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X86 Assembly Language and C Fundamentals by Joseph Cavanagh

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Chapter 2

X86 Processor Architecture

Microprocessors have evolved considerably over the past four decades, from the Intel 4-bit 4004 to the multi-core processors of today. A multi-core processor consists of two or more separate central processing units (CPUs), called cores. Thus, a quad-core processor consists of four independent CPUs. Multi-core processors can be designed to accommodate very-long-instruction-words (VLIWs), a pipelined reduced-instruction-set computer (RISC), or as a vector processor that operates on sets or vectors. Multi-core processors are designed to operate with multiple threads; that is, to execute multiple tasks simultaneously. Multithreading takes advantage of memory latency in order to improve system performance.

The ...

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