The Computer<br />"
is a collection of devices that function as a unit. The most basic collection includes a Computer CPU, a Monitor, a Keyboard, and a Mouse. The Computer CPU is normally a rectangular box that sits on your desktop (called a "
) or next to your knee under the desk (called a "
). The computer's CPU is actually a small electronic device inside the case but the term is often used to refer to the whole collection of electronics inside the box.<br /> <br />Processors (CPU)<br />A Central Processing Unit (CPU) or processor is an electronic circuit that can execute computer programs, which are actually sets of instructions. This term has been in use in the computer industry at least since the early 1960s (Weik 2007). The form, design and implementation of CPUs have changed dramatically since the earliest examples, but their fundamental operation remains much the same.<br />Early CPUs were custom-designed as a part of a larger, sometimes one-of-a-kind, computer. However, this costly method of designing custom CPUs for a particular application has largely given way to the development of mass-produced processors that are made for one or many purposes. This standardization trend generally began in the era of discrete transistor mainframes and minicomputers and has rapidly accelerated with the popularization of the integrated circuit (IC). The IC has allowed increasingly complex CPUs to be designed and manufactured to tolerances on the order of nanometers. Both the miniaturization and standardization of CPUs have increased the presence of these digital devices in modern life far beyond the limited application of dedicated computing machines. Modern microprocessors appear in everything from automobiles to cell phones and children's toys.<br />A processor is the logic circuitry that responds to and processes the basic instructions that drives a computer. The Processor, also called the CPU, is the brain of the PC. It performs all general computing tasks and coordinates tasks done by memory, video, disk storage, and other system components. The CPU is a very complex chip that resides directly on the motherboard of most PCs, but may instead reside on a daughter card that connects to the motherboard via a dedicated specialized slot. The term processor has generally replaced the term central processing unit (CPU). The processor in a personal computer or embedded in small devices is often called a microprocessor. <br />The most powerful microprocessor chip in your computer is the CPU. For example the Intel Pentium chip handles the central management functions of a high-powered PC. Intel's newest Hyper-Threading (technology that allows the CPU to process two separate threads of data simultaneously) CPU supports a 1 megabyte on-board L2 cache (the on-board cache functions as a buffer to feed data to the CPU at a faster rate). The speed of the CPU is measured in Gigahertz (billions of cycles per second).<br />For many years only single-core processors containing one processing unit were available. However over the last few years dual-core processors that contain two identical processing units and quad-core processors that contain four identical processing units have become available from AMD and Intel. AMD also provide triple-core processors that have three processing cores.<br />The manufacturer of a particular model of processor sets it to run at a particular speed, which is really the frequency (measured in gigahertz in modern processors) that it operates at. The higher the frequency (1GHz, 2GHz, 2.5GHz, 3.0GHz, etc.) the faster the processor can process data. Note that the design is also an important factor in how fast a particular make/model of processor processes data. However, most processors can be over clocked to run faster than the manufacturer's setting allows. The amount of speed/frequency overhead that a particular processor has depends on several factors.<br />Graphics processing unit<br />A graphics processing unit or GPU (also occasionally called visual processing unit or VPU) is a specialized processor that offloads 3D graphics rendering from the microprocessor. It is used in embedded systems, mobile phones, personal computers, workstations, and game consoles. Modern GPUs are very efficient at manipulating computer graphics, and their highly parallel structure makes them more effective than general-purpose CPUs for a range of complex algorithms. In a personal computer, a GPU can be present on a video card, or it can be on the motherboard. More than 90% of new desktop and notebook computers have integrated GPUs, which are usually far less powerful than those on a dedicated video card.<br />Computer Processor: What is it?<br />A computer processor analyzes data and controls data flow in a computer. Also called the central processing unit (CPU), it is considered the brain of the computer because it performs the actual data processing. Its speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz), with common speeds ranging from 2.6 to 3.66 GHz. It comes in a small microchip and fits into a socket on the motherboard.Computer processors are responsible for analyzing data and controlling how data flows in a computer. Also known as the central processing unit or the CPU, they are considered to the brains of a computer since they perform the actual data processing, with speeds that normally run between 2.6 to 3.66 Ghz (gigahertz). Computer processors are in the form of small microchips and fit into sockets in motherboards.<br />A microprocessor is a computer processor on a microchip. It's sometimes called a logic chip. It is the "
that goes into motion when you turn your computer on. A microprocessor is designed to perform arithmetic and logic operations that make use of small number-holding areas called registers. Typical microprocessor operations include adding, subtracting, comparing two numbers, and fetching numbers from one area to another. These operations are the result of a set of instructions that are part of the microprocessor design. When the computer is turned on, the microprocessor is designed to get the first instruction from the basic input/output system (BIOS) that comes with the computer as part of its memory. After that, either the BIOS, or the operating system that BIOS loads into computer memory, or an application program is "
the microprocessor, giving it instructions to perform.<br />The CPU (Processor) is the brain of every computer. Every calculation and process made by a computer is executed by the CPU. The processor performs calculations by using bits (definition of bit), which can have a value of 1 or 0. The most common processor is 32-bit, but 64-bit processors are becoming more popular in newer computers. You can read here what's different between 64 & 32 bit processors.<br />Moore's Law from 1965 predicts that processing power should double every 18 months, but was revised in 1975 to every 2 years. This prediction was made on the basis that the circuitry, resistors, and other processor parts are being made smaller and smaller. <br />Currently, an average CPU can have processing speeds from about 2.0 GHz to 3.4 GHz, with the manufacturers fast approaching the 4.0 GHz mark. <br />Processing characteristics and functions:<br />-Machine cycle time<br />An instruction cycle' (also called fetch-and-execute cycle, fetch-decode-execute cycle, and FDX) is the time period during which a computer processes a machine language instruction from its memory or the sequence of actions that the central processing unit (CPU) performs to execute each machine code instruction in a program.<br />The name fetch-and-execute cycle is commonly used. The instruction must be fetched from main memory, and then executed by the CPU. This is fundamentally how a computer operates, with its CPU reading and executing a series of instructions written in its machine language. From this arise all functions of a computer familiar from the user's end.<br />The execution of a process takes place during a machine cycle. Machine cycle time is measured in microseconds or nanoseconds and Pico seconds. Machine cycle time can also be measured as how many instructions can be executed in a second.<br />-Clock speed<br />Clock speed is a measure of how quickly a computer completes basic computations and operations. It is measured as a frequency in hertz, and most commonly refers to the speed of the computer's CPU, or Central Processing Unit. Since the frequency most clock speed measures is very high, the terms megahertz and gigahertz are used. A megahertz is one-million cycles per second, while a gigahertz is one-billion cycles per second. So a computer with a clock speed of 800MHz is running 800,000,000 cycles per second, while a 2.4GHz computer is running 2,400,000,000 cycles per second.<br />The CPU produces electronic pulses at a predetermined rate, called clock speed, which affects the machine cycle time. The control unit executes the microcode in accordance with the electronic cycle or pulses of the CPU clock. Each microcode instruction takes the same time as the interval between pulses; the faster each microcode instruction can be executed. Clock speed is often measured in megahertz. A hertz is one cycle or pulse per second.<br />-Word length<br />The word length is the number of bits the CPU can process per second. Early CPUs were 4 bits /sec, but now we have 8, 16 and 32 bit machines.<br />-Bus line width<br />Data is transferred from CPU to other systems components via the Bus lines (wires). The number of bits a bus line can transfer at any one time is known as bus line width. All these factors, clock speed, cycle time, word length and bus line speed contribute to the speed of the CPU.<br />MULTIPROCESSING<br />Simultaneous processing with two or more processors in one computer or two or more computers processing together. When two or more computers are used, they are tied together with a high-speed channel and share the general workload between them. If one fails, the other takes over. Multiprocessing is also accomplished in special-purpose computers, such as array processors, which provide concurrent processing on sets of data. All computers perform simultaneous functions, such as executing instructions while reading from an input device and writing to an output device. CPUs can also execute multiple instructions simultaneously from a single stream of instructions. However, multiprocessing refers specifically to the concurrent execution of two or more independent streams of instructions.<br />PARALLEL PROCESSING<br />The simultaneous use of more than one CPU or processor core to execute a program or multiple computational threads. Ideally, parallel processing makes programs run faster because there are more engines (CPUs or cores) running it. In practice, it is often difficult to divide a program in such a way that separate CPUs or cores can execute different portions without interfering with each other. Most computers have just one CPU, but some models have several, and multi-core processor chips are becoming the norm. There are even computers with thousands of CPUs.<br />With single-CPU, single-core computers, it is possible to perform parallel processing by connecting the computers in a network. However, this type of parallel processing requires very sophisticated software called distributed processing software.<br />Note that parallel processing differs from multitasking, in which a CPU provides the illusion of simultaneously executing instructions from multiple different programs by rapidly switching between them, or "
their instructions.<br />Parallel processing is also called parallel computing. In the quest of cheaper computing alternatives parallel processing provides a viable option. The idle time of processor cycles across network can be used effectively by sophisticated distributed computing software.<br />Processor ComponentsModern processors have the following internal components: -Execution unitthe core of the CPU, the execution unit processes instructions.-Branch predictor the branch predictor attempts to guess where the program will jump (or branch) next, allowing the prefect and decode unit to retrieve instructions and data in advance so that they will already be available when the CPU requests them.-Floating point unit the floating point unit (FPU) is a specialized logic unit optimized to perform non integer calculations much faster than the general purpose logic unit can perform them. -Primary cachealso called Level 1 or L1 cache, primary cache is a small amount of very fast memory that allows the CPU to retrieve data immediately, rather than waiting for slower main memory to respond. See Chapter 5 for more information about cache memory.-Bus interfaces Bus interfaces are the pathways that connect the processor to memory and other components. For example, modern processors connect to the chipset Northbridge via a dedicated bus called the front side bus (FSB) or host bus. -Processor Speed the processor clock coordinates all CPU and memory operations by periodically generating a time reference signal called a clock cycle or tick. Clock frequency is specified in megahertz (MHz), which specifies millions of ticks per second, or gigahertz (GHz), which specifies billions of ticks per second. Clock speed determines how fast instructions execute. Some instructions require one tick, others multiple ticks, and some processors execute multiple instructions during one tick. The number of ticks per instruction varies according to processor architecture, its instruction set, and the specific instruction. Complex Instruction Set Computer (CISC) processors use complex instructions. Each requires many clock cycles to execute, but accomplishes a lot of work. Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) processors use fewer, simpler instructions. Each takes few ticks but accomplishes relatively little work.These differences in efficiency mean that one CPU cannot be directly compared to another purely on the basis of clock speed. For example, an AMD Athlon XP 3000+, which actually runs at 2.167 GHz, may be faster than an Intel Pentium 4 running at 3.06 GHz, depending on the application. The comparison is complicated because different CPUs have different strengths and weaknesses. For example, the Athlon is generally faster than the Pentium 4 clock for clock on both integer and floating-point operations (that is, it does more work per CPU tick), but the Pentium 4 has an extended instruction set that may allow it to run optimized software literally twice as fast as the Athlon. The only safe use of direct clock speed comparisons is within a single family. A 1.2 GHz Tualatin-core Pentium III, for example, is roughly 20% faster than a 1.0 GHz Tualatin-core Pentium III, but even there the relationship is not absolutely linear. And a 1.2 GHz Tualatin-core Pentium III is more than 20% faster than a 1.0 GHz Pentium III that uses the older Coppermine core. Also, even within a family, processors with similar names may differ substantially internally.<br />Kinds of Computer Processors<br />Intel® computer processor The Intel computer processor is exclusively designed by Intel. Its latest and most popular models include Intel® Pentium® 4 processor, Intel® Pentium® 4 processor with HT Technology, and Intel® Celeron® processor. The Intel® Pentium® 4 processor is a powerful processor that can handle demanding applications such as DVD authoring, 3D gaming, and other multimedia applications. The Intel® Pentium® 4 processor with Hyper-Threading (HT) Technology is designed for running multiple applications simultaneously with a fast and efficient and response. The Intel® Celeron® processor is compatible with almost all leading computer hardware and software brands.AMD computer processor The AMD computer processor is exclusively made by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD). It provides excellent performance and value. It is compatible with most off-the-shelf computer programs and applications. Some AMD Computer Processors are programmed with built-in anti-virus protection. Its most popular models are AMD Athlon™ XP and AMD Athlon™ 64. The AMD Athlon™ XP processor provides outstanding performance by enhancing Windows® XP applications with intense and lifelike images and graphics. The AMD Athlon™ 64 processor is designed for more advanced computers especially those with 64-bit programs. It allows the execution of complex software and games.<br />AMD Processors <br />The AMD computer processor is exclusively made by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD). It provides excellent performance and value. It is compatible with most off-the-shelf computer programs and applications. Some AMD Computer Processors are programmed with built-in anti-virus protection. Its most popular models are AMD Athlon™ XP and AMD Athlon™ 64. The AMD Athlon™ XP processor provides outstanding performance by enhancing Windows® XP applications with intense and lifelike images and graphics. The AMD Athlon™ 64 processor is designed for more advanced computers especially those with 64-bit programs. It allows the execution of complex software and games.<br />Advanced Micro Devices Headquarters, 1 AMD Place, Sunnyvale.<br />AMD's Canadian headquarters, based in Markham.<br />The History of AMD<br />Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. is an American based company operating out of Sunnyvale, California. The company, which has now spanned three decades, first began operation in 1969. <br />The company has specialized in developing products such as computer processors, microprocessors and motherboard chipsets. They also have graphics processors, and embedded processors that are required for all types of computer systems such as business and personal computers, handheld devices and game consoles. <br />AMD, founded by Jerry Sanders and Edwin Turney has grown to become the second largest global supplier of microprocessors and the third largest supplier of the world’s graphics processing units. The company began its impressive rise as the producer of logic chips. The year 1975 proved to be quite productive in that the company began to produce RAM chips, introduced a clone of the Intel 8080 microprocessor, designed bit slice processors elements and attempted the diversification into audio devices and graphics. <br />The ‘80’s proved to be quite an impressive decade in the history of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. In 1984 AMD was considered listed as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in the U.S”. And in 1985 it was listed for the first time as a Fortune 500 company. In 1986, due to AMD’s quality and innovation, the company secured a major manufacturing contract with Commodore Business Machines agreeing to supply 7000 chips a week. The year 1987 found the company entering the programmable logic business when they acquired Monolithic Memories, Inc. <br />AMD announced a merger with ATI Technologies in 2006, which brought together the supplier of microprocessors and the company that released the first 3D graphic chip. They were the first company to release products supporting the Accelerated Graphics Port and in 1998 ATI had shipped ten million AGP chips. <br />After the merger, AMD began to restructure some of the combined products. Products such as the Imageon, which is for handheld devices and mobile phones and the Xilleon, which is for digital television sets, were rebranded with the AMD brand. However, some products such as chipsets used for Intel processors and a Radeon graphics line retained the ATI brand.<br />The main focus of the company has always been marked by their commitment to finding new and innovative products that are truly beneficial to the people who use them. It has always been about the customer, the customer needs are always placed above the growth of technology strictly for the sake of technology. Of course, it does not hurt that the new technology they are developing is growing by leaps and bounds and providing the customer with computer graphics and systems that are getting better and running faster all the time. The focus on customer satisfaction is just one of the factors which have helped AMD to be the mainstay in global technology.<br />While the company does not choose to divulge information about any new products of plans, it does continue to host the annual Technology Analyst Days. The event, which is held mid year is focused on upcoming trends in technologies. They also have an end of the year event called Financial Analyst Day, which is devoted to discussing how well the company performed financially the previous year. And they also support publications and newsletters related to processors and other business solutions. Advanced Micro Devices has been and continues to be a successful, innovative company contributing much to the international world of technology.<br />AMD chipsets<br />Before the launch of Athlon 64 processors in 2003, AMD designed chipsets for their processors spanning the K6 and K7 processor generations. The chipsets include the AMD-640, AMD-751 and the AMD-761 chipsets. The situation changed in 2003 with the release of Athlon 64 processors, and AMD chose not to further design its own chipsets for its desktop processors while opening the desktop platform to allow other firms to design chipsets. This is the "
Open Platform ATI, VIA and SiS developing their own chipset for Athlon 64 processors and later Athlon 64 X2 and Athlon 64 FX processors, including the Quad FX platform chipset from Nvidia.<br />The initiative went further with the release of Opteron server processors as AMD stopped the design of server chipsets in 2004 after releasing the AMD-8111 chipset, and again opened the server platform for firms to develop chipsets for Opteron processors. As of today, Nvidia and Broadcom are the sole designing firms of server chipsets for Opteron processors.<br />AMD will also return to the server chipsets market with the next-generation AMD 800S series server chipsets, scheduled to be released in 2009 timeframe.<br />Embedded systems<br />For the past couple of years AMD has been introducing 64-bit processors into its embedded product line starting with the AMD Opteron processor. In 2006 AMD added the AMD Athlon, AMD Turion and Mobile AMD Sempron processors to its embedded product line. Leveraging the same 64-bit instruction set and Direct Connect Architecture as the AMD Opteron but at lower power levels, these processors were well suited to a variety of traditional embedded applications. Throughout 2007 and into 2008 AMD has continued to add both single-core Mobile AMD Sempron and AMD Athlon processors and dual-core AMD Athlon X2 and AMD Turion processors to its embedded product line and now offers embedded 64-bit solutions starting with 8W TDP Mobile AMD Sempron and AMD Athlon processors for fan-less designs up to multi-processor systems leveraging multi-core AMD Opteron processors all supporting longer than standard availability.<br />AMD Flash technology<br />While less visible to the general public than its CPU business, AMD is also a global leader in flash memory. In 1993, AMD established a 50-50 partnership with Fujitsu called FASL, and merged into a new company called FASL LLC in 2003. The joint venture firm went public under ticker symbol SPSN in December 2005, with AMD shares drop to 37%.<br />AMD no longer directly participates in the Flash memory devices market now as AMD entered into a non-competition agreement, as of December 21, 2005, with Fujitsu and Spansion, pursuant to which it agreed not to directly or indirectly engage in a business that manufactures or supplies standalone semiconductor devices (including single chip, multiple chip or system devices) containing only Flash memory.<br />AMD Mobile platforms<br />AMD started a platform in 2003 aimed at mobile computing, but, with fewer advertisements and promotional schemes, very little was known about the platform. The platform used mobile Sempron processors.<br />As part of the "
Better by design"
initiative, the open mobile platform, announced that in February 2007, comes Turion 64 X2, and consists of three major components: an AMD processor, graphics from either Nvirdia or ATI Technologies which also includes integrated graphics (IGP), and wireless connectivity solutions from Atheros, Broadcom, Marvell, Qualcomm or Realtek.<br />The Puma platform and Turion Ultra processor was released on June 4, 2008. In the future, AMD plans quad-core processors with 3D graphics capabilities (Fusion) to be launched in 2009 as the Eagle platform.<br />AMD processors<br />Discontinued <br />Am2900 · Am29000 · Am9080 · Am286 · Am386 · Am486 · Am5x86 · K5 · K6 · K6-2 · K6-III · Duron · Athlon · Mobile Athlon 64 · Alchemy<br />Current <br />Geode · Sempron · Athlon 64 (Athlon Neo) · Athlon X2 · Phenom (Phenom II) · Athlon II · Turion · Opteron<br />Future <br />Fusion (Bulldozer · Bobcat)<br />The future<br />The future is here. Newer ARM processors exist, but they are 32 bit devices.This means, basically, that RISC OS won't run on them until all of RISC OS is modified to be 32 bit safe. As long as BASIC is patched, a reasonable software base will exist. However all C programs will need to be recompiled. All relocatable modules will need to be altered. And pretty much all assembler code will need to be repaired. In cases where source isn't available (ie, anything written by Computer Concepts), it will be a tedious slog.It is truly one of the situations that could make or break the platform. <br />I feel, as long as a basic C compiler/linker is made FREELY available, then we should go for it. It need not be a 'good' compiler, as long as it will be a drop-in replacement for Norcroft CC version 4 or 5. Why this? Because RISC OS depends upon enthusiasts to create software, instead of big corporations. And without inexpensive reasonable tools, they might decide it is too much to bother with converting their software, so may decide to leave RISC OS and code for another platform. <br />I, personally, would happily download a freebie compiler/linker and convert much of my own code. It isn't plain sailing for us - think of all of the library code that needs to be checked. It will be difficult enough to obtain a 32 bit machine to check the code works correctly, never mind all the other pitfalls. Asking us for a grand to support the platform is only going to turn us away in droves. Heck, I'm still using ARM 2 and ARM 3 systems. Some of us smaller coders won't be able to afford such a radical upgrade. And that will be VERY BAD for the platform. Look how many people use the FREE user-created Internet suite in preference to commercial alternatives. Look at all of the support code available on Arcade BBS. Much of that will probably go, yes. But would a platform trying to re-establish itself really want to say goodbye to the rest?I don't claim my code is wonderful, but if only one person besides myself makes good use of it - then it has been worth it. <br />IBM HAS RECENTLY LAUNCHED THE WORLD'S FASTEST COMPUTER processor chip called the dual-core POWER6 in India. With this launch, the company's System p570, which the company claims to be the world's most powerful midrange consolidation machine, and blade Center JS22 servers, both powered by this new chip, would be available in the country. According to Morgan Stanley, energy used to power and cool today's data centers represents 44 per cent of the centre's total cost of ownership - and for a company of any size today, a 50 per cent saving is huge. In 2007, $10 billion has been spent on data centre energy requirements worldwide, and IDC predicts that power and cooling spend in the data centre will grow eight times the rate of hardware spend. For the cost conscious Indian companies, virtualization and adoption of green technologies is the ideal solution. The new chip at 4.7 GHZ, is twice as fast as its predecessor, but uses nearly the same amount of electricity to run and cooL This means custom¬ers can use the new processor to either increase their performance by 100 per cent or cut their power consumption by 50 per cent, said Manish Gupta who heads the research Lab at IBM.<br />On the card itself, you can't help noticing the presence of a big E-MU processor called E-DSP, which is a special version of the processor used in top-of-the-line E-MU and Creative brand products. This DSP can perform many types of sound processing without calling on your computer's CPU, thus avoiding overloading it. It's accompanied by a specific FGPA also from E-MU.<br />Analog/digital conversion is handled by a well-known component, the TI Burr-Brown PCM1804, which is a delta/sigma stereo converter operating in 24 bits up to 192 kHz. Conversion in the other direction (digital/analog) uses an AKM AK4395, which is also a delta/sigma stereo converter operating in 24 bits up to 192 kHz. Note that the two converters can function at 192 kHz, whereas the card itself is limited to 96 kHz. True, that frequency is quite sufficient in practice - except for reading certain DVD Audios, but then that's not the purpose of the 0404.<br />An Inside Look at a Computer <br />This is a Motherboard of a 386 PC. The thing in the middle that says "
is the CPU. CPU stands for "
Central Processor Unit"
. It is really the brains of the computer. This is where all the adding, subtracting, dividing and multiplying takes place. Examples of CPUs are Intel's Pentium and now Pentium II. On the Mac side you have the new G3 chip or Motorola 604E. Each chip operates at a certain clock speed measured in megahertz or Mhz. This is how fast the chip can perform a single operation.<br />Amd Athlon Processors History began with the original Athlon Classic, which is the first seventh-generation x86 processor and since it is the first, it remained to be the first performance lead over Intel for a couple of years.<br />It showed a lot of promise as it showed superior performance compared to the Pentium 3 which was the champion at that time. The second generation Athlon called The Thunderbird came along in year 2000. It had a speed ranging from 600 to 1400 MHz. AMD replaced the 512 KiB external reduced speed cache used by the Athlon Classic with 256 KiB of on-chip, full speed exclusive cache. The Thunderbird at this time, won over rival Pentium 3 but AMD did not stop there. AMD released The Palomino or the Athlon XP. XP meaning "
. Then AMD released The Thunderbird which is at 1.8 GHz. Then the fifth generation Athlon came along, Barton core processors, running at the same speed as the Thoroughbred predecessors.<br />Finally, the Mobile Athlon XP was introduced. It has lower power consumption, and lower heat production which is basically used for the notebook. AMD is not stopping and is still continuing to improve its processors as to beat it's rival Intel. See cpu-lab.com for more details on the AMD Processor.<br />AMD ex CEO Jerry Sanders vision was to create a "
that would equip AMD to compete with Intel. A couple of years later, AMD released Athlon K7 processor. AMD got lots of benefits working with Motorola as AMD was able to refine copper interconnect manufacturing to the production stage one year earlier than Intel.<br />