Every modern microprocessor starts with the basics—clocked-logic digital circuitry. The chip has millions of separate gates combined into three basic function blocks: the input/output unit (or I/O unit), the control unit, and the arithmetic/logic unit (ALU). The last two are sometimes jointly called the central processingunit (CPU), although the same term often is used as a synonym for the entire microprocessor. Some chipmakers further subdivide these units, give them other names, or include more than one of each in a particular microprocessor. In any case, the functions of these three units are an inherent part of any chip. The differences are mostly a matter of nomenclature, because you can understand the entire operation of any ...

Get Winn L. Rosch Hardware Bible, Sixth Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.