Chapter 3. Processor Types and Specifications

Microprocessor History

The brain or engine of the PC is the processor—sometimes called microprocessor or central processing unit (CPU). The CPU performs the system’s calculating and processing. The processor is one of the two most expensive components in the system (the other being the video card). In higher-end systems, the processor can cost up to four or more times more than the motherboard it plugs into. Intel is generally credited with creating the first microprocessor in 1971 with the introduction of a chip called the 4004. Today Intel still has control over the processor market, at least for PC systems, although AMD has garnered a respectable market share. For the most part, PC-compatible systems ...

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