It is a set of highly complex, integrated circuits by microscopic
electronic components encapsulated in a small chip. Is responsible for
the coordination and management of all the operations that are carried
out between the various computer devices; such as RAM memory, hard disk
drives, the execution of instructions of the programmes, the control
towards the communication ports, mathematical operations, etc. You can
be called without distinction between processor and microprocessor, is
currently reaching the limits of miniaturization of internal components
and has the vision that will have to develop new processors based on
quantum computing (using qubits instead of classic computer bits).
Figure 1. Microprocessor
marking Via technologies ®, model C3, speed 1.4 GHz.
Definition of CPU, GPU and VPU
Three acronyms refer to the microprocessor, however each is used in
+ CPU mean: is ("Central Process Unity"), being the main
microprocessor that uses the computer as a whole to data processing in
+ What means GPU and it means VPU: mean ("Graphic Process Unity")
/ ("Video Process Unity"). Both abbreviations refer to an independent of
the main processor; specifically responsible for the process of video
and graphics, and thus frees this workload to the CPU. The graphics
processor can be integrated on the main Board, graphics accelerator card
or the structure of the main processor.
The math coprocessor
It is an independent chip which contains support for the
microprocessor circuit, its function was to ensure release of the
arithmetic operations and so the microprocessor will take care of
the other processes and make more efficient the system.
Microprocessors were sold in the market with the option to purchase
their respective math coprocessors but it was up to the launch of
the Intel 486 DX (1989), which it joined to the body of the
microprocessor and thereafter all have integrated it.
Figure 2. Coprocessor brand
Intel ®, model i487, for support of the i486SX, i486DX, i486DX2 or
i486DX4 Intel ® microprocessors.
Brands and models of microprocessors
When you purchase a microprocessor, this is offered with certain
characteristics that define; among them are the following:
can be any of the 3 leaders:
1.- AMD®: means ("American Micro Devices"). It is a company
integrated in the year of 1976, initially dedicated to manufacture
identical to the Intel ® Enterprise microprocessors, but latter
patented their products, so AMD ® began to design your own with very
excellent results, now also develops proprietary technologies for
Logo of the company AMD ®, manufacturer of microprocessors and chips.
2.- Intel®: means ("INT egrated EL ectronics"). This company
is formed in the year of 1968 in the Silicon Valley of California,
USA, now also develops proprietary technologies for video cards and
Logo of the company Intel, maker of microprocessors and chips.
3.- Cyrix®: this brand dominated sales in third place, but it
has now been very relegated by the popularity he acquired AMD ®; so
it was absorbed by the Via Technologies ® company. There is
currently a modern line of products of this brand is gradually
trying to place on the desktop and the Netbook market.
Logo of the company Via ® technologies, manufacturer of microprocessors
Model: is the
subdivision of microprocessors. Models regularly relate to a full
product version or other more austere. The austere refers to containing
less amount of cache L2 integrated within the circuit, so it is more
slow to access certain data and instructions.
1. For AMD ® brand: we can find mainly the model Athlon and Phenom,
while the austere versions are Duron and Sempron.
+ Complete model:
microprocessor AMD ® Phenom, model 9850 X 4, speed of 2.5 GHz, 4 MB L2
and L3, for socket AM2 cache memory.
2. For the Intel ® brand: the complete models are Pentium and
Celeron austere versions.
+ Austere model:
microprocessor Intel ® Celeron D, model Dual Core, speed of 1.6 GHz,
memory 512 KB cache, 800 MHz FSB, for Socket 775.
+ Complete model:
microprocessor Intel ® Pentium 4, model E 6750, speed of 2.66 GHz,
memory 4 MB cache, 1333MHz FSB socket 775 MHz.
The internal speed (GHz, MHz, GT/s)
The GT/s unit is a
variable used in Intel ® microprocessors for new generation called
iX (family or i3, i5, i7 and i9 range), which means ("GigaTransferences/second")
or GigaTransferencias/second. In practice, the GT´s refers to the
data that you are sending and receiving simultaneously effectively
and should not be confused with the speed in GHz (GHz).
Example of this is found in the following table:
Speed in GHz
/ 3.6 GHz turbo
variable refers to the maximum number of processes per second which
is capable of performing the microprocessor. Its unit of measurement
is the Hertz (Hz). Currently multiples such as the MegaHertz and GHz
(GHz) are used due to the large capacity that can develop.
Currently, microprocessors can develop up
to 4.3 GHz is 4300 MHz internal speed, while the first commercial
microprocessors (in 1982), had a speed of 8 MHz.
**To end of July 2010, the brand of Intel ® processors, announced that
it has developed technology that can reach speeds of process far
superior to what we know today, since the maximum speed that can be
achieved with the use of current technology can't be beat at 10 GHz. Its
development is based on the use of Silicon Photonics (lasers and fiber
optic basically) also called "Avalanche Photodetector (APD), within
their processors, with a theoretical limit of up to 340 GHz.
Table with the different
speeds between different microprocessors and developments:
Speed in MHz
Speed in GHz
4 E8400, Core Duo
2 965 X4, 4 Core
4170, L2 4 MB, L3 8 MB, AM3+
a 50 GHz
A launch expected at the end of the
Comparison of speeds between microprocessors to the passage of time in
MegaHertz and GHz.
The 'Front Side Bus' (FSB)
('Front Side Bus') which means internal front transport, which in
the case of microprocessors refers to the speed with which it is
capable of transmitting data with the Motherboard and the system in
The FSB in physical terms is a series of electric lines interconnected
in parallel way, implemented by the Intel ® brand; now the devices tend
to use serial mode, so this type of technology generates bottlenecks on
the new high throughput computers. For this reason the AMD ® company
developed a new technology called HT "Hypertransport" from 2001.
The unit of measure for the FSB of the microprocessor is the MegaHertz
(MHz), rates are currently between 800, 1066 and 1333 MHz.
Example of this is:
+ Microprocessor Intel ®
Pentium 4, model E 6750, speed of 2.66 GHz, memory 4 MB cache, 1333MHz
FSB socket 775 MHz. (August, 2008).
("HyperTransport") means Hiper-transportacion; It is a technology
developed by AMD ® in 2001 instead of the classic FSB, which
implements a bus serial with independent memory controller that
allows direct connection with the RAM memory without the use of the
NorthBridge of the Motherboard, is used in microprocessors based on
Example of this is:
+ Microprocessor AMD ®
Phenom 8450 X 3 model brand, frequency 2.1 GHz, L2 3.5 MB, for socket
("QuickPath Interconnect") means interconnection of simple route; It
is technology developed by Intel ® in contrast to AMD ® HT
technology, which consists of a memory controller that allows the
control of RAM directly from the microprocessor. The unit of
measurement used in this new range of products is the GT/s unit,
which means literally Giga-Transfers/second. This technology
coexists with FSB.
Example of this is:
+ Microprocessor brand
Intel ®, model i7 920 Quad, frequency 2.66 GHz, 4.8 GT/s, cache 8 MB,
for socket 1366.
32-Bit and 64-bit processors
The bits in the
nomenclature of the microprocessor, discusses the width of Word that can
transmit simultaneously, therefore between greater capacity, greater
efficiency will have at the time of receive and send information. That
is, if we have that the bus (power lines by which data flows), could
send 32-bit, it is now possible 64-bit to be sent at the same time, this
is to "widen" the bus.
was used by servers, however companies, is applied to the home computer,
which until recently was used only in very high performance teams, so it
has broken the barrier of 4 GB of RAM and can theoretically reach up to
16, 000, 000, 000 GB of RAM, as well as increasing the mathematical
capabilities, among other improvements.
modern operating systems such as Microsoft ® Windows Vista or
Microsoft ® Windows 7 have two versions to be installed on 32-bit
and 64-bit computers also there are dual microprocessors that have
both features and allow you to choose that mode use.
Memory cache L1, L2 and L3
Cache: is a
memory type SRAM, based on transistors, and is therefore very fast.
It is intermediate between the microprocessor and RAM memory, this
memory stores frequently used data and prevents back to search for
it in the memory RAM is is relatively slow, so it will streamline
processes. Its unit of measurement is in Megabytes (MB).
In the case of microprocessors, these integrate 1 to 3 types of
cache memory known as L1, L2 and L3, signifying ("Level X") or
translated is level 1, level 2 and level 3.
+ L1 memory: it is integrated within the microprocessor
circuits and that makes it more expensive and more complicated in
design, but also much more efficient due to its proximity to the
microprocessor, since it operates at the same speed. This in turn is
divided into 2 parts.
-L1 DC: ("Level 1 date cache"): is responsible for storing
frequently used data and when necessary to reuse them, immediately
uses, so it will streamline processes.
Intel ® Smart Cache.
-L1 IC: ("Level 1 instruction cache"): is responsible for storing
frequently used instructions and when it is necessary to use them,
immediately retrieved them, so it will streamline processes.
+ L2 memory: this was previously on memory cards, to be inserted
in a special slot in the main Board (Motherboard) and runs at the speed
of the same work. Currently the L2 memory is integrated in the
microprocessor, is responsible for storing frequently used data and
streamline processes; Determines if a microprocessor is the full version
or austere model by far. You can count with a capacity of storage Cache
of 8 MB, 9 MB AMD ® and Intel ® processors and up to 12 MB on Intel ®
L3 memory: this memory is a third level that first used the
signature AMD processors ® and Intel ®. With this level of memory speeds
up access to data and instructions that were not located in L1 or L2. If
the data not found in any of the 3, then you are accessing search for it
in the RAM memory. You can count with a capacity of storage Cache of up
to 8 Mb and 9 Mb L2 + L3 adding in the case of the AMD ® nomenclature.
Type of socket or
socket: this is the specific basis where it is placed the
microprocessor, the socket is integrated into the main circuit board
("motherboard"). This has a very specific way and a number of connectors
for each type of microprocessor. It can be a number, a letter or a name
that identifies you. An example is 478 for Intel ® Celeron, 775 for
Intel ® Pentium 4, 940 for AMD ® Athlon, 940 AM for AMD ® Phenom, etc.
Figure 6. Example Socket 754 to insert the microprocessor AMD ®
External physical parts of the microprocessor
The microprocessor itself is a chip, which has a base that integrates
connectors pin or flat contacts only. By the same advance in the speed
of microprocessors, they currently need other supporting devices that
are heat sinks and fans, because in case of missing these, the
microprocessor sends a signal so that the team goes off suddenly to
The sink: is
a metal piece with varied forms; It is responsible for absorbing the
heat generated by the fan and dissipate to the environment. It is
important to mention that a special silicone that more efficiently
transfers heat between the 2 pieces, in addition to avoiding direct
contact between the 2 hot pieces should be placed between the
processor and the heatsink.
The fan: is
responsible for applying fresh air to the sink and cool it, allowing
it to absorb more heat from the microprocessor.
are systems similar to the operation of an automotive radiator, i.e.
they have a system based on the movement of water, driven by a small
pump that makes it flow through small tubes into the sink. The water
absorbs heat in the sink and on the outside has a fan that cools
down it and the cycle is repeated. For more information about
Figure 7. Parts of a
processor, in this case have pins, but can only have a few flat
connectors. Processor Intel ®, i386, speed of 25 MHz model.
Figure 8. Example of
heat sink with your respective fan. It is placed on the
microprocessor that is intended to cool down.
Internal Division (ALU and control unit)
Internally a microprocessor has 2 very essential parts:
("arithmetic - Logic Unit"): This is responsible for performing all
necessary operations such as calculations of comparisons between values
(greater than, less than, equal to, etc.) and operations
(multiplications, divisions, amounts, etc.).
Control unit: this
is responsible for organizing and managing all processes such as
interpret contents of the positions of the RAM and ROM memory, control
of ports, access to drives, execution of the instructions of the
software, among others.
Translated it would mean increasing the clock. This is a feature that
through the BIOS software or connecting certain points of the
Motherboard, among other techniques, can be achieved for the
microprocessor work at speeds even greater than that specified by the
manufacturer. It is best do so by software built into the BIOS, since it
comes backed by the characteristics of the main card. If not work,
simply returns to the original state without much problem.
This technique is used in many cases by sellers to sell microprocessors
as a product with greater speed, however, also some experienced users
use to make their computer equipment support some applications such as
games, 3D projects, etc. that require higher performance.
integrated video card
"Sandy Bridge" technology, referred to the firm Intel ® processors that
integrate within its architecture, a processor specializing in handling
graphics (GPU) regardless of the number of cores; This GPU can reach up
to 850 MHz frequency, it is important to mention that you for the use of
this technology, the main Board (Motherboard), must be compatible and it
should generally have a high capacity of RAM (up to 32 Gb).
MultiCore ó procesadores de varios núcleos
When reaching the limit of the 4 Ghz processors tend to generate too
much heat, so it is not possible to cool them in the traditional way and
that entails systems use more complex ventilation that would increase
the cost of the equipment, making unprofitable, among other factors. The
trend has been the integrate on a single microprocessor, multiple cores
(Cores), capable of processing data, at the same time without increasing
the processing speed, but making more efficient the same, as well as
significantly reduce the heat produced, since each has different
processes and not concentrated them in a single core.
(a) One core (MonoCore): 1 core (X 1).
(b) Two or more cores (Multicore): 2 cores (Core Duo/Dual Core / X 2),
3-core (TriCore / 3 X), 4 cores (Quad Core / 4 X) and up to 6 cores (X
6), in current processors.
Example: Microprocessor marks AMD ®, model 21090T Phenom X 6 *,
frequency 3.2 GHz, L2 + L3 9 MB, for socket AM3. (* Indicates the
presence of 6 cores).
Location of the microprocessor in the Motherboard
The most common position
is near the port panel and the connector of the power supply, this
because most modern processors need power directly from the source.
Figure 9. Location on the main Board of the socket 775 to place the
microprocessor Intel ® Pentium or Celeron Socket 775.
With the rise of
intelligent and portable devices such as smartphones and tablets,
designs and processor capabilities of these devices have been
increasing considerably in performance, being already a very
competitive market among manufacturers. Remember that although the
trend is towards miniaturization of devices, these still retain the
basic architecture of computers, so that also meet the feature go
climbing power devices in terms of speed of processing, graphics
display and connectivity mainly.
Note that a negative I still
have this type of equipment is the subject of excessive heat
produced by smart devices and the size of them, you can not
integrate them a heatsink-fan, resulting in reduced time thereof
life and low battery performance. Some brands that are in this range
are Intel ® and Qualcomm ®.
As properly ventilate the processor
Figure 10. Proper ventilation of the CPU.
They are basically two ways to
ventilate the processor:
Consists of the fan to direct air directly to the processor, this
always sink and when the Cabinet has a cone of ventilation or a vent
2. It is the fan to expel air from the sink, this when lacks side
ways that are also used is by means of specialized Software and
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Links to related topics
modern processors / Main Board (Motherboard) / Chipset