The Central Processing Unit. AKA - CPU/Microprocessor. Overview.
AKA - CPU/Microprocessor
A CPU is a silicon chip containing millions of transistors. The CPU is the brains of a computer, whether it is a desktop, laptop, or server. It processes everything from the simplest instructions to the most complex functions. Most calculations are performed in the CPU, and it’s considered to be the most important part of the computer in terms of power.
The program being processed by the CPU can be a spreadsheet, a word processor or a game. It makes no difference to the CPU, since it doesn’t understand what the program is actually doing. It just follows the orders (also called commands or instructions) contained inside the program. For example, these orders could be to add two numbers or to send a piece of data to the video card.
The first CPU was the Intel 4004. It was introduced in 1971, but it wasn’t very powerful, as it could only add and subtract 4 bits at a time. Before the 4004, computers ran using a collection of chips or transistors wired one at a time.The first microprocessor to make it into a home computer was the Intel 8080, a complete 8-bit computer on one chip, introduced in 1974.
The first processors were 8-bit and included Motorola and Intel.
The next were 16-bits and included Intel
The next were 32-bits and included Motorola, AMD, Berkeley Fujitsu, and Stanford MIPS
The 64-bit cpus included Motorola, AMD, Intel, Berkeley Fujitsu, MIPS, and IBM
128-bit cpus included MIPS and Berkeley Fujitsu
256-bit cpus included Intel, MIPS and IBM
16 bits8-bit bus
32 bits64-bit bus
32 bits64-bit bus
32 bits64-bit bus
32 bits64-bit bus
Pentium 4 "Prescott"
32 bits64-bit bus
Microns is the width, in microns, of the smallest wire on the chip. For example, a human hair is 100 microns thick. As the size of the chip goes down, the number of transistors rises
Clock speed is the maximum rate that the chip can be clocked at in mhz
Data Width is the width of the ALU(Arithmetic/Logic Unit). An 8-bit ALU can add/subtract/multiply/etc. two 8-bit numbers, while a 32-bit ALU can manipulate 32-bit numbers.
MIPS stands for "millions of instructions per second" and is a measure of the performance of a CPU.From this table you can see a relationship between clock speed and MIPS and also between the number of transistors and MIPS.
Instead of just a single core processor, there are also dual, triple, and quad-core processors made by AMD and Intel. While using a quad-core processor, it is like having four processors in one chip, all working together to increase multi-tasking speed and power-hungry programs like games.
Also, all CPUs require a fan
and/or heat sink to make
sure the chip doesn’t overheat.
Besides MIPS, VIA, Texas Instruments, NEC, Cyrix, Motorola, and a few others, there are two main desktop CPU manufacturers, Intel and AMD. Both of these companies have a power CPU and a Budget CPU. The Power CPU's are the Core 2 Quad from Intel and the Phenom X3 and Phenom Quad from AMD. The budget CPU's are the Celeron from Intel and the Sempron from AMD. Price is a big factor between these CPU's.
Each range of CPU fits into a specific socket on the motherboard.Motherboards are designed with one socket type and cannot be converted. Socket types change quite rapidly, like when a new type of CPU comes out. A new CPU with a new layout requires to connect to the motherboard differently and so a new socket type is released on motherboards to handle the new CPU's correctly. Even if a CPU fits into a motherboards CPU socket, there is no guarantee it will work.
In order to understand how a processor works, you need to understand what RAM, ROM, and cache memory are.
ROM stands for read-only memory. Nearly all computers contain some amount of ROM. A ROM chip is programmed with a permanent collection of pre-set bytes. The address bus tells the ROM chip which byte to get and place on the data bus. When the RD line changes state, the ROM chip sends the selected byte onto the data bus.
RAM stands for random-access memory. RAM contains bytes of information, and the processor can read or write to those bytes depending on whether the RD or WR line is signaled. One problem with today's RAM chips is that they forget everything once the power goes off. That is why the computer needs ROM.
CPUs typically have two or three levels of cache memory. Cache Memory is a type of fast memory which serves as a buffer between RAM and the processor.
A microprocessor executes a collection of machine instructions that tell the processor what to do. Based on the instructions, a microprocessor does three things:
1) Using its ALU (Arithmetic/Logic Unit), a processor can perform mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Modern microprocessors contain complete floating point processors that can perform extremely advanced operations on large floating point numbers, which is any number besides an integer.
2) It can move data from one memory location to another.
3) It can make decisions and jump to a new set of instructions based on those decisions.
When you double click on an icon to run a program, here’s what happens:
1. The program, which is stored inside the hard disk drive, is transferred to the RAM memory. A program is a series of instructions to the CPU.2. The CPU, using a circuit called memory controller, loads the program data from the RAM memory. 3. The data, now inside the CPU, is processed.4. What happens next depends on the program. The CPU could continue to load and executing the program or could do something with the processed data, like displaying something on the screen.
These are the parts of this processor:
Socket 7 - Original Pentiums, Cyrix 686, Cyrix MII, K6, K6-2 and K6-III
Socket 370 -Intel Celeron, Intel PIII, Cyrix III
Slot 1 - Intel PII, Intel PIII
Slot A - AMD Athlon
Socket A - AMD Athlon Thunderbird, AMD Duron, AMD Athlon XP
Socket 423 -Intel P4
Socket 478 - Intel P4 (2nd Gen)
754-Pin Socket - Athlon 64
940-Pin Socket - Athlon 64-fx, Opteron
Socket AM2 - Athlon 64 FX, Athlon X2
Socket 603 / 604 - Intel Xeon
Socket T - Intel Pentium 4, Pentium Extreme, Pentium D, Core 2 Duo
LGA 771 - Xeon
PAC418 / 611 - Intel Itanium
Socket 775 - Core 2 duo, Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Quad
Socket AM2+ - Athlon 64, Athlon 64 FX-62, Athlon 64 X2, Sempron, Sempron LE
Socket AM3 - Athlon 64 X2, Phenom, Sempron, Sempron LE, Opteron
Socket F - Phenom, Opteron (Server range)
There are more sockets than listed here, but these are the major sockets for most computers.
There is such a large price range for each processor because they release new models of them that cost more and more. I am showing you the cheapest, most basic model to the most expensive, advanced model of each type of CPU.
AMD Opteron – $11-$2500
AMD Athlon XP – $11-$100
AMD Athlon X2 – $13-$100
AMD Athlon II X4 – $90-$100
AMD Athlon II X3 – $75-$100
AMD Athlon II X2 – $50-$75
AMD Phenom II X2 – $85-$95
AMD Phenom II X3 – $85-$150
AMD Phenom II X4 – $100-$200
AMD Phenom II X6 – $200-$265
AMD Phenom X3 Triple Core – $40-$80
AMD Phenom X4 Quad Core - $55-$180
Intel Celeron – $9-$45
Intel Core 2 Duo – $20-$340
Intel Core 2 Extreme – $45-$1750
Intel Core 2 Quad – $50-$1000
Intel Core i3 – $100-$160
Intel Core i5 – $155-$315
Intel Core i7 - $260-$1000
Intel Pentium – $35-$70
Intel Pentium 4 – $7-$1000
Intel Pentium D – $20-$280
Intel Xeon – $12-$1800
Sparc – $21,800