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2 definitions found
 for microprocessor
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  microprocessor
      n 1: integrated circuit semiconductor chip that performs the
           bulk of the processing and controls the parts of a system;
           "a microprocessor functions as the central processing unit
           of a microcomputer"; "a disk drive contains a
           microprocessor to handle the internal functions of the
           drive"

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  microprocessor
  micro
  
      (Or "micro") A computer whose entire CPU is
     contained on one (or a small number of) integrated circuits.
  
     The important characteristics of a microprocessor are the
     widths of its internal and external address bus and data
     bus (and instruction), its clock rate and its instruction
     set.  Processors are also often classified as either RISC
     or CISC.
  
     The first commercial microprocessor was the Intel 4004 which
     appeared in 1971.  This was the CPU member of a set of four
     LSI integrated circuits called the MCS-4, which was
     originally designed for use in a calculator but was marketed
     as "programmable controller for logic replacement".  The 4004
     is referred to as a 4-bit microprocessor since it processed
     only 4 bits of data at a time.  This very short word size is
     due mainly to the limitations imposed by the maximum
     integrated circuit density then achievable.
  
     As integrated circuit densities increased with the rapid
     development of integrated circuit manufacturing technology,
     the power and performance of the microprocessors also
     increased.  This is reflected in the increase in the CPU word
     size to 4, 8, 16, and by mid-1980s, 32 bits.  The smaller
     microprocessors have relatively simple instruction sets,
     e.g., no floating point instructions, but they are
     nevertheless suitable as controllers for a very wide range of
     applications such as car engines and microwave ovens.
  
     The Intel 4004 was followed with, among others the 4040,
     8008, 8080, 8086, 80186, 80286, 80386, 486 and
     Pentium.  Other families include the Motorola 6800 and
     680x0 families, National Semiconductor 16000 and National
     Semiconductor 32000, SPARC, ARM, MIPS, Zilog Z8000,
     PowerPC and the Inmos Transputer family.
  
     The larger, more recent microprocessors families have
     gradually acquired most of the features of large computers.
     As the microprocessor industry has matured, several families
     of microprocessors have evolved into de facto industrial
     standards with multiple manufacturers and numerous "support"
     chips including RAM, ROM, I/O controllers etc.
  
     A single chip microprocessor may include other components such
     as memory ({RAM, ROM, PROM), memory management,
     caches, floating-point unit, input/output ports and
     timers.  Such devices are also known as microcontrollers.
  
     The one-chip microcomputer is in many respects, a landmark
     development in computer technology because it reduces the
     computer to a small, inexpensive, and easily replaceable
     design component.
  
     Microcomputers have given rise to a new class of
     general-purpose machines called personal computers.  These
     are small low cost computers that are designed to sit on an
     ordinary office desk or to be portable and fuelled the
     computer boom of the late 1980s.  The most widespread example
     is the also IBM PC, based on microprocessors from Intel
     Corporation.  Apple Computers, Inc. have also produced a
     range of personal computers, as have several other companies.
  
     See also killer micro, minicomputer, CPU Info Center.
  
     (2002-07-16)
  

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