and mid-size computers from IBM and BUNCH, its direct competitors. In ...
instruction set. As such it was sometimes referred to as the CMOS-PDP8. Since it was also produced by Harris Corporation, it was also known as the Harris HM-6100. By virtue of its CMOS technology and associated benefits, the 6100 was being incorporated into some military designs until the early 1980s.


16-bit designs

The first multi-chip
16-bit 16-bit microcomputer A microcomputer is a small, relatively inexpensive computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform gener ...
microprocessor was the
National Semiconductor National Semiconductor was an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the Un ...
IMP-16 The IMP-16, by National Semiconductor National Semiconductor was an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of A ...
, introduced in early 1973. An 8-bit version of the chipset was introduced in 1974 as the IMP-8. Other early multi-chip 16-bit microprocessors include the
MCP-1600The MCP-1600 is a multi-chip microprocessor A microprocessor is a computer processor where the data processing logic and control is included on a single integrated circuit, or a small number of integrated circuits. The microprocessor contains ...
that Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) used in the
LSI-11 The PDP-11 is a series of 16-bit 16-bit microcomputers are computers in which 16-bit microprocessors were the norm. A 16-bit register can store 216 different values. The range (computer programming), range of integer values that can be stored i ...
OEM board set and the packaged PDP-11/03
minicomputer A minicomputer, or colloquially mini, is a class of smaller general purpose computers that developed in the mid-1960s and sold for much less than Mainframe computer, mainframe and mid-size computers from IBM and BUNCH, its direct competitors. In ...
—and the
Fairchild Semiconductor Fairchild Semiconductor International, Inc. was an American semiconductor A semiconductor material has an electrical conductivity Electrical resistivity (also called specific electrical resistance or volume resistivity) is a fundamental pr ...
MicroFlame 9440, both introduced in 1975–76. In 1975, National introduced the first 16-bit single-chip microprocessor, the
National Semiconductor PACE National Semiconductor's IPC-16A PACE, short for "Processing and Control Element", was the first commercial single-chip 16-bit microprocessor, announced in late 1974. It was a single-chip implementation of their early 1973 five-chip IMP-16 architec ...
, which was later followed by an NMOS version, the INS8900. Another early single-chip 16-bit microprocessor was TI's Texas Instruments TMS9900, TMS 9900, which was also compatible with their TI-990 line of minicomputers. The 9900 was used in the TI 990/4 minicomputer, the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A home computer, and the TM990 line of OEM microcomputer boards. The chip was packaged in a large ceramic 64-pin Dual in-line package, DIP package, while most 8-bit microprocessors such as the Intel 8080 used the more common, smaller, and less expensive plastic 40-pin DIP. A follow-on chip, the TMS 9980, was designed to compete with the Intel 8080, had the full TI 990 16-bit instruction set, used a plastic 40-pin package, moved data 8 bits at a time, but could only address 16 Kilobyte, KB. A third chip, the TMS 9995, was a new design. The family later expanded to include the 99105 and 99110. The Western Design Center (WDC) introduced the CMOS WDC 65816/65802, 65816 16-bit upgrade of the WDC CMOS WDC 65C02, 65C02 in 1984. The 65816 16-bit microprocessor was the core of the Apple IIgs and later the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, making it one of the most popular 16-bit designs of all time. Intel "upsized" their 8080 design into the 16-bit Intel 8086, the first member of the x86 family, which powers most modern IBM PC compatible, PC type computers.
Intel Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personalit ...

Intel
introduced the 8086 as a cost-effective way of porting software from the 8080 lines, and succeeded in winning much business on that premise. The Intel 8088, 8088, a version of the 8086 that used an 8-bit external data bus, was the microprocessor in the first IBM PC. Intel then released the Intel 80186, 80186 and Intel 80188, 80188, the Intel 80286, 80286 and, in 1985, the 32-bit Intel 80386, 80386, cementing their PC market dominance with the processor family's backwards compatibility. The 80186 and 80188 were essentially versions of the 8086 and 8088, enhanced with some onboard peripherals and a few new instructions. Although Intel's 80186 and 80188 were not used in IBM PC type designs, second source versions from NEC, the NEC V20, V20 and V30 frequently were. The 8086 and successors had an innovative but limited method of memory segmentation, while the 80286 introduced a full-featured segmented memory management unit (MMU). The 80386 introduced a flat 32-bit memory model with paged memory management. The 16-bit Intel x86 processors up to and including the 80386 do not include Floating-point unit, floating-point units (FPUs). Intel introduced the Intel 8087, 8087, Intel 80187, 80187, Intel 80287, 80287 and Intel 80387, 80387 math coprocessors to add hardware floating-point and transcendental function capabilities to the 8086 through 80386 CPUs. The 8087 works with the 8086/8088 and 80186/80188, the 80187 works with the 80186 but not the 80188, the 80287 works with the 80286 and the 80387 works with the 80386. The combination of an x86 CPU and an x87 coprocessor forms a single multi-chip microprocessor; the two chips are programmed as a unit using a single integrated instruction set. The 8087 and 80187 coprocessors are connected in parallel with the data and address buses of their parent processor and directly execute instructions intended for them. The 80287 and 80387 coprocessors are interfaced to the CPU through I/O ports in the CPU's address space, this is transparent to the program, which does not need to know about or access these I/O ports directly; the program accesses the coprocessor and its registers through normal instruction opcodes.


32-bit designs

16-bit designs had only been on the market briefly when
32-bit 32-bit microcomputers are computers in which 32-bit microprocessors are the norm. Range for storing integers A 32-bit register can store 232 different values. The range (computer programming), range of integer values that can be stored in 32 bi ...
implementations started to appear. The most significant of the 32-bit designs is the Motorola 68000, Motorola MC68000, introduced in 1979. The 68k, as it was widely known, had 32-bit registers in its programming model but used 16-bit internal data paths, three 16-bit Arithmetic Logic Units, and a 16-bit external data bus (to reduce pin count), and externally supported only 24-bit addresses (internally it worked with full 32 bit addresses). In PC-based IBM-compatible mainframes the MC68000 internal microcode was modified to emulate the 32-bit System/370 IBM mainframe. Motorola generally described it as a 16-bit processor. The combination of high performance, large (16 megabytes or 224 bytes) memory space and fairly low cost made it the most popular CPU design of its class. The Apple Lisa and Apple Macintosh, Macintosh designs made use of the 68000, as did a host of other designs in the mid-1980s, including the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga. The world's first single-chip fully 32-bit microprocessor, with 32-bit data paths, 32-bit buses, and 32-bit addresses, was the AT&T Corporation, AT&T Bell Labs Bellmac 32, BELLMAC-32A, with first samples in 1980, and general production in 1982. After the Bell System divestiture, divestiture of AT&T in 1984, it was renamed the WE 32000 (WE for Western Electric), and had two follow-on generations, the WE 32100 and WE 32200. These microprocessors were used in the AT&T 3B5 and 3B15 minicomputers; in the 3B2, the world's first desktop super microcomputer; in the "Companion", the world's first 32-bit laptop computer; and in "Alexander", the world's first book-sized super microcomputer, featuring ROM-pack memory cartridges similar to today's gaming consoles. All these systems ran the UNIX System V operating system. The first commercial, single chip, fully 32-bit microprocessor available on the market was the HP FOCUS. Intel's first 32-bit microprocessor was the Intel iAPX 432, iAPX 432, which was introduced in 1981, but was not a commercial success. It had an advanced Capability-based security, capability-based Object (computer science), object-oriented architecture, but poor performance compared to contemporary architectures such as Intel's own 80286 (introduced 1982), which was almost four times as fast on typical benchmark tests. However, the results for the iAPX432 was partly due to a rushed and therefore suboptimal Ada (programming language), Ada compiler. Motorola's success with the 68000 led to the Motorola 68010, MC68010, which added virtual memory support. The Motorola 68020, MC68020, introduced in 1984 added full 32-bit data and address buses. The 68020 became hugely popular in the Unix supermicrocomputer market, and many small companies (e.g., Altos Computer Systems, Altos, UNOS (operating system), Charles River Data Systems, Cromemco) produced desktop-size systems. The Motorola 68030, MC68030 was introduced next, improving upon the previous design by integrating the MMU into the chip. The continued success led to the Motorola 68040, MC68040, which included an floating-point unit, FPU for better math performance. The 68050 failed to achieve its performance goals and was not released, and the follow-up Motorola 68060, MC68060 was released into a market saturated by much faster RISC designs. The 68k family faded from use in the early 1990s. Other large companies designed the 68020 and follow-ons into embedded equipment. At one point, there were more 68020s in embedded equipment than there were
Intel Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personalit ...

Intel
Pentiums in PCs. The Motorola ColdFire, ColdFire processor cores are derivatives of the 68020. During this time (early to mid-1980s),
National Semiconductor National Semiconductor was an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the Un ...
introduced a very similar 16-bit pinout, 32-bit internal microprocessor called the NS 16032 (later renamed 32016), the full 32-bit version named the NS320xx, NS 32032. Later, National Semiconductor produced the NS320xx, NS 32132, which allowed two CPUs to reside on the same memory bus with built in arbitration. The NS32016/32 outperformed the MC68000/10, but the NS32332—which arrived at approximately the same time as the MC68020—did not have enough performance. The third generation chip, the NS32532, was different. It had about double the performance of the MC68030, which was released around the same time. The appearance of RISC processors like the AM29000 and MC88000 (now both dead) influenced the architecture of the final core, the NS32764. Technically advanced—with a superscalar RISC core, 64-bit bus, and internally overclocked—it could still execute Series 32000 instructions through real-time translation. When National Semiconductor decided to leave the Unix market, the chip was redesigned into the Swordfish Embedded processor with a set of on-chip peripherals. The chip turned out to be too expensive for the laser printer market and was killed. The design team went to Intel and there designed the Pentium processor, which is very similar to the NS32764 core internally. The big success of the Series 32000 was in the laser printer market, where the NS32CG16 with microcoded BitBlt instructions had very good price/performance and was adopted by large companies like Canon. By the mid-1980s, Sequent Computer Systems, Sequent introduced the first SMP server-class computer using the NS 32032. This was one of the design's few wins, and it disappeared in the late 1980s. The MIPS architecture, MIPS R2000 (microprocessor), R2000 (1984) and R3000 (1989) were highly successful 32-bit RISC microprocessors. They were used in high-end workstations and servers by Silicon Graphics, SGI, among others. Other designs included the Zilog Z80000, which arrived too late to market to stand a chance and disappeared quickly. The ARM architecture, ARM first appeared in 1985. This is a
RISC In computer engineering Computer engineering (CoE or CpE) is a branch of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, v ...
processor design, which has since come to dominate the 32-bit embedded systems processor space due in large part to its power efficiency, its licensing model, and its wide selection of system development tools. Semiconductor manufacturers generally license cores and integrate them into their own
system on a chip A system on a chip (SoC; or This article uses the convention that SoC is pronounced . Therefore, it uses the convention "an" for the indefinite article Indefinite may refer to: * the opposite of definite in grammar ** indefinite article ...
products; only a few such vendors such as Apple are licensed to modify the ARM cores or create their own. Most cell phones include an ARM processor, as do a wide variety of other products. There are microcontroller-oriented ARM cores without virtual memory support, as well as symmetric multiprocessor system, symmetric multiprocessor (SMP) applications processors with virtual memory. From 1993 to 2003, the 32-bit x86 architectures became increasingly dominant in desktop computer, desktop, laptop, and server markets, and these microprocessors became faster and more capable. Intel had licensed early versions of the architecture to other companies, but declined to license the Pentium, so AMD and Cyrix built later versions of the architecture based on their own designs. During this span, these processors increased in complexity (transistor count) and capability (instructions/second) by at least three orders of magnitude. Intel's Pentium line is probably the most famous and recognizable 32-bit processor model, at least with the public at broad.


64-bit designs in personal computers

While
64-bit In computer architecture In computer engineering Computer engineering (CoE or CpE) is a branch of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific method, scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other it ...
microprocessor designs have been in use in several markets since the early 1990s (including the Nintendo 64 gaming console in 1996), the early 2000s saw the introduction of 64-bit microprocessors targeted at the PC market. With AMD's introduction of a 64-bit architecture backwards-compatible with x86, x86-64 (also called AMD64), in September 2003, followed by Intel's near fully compatible 64-bit extensions (first called IA-32e or EM64T, later renamed Intel 64), the 64-bit desktop era began. Both versions can run 32-bit legacy applications without any performance penalty as well as new 64-bit software. With operating systems Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP x64, Windows Vista x64, Windows 7 x64, Linux, BSD, and macOS that run 64-bit natively, the software is also geared to fully utilize the capabilities of such processors. The move to 64 bits is more than just an increase in register size from the IA-32 as it also doubles the number of general-purpose registers. The move to 64 bits by PowerPC had been intended since the architecture's design in the early 90s and was not a major cause of incompatibility. Existing integer registers are extended as are all related data pathways, but, as was the case with IA-32, both floating-point and vector units had been operating at or above 64 bits for several years. Unlike what happened when IA-32 was extended to x86-64, no new general purpose registers were added in 64-bit PowerPC, so any performance gained when using the 64-bit mode for applications making no use of the larger address space is minimal. In 2011, ARM introduced a new 64-bit ARM architecture.


RISC

In the mid-1980s to early 1990s, a crop of new high-performance reduced instruction set computer (
RISC In computer engineering Computer engineering (CoE or CpE) is a branch of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, v ...
) microprocessors appeared, influenced by discrete RISC-like CPU designs such as the IBM 801 and others. RISC microprocessors were initially used in special-purpose machines and Unix workstations, but then gained wide acceptance in other roles. The first commercial RISC microprocessor design was released in 1984, by MIPS Computer Systems, the 32-bit R2000 (microprocessor), R2000 (the R1000 was not released). In 1986, HP released its first system with a PA-RISC CPU. In 1987, in the non-Unix Acorn computers' 32-bit, then cache-less, ARM2-based Acorn Archimedes became the first commercial success using the ARM architecture, then known as Acorn RISC Machine (ARM); first silicon ARM architecture, ARM1 in 1985. The R3000 made the design truly practical, and the R4000 introduced the world's first commercially available 64-bit RISC microprocessor. Competing projects would result in the IBM IBM POWER Instruction Set Architecture, POWER and Sun Microsystems, Sun SPARC architectures. Soon every major vendor was releasing a RISC design, including the AT&T CRISP, AMD 29000, Intel i860 and Intel i960, Motorola 88000, DEC Alpha. In the late 1990s, only two 64-bit RISC architectures were still produced in volume for non-embedded applications: SPARC and Power ISA, but as ARM has become increasingly powerful, in the early 2010s, it became the third RISC architecture in the general computing segment.


SMP and multi-core design

SMP ''symmetric multiprocessing'' is a configuration of two, four, or more CPU's (in pairs) that are typically used in servers, certain workstations and in desktop personal computers, since the 1990s. A multi-core processor is a single CPU that contains more than one microprocessor core. This popular two-socket motherboard from ABIT BP6, Abit was released in 1999 as the first SMP enabled PC motherboard, the Pentium Pro, Intel Pentium Pro was the first commercial CPU offered to system builders and enthusiasts. The Abit BP9 supports two Intel Celeron CPU's and when used with a SMP enabled operating system (Windows NT/2000/Linux) many applications obtain much higher performance than a single CPU. The early Celerons are easily overclockable and hobbyists used these relatively inexpensive CPU's clocked as high as 533Mhz - far beyond Intel's specification. After discovering the capacity of these motherboards Intel removed access to the multiplier in later CPU's. In 2001 IBM released the POWER4 CPU, it was a processor that was developed over five years of research, began in 1996 using a team of 250 researchers. The effort to accomplish the impossible was buttressed by development of and through—remote-collaboration and assigning younger engineers to work with more experienced engineers. The teams work achieved success with the new microprocessor, Power4. It is a two-in-one CPU that more than doubled performance at half the price of the competition, and a major advance in computing. The business magazine ''eWeek'' wrote: ''“The newly designed 1GHz Power4 represents a tremendous leap over its predecessor”''. An industry analyst, Brad Day of Giga Information Group said: ''“IBM is getting very aggressive, and this server is a game changer”.'' The Power4 won "''Analysts’ Choice Award for Best Workstation/Server Processor of 2001", and'' it broke notable records, including winning a contest against the best players on the Jeopardy! U.S. television show. Intel's Yonah (microprocessor), codename Yonah CPU's launched on Jan 6, 2006 and were manufactured with two dies packaged on a multi-chip module. In a hotly-contested marketplace List of AMD processors, AMD and others released new versions of multi-core CPU's, AMD's SMP enabled Athlon MP CPU's from the Athlon-XP, AthlonXP line in 2001, Sun released the UltraSPARC T1, Niagara and UltraSPARC T2, Niagara 2 with eight-cores, AMD's Athlon 64 X2, Athlon X2 was released in June 2007. The companies were engaged in a never-ending race for speed, indeed more demanding software mandated more processing power and faster CPU speeds. By 2012 ''dual and quad-core'' processors became widely used in PCs and laptops, newer processors - similar to the higher cost professional level Intel Xeon's - with additional cores that execute instructions in parallel so software performance typically increases, provided the software is designed to utilize advanced hardware. Operating systems provided support for multiple-cores and SMD CPU's, many software applications including large workload and resource intensive applications - such as 3-D games - are programmed to take advantage of multiple core and multi-CPU systems. Apple, Intel, and AMD currently lead the market with multiple core desktop and workstation CPU's. Although they frequently hip-hop each other for the lead in the performance tier. Intel retains higher frequencies and thus has the fastest single core performance, while AMD is often the leader in multi-threaded routines due to a more advanced ISA and the process node the CPU's are fabricated on. Multiprocessing concepts for multi-core/multi-cpu configurations are related to Amdahl's law.


Market statistics

In 1997, about 55% of all central processing unit, CPUs sold in the world were 8-bit microcontrollers, of which over 2 billion were sold. In 2002, less than 10% of all the CPUs sold in the world were 32-bit or more. Of all the 32-bit CPUs sold, about 2% are used in desktop or laptop personal computers. Most microprocessors are used in embedded control applications such as household appliances, automobiles, and computer peripherals. Taken as a whole, the average price for a microprocessor, microcontroller, or digital signal processor, DSP is just over . In 2003, about $44 billion (equivalent to about $ billion in ) worth of microprocessors were manufactured and sold. Although about half of that money was spent on CPUs used in desktop or laptop
personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a multi-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or technician ...
s, those count for only about 2% of all CPUs sold. The quality-adjusted price of laptop microprocessors improved −25% to −35% per year in 2004–2010, and the rate of improvement slowed to −15% to −25% per year in 2010–2013. About 10 billion CPUs were manufactured in 2008. Most new CPUs produced each year are embedded.


See also

* Comparison of CPU architectures * Computer architecture * Computer engineering * List of instruction sets * List of microprocessors * Microarchitecture * Microprocessor chronology


Notes


References

* * Microprocessor by SchoolingAxis https://www.schoolingaxis.com/2021/12/microprocessor-mcq-multiple-choice_68.html


External links


Patent problems
* * * * * * * {{Authority control Microprocessors, American inventions Japanese inventions Digital electronics History of computing hardware Microcomputers Telecommunications engineering 1971 introductions