What is the processor for? See what a microchip is and how it works | plates

A processor is a type of specialized microchip. Its function is to accelerate, address, resolve or prepare data, depending on the application. Basically, a processor is a powerful computing machine. The component receives a certain amount of data, directed according to the binary pattern of 0 and 1, and has the function of responding to this amount, processing the information based on the instructions stored in its internal memory. In the following lines, check what a processor is and what it is used for in a personal computer, laptop, mobile phone and other devices.

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The version for the PC market of the PS4 processor has less performance — Photo: Disclosure / AMD

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ALU is an acronym for Arithmetic Logic Unit. It is a circuit that is responsible for performing mathematical operations required by a specific program. Current processors have another unit for calculations, known as a floating point unit. This in turn is used to work with large numbers, for example 64, 128 bits.

Intel Iris Xe Tiger Lake graphics processor — Photo: Walden Kirsch/Intel

The term “electronic brain” is far from classifying and summarizing the functioning of the processor. However, the control unit is the closest thing to the brain within the component. This controller defines the operating mode and sequence for the various tasks of the processor.

Learn how the space where instructions can be stored inside the processor works. Given the workload the CPU is dealing with, this space is allocated information that is constantly requested.

Intel’s Ivy Bridge — Photo: Disclosure/Intel

This is done as a way to buy time. Stored on the processor, this data is quickly available and there is no need to scan the disk or RAM to retrieve the information.

Registers are the processor’s memory. You already know that this highly specialized microchip receives data and processes it, in the mode of input and output of information that enables the operation of computers, tablets, video games, GPS, TV, in short, all electronic equipment.

Intel and AMD processors bring DDR5 compatibility — Photo: Disclosure / Intel

However, in order to “know” what to do with the data, the processor needs instructions. This is what is stored in this type of memory called a register. Several rules that guide the ALU to calculate and understand the data it receives.

Memory Management Unit (MMU)

The memory management unit (MMU) is responsible for coordinating memory operations. A processor can only be fast if the RAM keeps up. MMU is a resource that converts logical (virtual) instructions into physical addresses in memory banks.

The image shows the Pentium 60, Intel’s first named processor — Photo: Reproduction / Intel

The processor scans memory for data and instructions, and the MMU is the resource that records where each piece of system information resides in memory. It tells you where the processor should be looking.

Having more or less Hertz means how much the processor exchanges data with the system. A processor offering 2.0 GHz can perform 2 billion cycles per second.

The clock cycle, which measures the cycles and directs the pace of the flow of information exchange in the processor, is one of the main criteria for determining the speed of the processor. However, it is worth mentioning that other points are included in this calculation, such as memory interface, amount of cache, architecture, among others.

Thirteenth generation of Intel Core processors — Photo: Disclosure / Intel

There are several types of processors and each type of application requires a specific type of processor. This is the case with our x86 computers.

Compact devices with fewer types of applications use different types of processors. A mobile phone, regardless of its level of sophistication, uses a SoC processor (acronym for System on a Chip: system on a chip). This means that the processor in question adds several other features, such as radio chip, connectivity, graphics processor and others.

The Opteron processor line offers up to 84% higher performance and 73% better bandwidth compared to the Intel Xeon X5670 processor, released in 2010. — Photo: Disclosure/Intel

Basically, any chip that controls some hardware is a processor. It receives data, addresses it and returns the processed data. The network card, Bluetooth adapter, and even the flash drive have controllers.

This explains why the latest supercomputers are built by adopting GPU clusters. Although not up to the logic processing of CPUs, GPUs are ideal for large amounts of data.

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