In this article, we will study the different types of processors in computers but before that, we will have a brief look at what a processor is all about.
A processor is basically a logical circuit that responds to instructions and processes the basic instructions that drive a computer. The function of a processor is to fetch, decode, execute, and write back the information. It is the brain of the computer. and is a separate chip or a multiple circuit board in a computer. The processors for personal computers is also called a microprocessor.
Processors have two parts:
1. CU: It stands for Control Unit. It is used to manage the commands. It is like a supervisor. It directs the main operations by sending a control signal.
It performs the following operation:
- Takes the instruction from the main memory.
- Looks after the execution of instructions.
2. ALU: It stands for Arithmetic and Logical Unit and is a part of the CPU. The real execution of directions happens during this part. It performs mathematical operations. For example multiplication, addition, subtraction, division, etc.
It consists of two units:
- Arithmetic Unit
- Logic Unit
The processor communicates with the other components also, like – it communicates with the Input/Output device. It also communicates with the memory and storage devices. A processor also has a small and high-speed memory called Registers. It stores data like- address, command, result, etc. temporarily.
Different Types of Processors
Processors are mainly of five types, let’s discuss them one by one in detail.
A microcontroller or a micro-computer is a small and low-cost chip that is designed to perform a specific task like displaying microwave information, receiving remote signals, etc. The microcontroller consists of:
- The processor
- Memory, which includes RAM, ROM, EPROM, and EEPROM.
- Serial ports
- Peripherals (Timers, Counters, etc.)
The microprocessor is the cerebrum of a miniature PC. A single chip is called a microprocessor, which is capable of processing data. It controls all components. It executes a sequence of instructions. It fetches, decodes, and executes the instruction. The internal architecture of the microprocessor is very complicated.
3. Embedded Processor
The processor is the heart of an Embedded system. It is the basic unit that takes input and produces output after processing the data. The processor consists of two units namely:
- Control unit
- Execution unit
CU fetches instructions from memory. The Execution Unit includes the arithmetic and logical unit as well as the circuit that executes the instructions for a program such as blocking the current instruction and jumping to another one. A processor runs the cycle of fetch and executes the instructions in the same sequence as they are fetched from memory.
It is known as Digital Signal Processor.
DSPs have the following characteristics:
- Real-time DSP capabilities.
- High throughput. DSPs can sustain the processing of high-speed streaming data, such as audio and multimedia data processing.
- Deterministic operation. The execution time of DSP programs can be measured accurately, thus promising an efficient and desired performance.
- Reprogrammability by software. Different system behavior might be obtained by recoding the algorithm executed by the DSP instead of by the hardware modification.
5. Media Processor
A media processor is an image/video processor. It is a microprocessor-based chip that delivers real-time digital streaming data at faster rates.
It has the following characteristics:
- First multi-format single-chip solution
- Real-time HD transcoding
- DaVinci processor
- 10x performance improvement.
So, that’s all about the types of processors in our computer world.