Technology / Computers / Microprocessor: A silicon chip that contains a CPU. In the world of personal computers, the terms microprocessor and CPU are used interchangeably. At the heart of all personal computers and most workstations sits a microprocessor. Microprocessors also control the logic of almost all digital devices, from clock radios to fuel-injection systems for automobiles. Three basic characteristics that differentiate microprocessors, Instruction set: The set of instructions that the microprocessor can execute. Bandwidth: The number of bits processed in a single instruction. Clock Speed: Given in megahertz (MHz), the clock speed determines how many instructions per second the processor can execute. In both cases, the higher the value, the more powerful the CPU. For example, a 32-bit microprocessor that runs at 50MHz is more powerful than a 16-bit microprocessor that runs at 25MHz. In addition to bandwidth and clock speed, microprocessors are classified as being either RISC (reduced instruction set computer) or CISC (complex instruction set computer).


Technology / Computers / Transistor: A device composed of semiconductor material that amplifies a signal or opens or closes a circuit. Invented in 1947 at Bell Labs, transistors have become the key ingredient of all digital circuits, inc MORE

Address Bus

Technology / Computers / Address Bus: One or a series of electrical conductors that are used to carry the binary address from the microprocessor to the rest of the system. MORE

Secondary Cache

Technology / Computers / Secondary Cache: Also referred to as 'Level 2 cache' or 'L2'. In general, L2 cache memory resides on a separate external chip from the microprocessor chip. However, The Pentium Pro processor has an L2 cache on the sam MORE