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Essential Guide to Semiconductors, The by Jim Turley

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Microprocessor Anatomy and Gazetteer

Without becoming a computer scientist or microprocessor engineer, it's useful to know some of the terms for various parts of a microprocessor chip. Don't feel you need to memorize these; use them as reference if you get cornered at a party.

Figure 6.3 shows a simplified block diagram of a microprocessor. This could be anything from a simple 4-bit processor to a big 64-bit machine; the fundamentals are the same for all processor chips.

Figure 6.3. This simplified diagram of a microprocessor shows how instructions come into the chip, are decoded, and then dispatched to one of three (in this example) execution units. The execution units take data from the microprocessor's registers, work some function on it, ...

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