Texas Instruments TMS1000
Motorola 68000 (MC68000)
A modern 64 bit x86-64 processor (AMD Ryzen 5 2600, Based on Zen+, 2017)
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (2016, based on Zen) processor in a AM4 socket on a motherboard

A microprocessor is a computer processor where the data processing logic and control is included on a single integrated circuit, or a small number of integrated circuits. The microprocessor contains the arithmetic, logic, and control circuitry required to perform the functions of a computer's central processing unit. The integrated circuit is capable of interpreting and executing program instructions and performing arithmetic operations.[1] The microprocessor is a multipurpose, clock-driven, register-based, digital integrated circuit that accepts binary data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory, and provides results (also in binary form) as output. Microprocessors contain both combinational logic and sequential digital logic, and operate on numbers and symbols represented in the binary number system.

The integration of a whole CPU onto a single or a few integrated circuits using Very-Large-Scale Integration (VLSI) greatly reduced the cost of processing power. Integrated circuit processors are produced in large numbers by highly automated metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) fabrication processes, resulting in a relatively low unit price. Single-chip processors increase reliability because there are much fewer electrical connections that could fail. As microprocessor designs improve, the cost of manufacturing a chip (with smaller components built on a semiconductor chip the same size) generally stays the same according to Rock's law.

Before microprocessors, small computers had been built using racks of circuit boards with many medium- and small-scale integrated circuits, typically of TTL type. Microprocessors combined this into one or a few large-scale ICs. The first commercially available microprocessor was the Intel 4004 introduced in 1971.

Continued increases in microprocessor capacity have since rendered other forms of computers almost completely obsolete (see history of computing hardware), with one or more microprocessors used in everything from the smallest embedded systems and handheld devices to the largest mainframes and supercomputers.

  1. ^ "Function of a Microprocessor". Hubspire. 2017-04-26.

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