What is a Microprocessor?

The microprocessor in a computer activates the operating system and performs the calculations that keep it running.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2015
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A microprocessors is simply a computer processor that has been configured into the design and function of a microchip. Sometimes referred to as a logic chip, this small component functions as the means of executing the command to start booting up a computer. As part of the process, the microprocessor initiates the activation of all the components necessary to allow the computer to be used, such as waking the operating system.

The basic functionality of this processor is all based on its inherent ability to respond to and generate mathematical and logical operations. This is made possible with the use of registers, within which resides all the data required to execute such basic functions as addition and subtraction. The configuration of the registers also allow the microprocessor to handle tasks like comparing two different numbers and retrieving numbers from various areas and redistributing them.


At the core of the design is a series of logical instructions that regulate the order that tasks are received and executed. The presence of the instructions assure that tasks are carried out in a sequence that will flow from the completion of one task and into the logical initiation of the next task in the sequence. For example, when an end user boots up a computer, the first instruction that will be executed is the activation of the BIOS, or basic input/output system. From that point, the BIOS will load the operating system into the active memory and move on to the next task in the starting process. Each successive task will be achieved once the previous task is complete.

Generally, a microprocessor is a component that remains efficient and productive for the life of the computer. It is possible for the functionality of the chip to become damaged in some manner, however, and when this happens, it is usually an easy process for a computer technician to replace the corrupted chip with a fully functioning one.


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Post 4

it seems daft to continue to label devices as 'micro' processors when they now contain more transistors than early mainframes.

Post 3

What is unassembled command? What happens when the following commands are given...

1.U(address range)

2.U address

3.U without any address

Post 2

what is PCI?

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