Computers, Microcomputers and Microprocessors

Topics: Microprocessor, Central processing unit, Computer / Pages: 17 (4071 words) / Published: Apr 14th, 2011




Microprocessors have evolved dramatically in the twelve years of their development by the implementation of large numbers of devices on single chips. Word widths have increased along with microprogramming capabilities, addressing capabilities, and trends toward single-chip computers. Only a year after the introduction of 4-bit processors came the 8-bit processor. Three years later, in 1974, 16-bit processors became the leading technology. The article compares architectures and operations of the TI 9900, Intel 8086, Zilog Z8000, Motorola 68000, and NSC 16032 16-bit microprocessors. The 32-bit processor was realized in 1981. General trends in architecture, technology, principles of operation, register organization, instruction set, memory organization, and performance are examined in the Bellmac-32A chip, the HP 32-bit processor, and the iAPX 432 processor chip set. With the development of advanced processors have come improvements and evolution of operating systems and processor communications. Multiprocessing and special-purpose processors have also improved computing technology. The processor technologies are illustrated by diagrams and compared in tables. A glossary of microprocessor terms is included.



A computer is a programmable machine that receives input, stores and manipulates data, and provides output in a useful format.

While a computer can, in theory, be made out of almost anything , and mechanical examples of computers have existed through much of recorded human history, the first electronic computers were developed in the mid-20th century (1940–1945). Originally, they were the size of a large room, consuming as much power as several hundred modern personal computers (PCs). Modern computers based on integrated circuits are millions to billions of times more capable than the early machines, and occupy a fraction of the space.

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