Die of an Intel 80486DX2 microprocessor (actual size: 12×6. The Intel 's i486DX2 is a CPU produced by Intel that was introduced in 1989. 75 mm) in its packaging
|Date Invented:||Late 1960s/Early 1970s (see article for explanation)|
|Architectures:||PowerPC, x86, x86-64, and many others (see below, and article)|
|Manufacturer:||AMD, Analog Devices, Atmel, Cypress, Fairchild, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, Infineon, Intel, Intersil, ITT, Maxim, Microchip, Mitsubishi, Mostek, Motorola, National, NEC, NXP, OKI, Renesas, Samsung, Sharp, Siemens, Signetics, STM, Synertek, Texas, Toshiba, TSMC, UMC, Winbond, Zilog, and others. A printed circuit board, or PCB, is used to mechanically support and electrically connect Electronic components using conductive pathways or traces A CPU socket or CPU slot is a connector on a computer's Motherboard that accepts a CPU and forms an electrical interface with it Soldering is a process in which two or more Metal items are joined together by melting and flowing a filler metal into the joint the filler metal having a relatively low PowerPC is a RISC Instruction set architecture created by the 1991 Apple – IBM – Motorola alliance known as AIM See also X86 assembly language The generic term x86 refers to the most commercially successful Instruction set architecture in the history of Personal x86-64 is a Superset of the x86 instruction set architecture. Analog Devices ( is an American multinational producer of Semiconductor devices } Atmel Corporation ( is a manufacturer of Semiconductors, founded in 1984. Cypress Semiconductor Corporation ( is a Silicon Valley -based semiconductor design and manufacturing company founded by T is a Japanese company specializing in Semiconductors Computers ( Supercomputers Personal computers, servers, Telecommunications () is a Multinational corporation specializing in high-technology and services headquartered in Marunouchi Itchome Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. International Business Machines Corporation abbreviated IBM and nicknamed "Big Blue", is a multinational Computer Technology Infineon Technologies AG () was founded in April 1999 when the Semiconductor operations of parent company Siemens AG, were spun off to form a separate Intersil Corporation specializes in the design and manufacture of high-performance analog Semiconductors for four high-growth markets — Communications Computing High End ITT Corporation, is a global diversified manufacturing company with 2007 revenues of $9 Dallas Semiconductor, now a subsidiary of Maxim Integrated Products, designs and manufactures analog digital and mixed-signal semiconductors (integrated circuits or ICs Microchip Technology ( is a manufacturer of microcontroller memory and analog Semiconductors, founded in 1989 when a group of venture capitalists acquired Microchip ( is a Japanese company based in the Tokyo Building in Tokyo, manufactures electric and architectural equipment as well as a major worldwide producer of MOS Technology Inc, also known as CSG (Commodore Semiconductor Group, was a semiconductor design and fabrication company based in Norristown Pennsylvania Motorola Inc ( is an American, multinational Fortune 100, Telecommunications company based in Schaumburg Illinois. National Semiconductor ( is a Semiconductor manufacturer specializing in analog devices and subsystems headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is a Japanese multinational IT company headquartered in Minato Tokyo, Japan. NXP (for Next eXPerience) Semiconductors is the name for the new Semiconductor company founded by Philips as announced by its CEO Frans ( is a Japanese electronics company founded (as Meikosha Ltd in January 1881 by Kibataro Oki is a Japanese semiconductor manufacturer They are based in Tokyo and have manufacturing design and sales operations in around 20 countries with about 26200 employees worldwide The Samsung Group ( Korean:, Samsung Guerup) is South Korea 's largest company or Chaebol and the world's largest conglomerate () is a Japanese Electronics manufacturer founded in 1912 It takes its name from one of its founder's first inventions the Ever-Sharp Mechanical pencil, which Signetics, once a major player in semiconductor manufacturing made a variety of devices which included Integrated circuits bipolar and MOS, the Dolby STMicroelectronics (,)is an franco-italian Electronics and Semiconductor manufacturer headquartered in in Geneva, Switzerland. Synertek Inc was an American Semiconductor manufacturer founded in 1973 as a Masked ROM house whose product range branched into a broad offering of Texas Instruments ( better known in the electronics industry (and popularly as TI, is an American company based in Dallas, Texas, USA ( is a multinational conglomerate manufacturing company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited ( Traditional Chinese: 台灣積體電路製造股份有限公司 abbrev UMC ( United Microelectronics Corporation) was founded as Taiwan's first Semiconductor company in 1980 as a spin-off of the government-sponsored institute ITRI Winbond Electronics Corporation is a Taiwan -based corporation which was founded in 1987 and is a producer of Semiconductors and several types of integrated Zilog Inc, often seen as ZiLOG (the official company denotation in 1998 through Jun 2007 is a manufacturer of 8-bit, 16-bit, 24-bit|
A microprocessor incorporates most or all of the functions of a central processing unit (CPU) on a single integrated circuit (IC). Microchipsjpg|right|thumb|200px|Microchips ( EPROM memory with a transparent window showing the integrated circuit inside  The first microprocessors emerged in the early 1970s and were used for electronic calculators, using BCD arithmetics on 4-bit words. A calculator is device for performing mathematical calculations distinguished from a Computer by having a limited problem solving ability and an interface optimized for interactive In Computing and electronic systems binary-coded decimal ( BCD) is an encoding for decimal numbers in which each digit is represented by its own binary In Computing, " word " is a term for the natural unit of data used by a particular computer design Other embedded uses of 4 and 8-bit microprocessors, such as terminals, printers, various kinds of automation etc, followed rather quickly. An embedded system is a special-purpose Computer system designed to perform one or a few dedicated functions often with Real-time computing constraints A computer terminal is an electronic or electromechanical hardware device that is used for entering data into and displaying data from a Computer or a Computing Automation ( Ancient Greek: = self dictated) roboticization or industrial automation or Numerical control is the use of Control systems Affordable 8-bit microprocessors with 16-bit addressing also led to the first general purpose microcomputers in the mid-1970s. microcomputer is a Computer with a Microprocessor as its Central processing unit.
Processors were for a long period constructed out of small and medium-scale ICs containing the equivalent of a few to a few hundred transistors. The integration of the whole CPU onto a single VLSI chip therefore greatly reduced the cost of processing capacity. Microchipsjpg|right|thumb|200px|Microchips ( EPROM memory with a transparent window showing the integrated circuit inside From their humble beginnings, continued increases in microprocessor capacity have rendered other forms of computers almost completely obsolete (see history of computing hardware), with one or more microprocessor as processing element in everything from the smallest embedded systems and handheld devices to the largest mainframes and supercomputers. The history of computer hardware encompasses the hardware, its architecture, and its impact on software. An embedded system is a special-purpose Computer system designed to perform one or a few dedicated functions often with Real-time computing constraints A mobile device (also known as cellphone device, handheld device, handheld computer, "Palmtop" or simply handheld) is a pocket-sized A supercomputer is a Computer that is at the frontline of processing capacity particularly speed of calculation (at the time of its introduction
Since the early 1970s, the increase in processing capacity of evolving microprocessors has been known to generally follow Moore's Law. Moore's law describes an important trend in the History of computer hardware. It suggests that the complexity of an integrated circuit, with respect to minimum component cost, doubles every 18 months. In the late 1990s, heat generation (TDP), due to current leakage and other factors, emerged as a leading developmental constraint. The Thermal Design Power (TDP (sometimes called Thermal Design Point) represents the maximum amount of power the cooling system in a computer is required to dissipate
Three projects arguably delivered a complete microprocessor at about the same time, namely Intel's 4004, the Texas Instruments (TI) TMS 1000, and Garrett AiResearch's Central Air Data Computer (CADC). The Intel 4004 is a 4-bit Central processing unit (CPU released by Intel Corporation in 1971 Texas Instruments ( better known in the electronics industry (and popularly as TI, is an American company based in Dallas, Texas, USA Garrett by Honeywell is the consumer brand of Honeywell Turbo Technologies a subsidiary of Honeywell Corporation. The Central Air Data Computer is the integrated flight control system used in the early versions of the US Navy 's F-14 Tomcat fighter
In 1968, Garrett AiResearch, with designer Ray Holt and Steve Geller, were invited to produce a digital computer to compete with electromechanical systems then under development for the main flight control computer in the US Navy's new F-14 Tomcat fighter. Raymond M Holt was a co-founder of Microcomputer Associates Incorporated, along with Manny Lemas In Engineering, electromechanics combines the Sciences of Electromagnetism of Electrical engineering and mechanics. The design was complete by 1970, and used a MOS-based chipset as the core CPU. The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor ( MOSFET, MOS-FET, or MOS FET) is a device used to amplify or switch electronic signals The design was significantly (approximately 20 times) smaller and much more reliable than the mechanical systems it competed against, and was used in all of the early Tomcat models. This system contained a "a 20-bit, pipelined, parallel multi-microprocessor". However, the system was considered so advanced that the Navy refused to allow publication of the design until 1997. For this reason the CADC, and the MP944 chipset it used, are fairly unknown even today. (see First Microprocessor Chip Set.) TI developed the 4-bit TMS 1000, and stressed pre-programmed embedded applications, introducing a version called the TMS1802NC on September 17, 1971, which implemented a calculator on a chip. Events 1176 - The Battle of Myriokephalon is fought 1462 - The Battle of Świecino (or Battle of Żarnowiec Year 1971 ( MCMLXXI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. The Intel chip was the 4-bit 4004, released on November 15, 1971, developed by Federico Faggin and Marcian Hoff, the manager of the designing team was Leslie L. Vadász. The Intel 4004 is a 4-bit Central processing unit (CPU released by Intel Corporation in 1971 Events 655 - Battle of Winwaed: Penda of Mercia is defeated by Oswiu of Northumbria. Year 1971 ( MCMLXXI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. Federico Faggin (born December 1 1941) is an Italian -born Physicist / Electrical engineer, principally responsible for the design of Marcian Edward "Ted" Hoff Jr (born October 28, 1937 in Rochester New York) is one of the inventors of the Microprocessor. Leslie L Vadász (born 1936 in Budapest, Hungary) is a Hungarian - American Engineer and Manager, one of the founding members
TI filed for the patent on the microprocessor. Gary Boone was awarded September 4, 1973. Events 476 - Romulus Augustus, last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, is deposed when Odoacer proclaims himself Year 1973 ( MCMLXXIII) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar of the 1973 Gregorian calendar. It may never be known which company actually had the first working microprocessor running on the lab bench. In both 1971 and 1976, Intel and TI entered into broad patent cross-licensing agreements, with Intel paying royalties to TI for the microprocessor patent. A nice history of these events is contained in court documentation from a legal dispute between Cyrix and Intel, with TI as intervenor and owner of the microprocessor patent.for the single-chip microprocessor architecture on
Interestingly, a third party (Gilbert Hyatt) was awarded a patent which might cover the "microprocessor". See a webpage claiming an invention pre-dating both TI and Intel, describing a "microcontroller". According to a rebuttal and a commentary, the patent was later invalidated, but not before substantial royalties were paid out.
A computer-on-a-chip is a variation of a microprocessor which combines the microprocessor core (CPU), some memory, and I/O (input/output) lines, all on one chip. In Computing, input/output, or I/O, refers to the communication between an Information processing system (such as a Computer) and the outside Microchipsjpg|right|thumb|200px|Microchips ( EPROM memory with a transparent window showing the integrated circuit inside The computer-on-a-chip patent, called the "microcomputer patent" at the time, , was awarded to Gary Boone and Michael J. Cochran of TI. Aside from this patent, the standard meaning of microcomputer is a computer using one or more microprocessors as its CPU(s), while the concept defined in the patent is perhaps more akin to a microcontroller. microcomputer is a Computer with a Microprocessor as its Central processing unit. A microcontroller (also MCU or µC is a functional Computer system-on-a- chip.
According to A History of Modern Computing, (MIT Press), pp. 220–21, Intel entered into a contract with Computer Terminals Corporation, later called Datapoint, of San Antonio TX, for a chip for a terminal they were designing. Datapoint Corporation, originally known as Computer Terminal Corporation (CTC, was a computer company based in San Antonio Texas, United States. Datapoint later decided to use the chip, and Intel marketed it as the 8008 in April, 1972. This was the world's first 8-bit microprocessor. It was the basis for the famous "Mark-8" computer kit advertised in the magazine Radio-Electronics in 1974. The Mark-8 is a Microcomputer design from 1974, based on the Intel 8008 CPU (which was the world's first 8-bit microprocessor The 8008 and its successor, the world-famous 8080, opened up the microprocessor component marketplace.
The 4004 was later followed in 1972 by the 8008, the world's first 8-bit microprocessor. The Intel 8008 was an early byte-oriented Microprocessor designed and manufactured by Intel and introduced in April 1972 Eight-bit CPUs normally use an 8-bit data bus and a 16-bit address bus which means that their Address space is limited to 64 KBs This is not a "natural These processors are the precursors to the very successful Intel 8080 (1974), Zilog Z80 (1976), and derivative Intel 8-bit processors. The Intel 8080 was an early Microprocessor designed and manufactured by Intel. The Zilog Z80 is an 8-bit Microprocessor designed and sold by Zilog from July 1976 onwards The competing Motorola 6800 was released August 1974. The 6800 is an 8-bit Microprocessor produced by Motorola and released shortly after the Intel 8080 in late 1974 Its architecture was cloned and improved in the MOS Technology 6502 in 1975, rivaling the Z80 in popularity during the 1980s. The MOS Technology 6502 is an 8-bit Microprocessor that was designed by Chuck Peddle for MOS Technology in 1975
Both the Z80 and 6502 concentrated on low overall cost, by combining small packaging, simple computer bus requirements, and including circuitry that normally must be provided in a separate chip (example: the Z80 included a memory controller). In Computer architecture, a bus is a subsystem that transfers data between computer components inside a Computer or between computers It was these features that allowed the home computer "revolution" to accelerate sharply in the early 1980s, eventually delivering such inexpensive machines as the Sinclair ZX-81, which sold for US$99. A home computer was a class of Personal computer entering the market in 1977 and becoming common during the 1980s The Sinclair ZX81 Home computer, released by Sinclair Research in 1981, was the follow up to the company's ZX80. The United States dollar ( sign: $; code: USD) is the unit of Currency of the United States; it has also been
The Western Design Center, Inc. (WDC) introduced the CMOS 65C02 in 1982 and licensed the design to several firms. The Western Design Center (WDC, located in Mesa Arizona, USA, is a company developing and manufacturing MOS 65xx -based Microprocessors The Western Design Center WDC 65C02 Microprocessor is an upgraded CMOS version of the popular NMOS -based MOS Technology 6502 It became the core of the Apple IIc and IIe personal computers, medical implantable grade pacemakers and defibrilators, automotive, industrial and consumer devices. The Apple IIc, the fourth model in the Apple II series of personal computers was Apple Computer ’s first endeavor to produce a Portable computer. WDC pioneered the licensing of microprocessor technology which was later followed by ARM and other microprocessor Intellectual Property (IP) providers in the 1990’s. The ARM architecture (previously the Advanced RISC Machine, and prior to that Acorn RISC Machine) is a 32-bit RISC processor architecture Intellectual property ( IP) is a legal field that refers to creations of the mind such as musical literary and artistic works inventions and symbols names
Motorola trumped the entire 8-bit market by introducing the MC6809 in 1978, arguably one of the most powerful, orthogonal, and clean 8-bit microprocessor designs ever fielded – and also one of the most complex hard-wired logic designs that ever made it into production for any microprocessor. The Motorola 6809 is an 8-bit (arguably an 8/ 16-bit) Microprocessor CPU from Motorola, introduced circa 1979 In Mathematics, two Vectors are orthogonal if they are Perpendicular, i Microcoding replaced hardwired logic at about this time for all designs more powerful than the MC6809 – because the design requirements were getting too complex for hardwired logic. Microprogramming (ie writing microcode) is a method that can be employed to implement Machine instructions in a CPU relatively easily often using less
Another early 8-bit microprocessor was the Signetics 2650, which enjoyed a brief surge of interest due to its innovative and powerful instruction set architecture. The Signetics 2650, was a very early ( 1975) 8-bit Microprocessor. An instruction set is a list of all the instructions and all their variations that a processor can execute
A seminal microprocessor in the world of spaceflight was RCA's RCA 1802 (aka CDP1802, RCA COSMAC) (introduced in 1976) which was used in NASA's Voyager and Viking spaceprobes of the 1970s, and onboard the Galileo probe to Jupiter (launched 1989, arrived 1995). RCA Corporation, founded as Radio Corporation of America, was an electronics company in existence from 1919 to 1986 The RCA (CDP1802 (aka RCA COSMAC * COSMAC 1802) is an 8-bit CMOS Microprocessor (µP introduced by RCA in early See also Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. The Voyager program consists of a pair of unmanned scientific probes Voyager 1 and NASA 's Viking program consisted of a pair of space probes sent to Mars, Viking 1 and Viking 2. Galileo was an Unmanned spacecraft sent by NASA to study the Planet Jupiter and its moons Named after the Astronomer RCA COSMAC was the first to implement C-MOS technology. The CDP1802 was used because it could be run at very low power, and because its production process (Silicon on Sapphire) ensured much better protection against cosmic radiation and electrostatic discharges than that of any other processor of the era. Silicon on sapphire (SOS is a hetero-epitaxial process for Integrated circuit manufacturing that consists of a thin layer (typically thinner than 0 For the 1962 Bruce Conner film see Cosmic Ray (film Cosmic rays are energetic particles originating from space that impinge on Electrostatic discharge ( ESD) is the sudden and momentary Electric current that flows between two objects at different Electrical potentials The term is Thus, the 1802 is said to be the first radiation-hardened microprocessor.
The RCA 1802 had what is called a static design, meaning that the clock frequency could be made arbitrarily low, even to 0 Hz, a total stop condition. The RCA (CDP1802 (aka RCA COSMAC * COSMAC 1802) is an 8-bit CMOS Microprocessor (µP introduced by RCA in early In Electronics and especially synchronous Digital circuits a clock signal is a signal used to coordinate the actions of two or more circuits This let the Voyager/Viking/Galileo spacecraft use minimum electric power for long uneventful stretches of a voyage. See also Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. The Voyager program consists of a pair of unmanned scientific probes Voyager 1 and NASA 's Viking program consisted of a pair of space probes sent to Mars, Viking 1 and Viking 2. Galileo was an Unmanned spacecraft sent by NASA to study the Planet Jupiter and its moons Named after the Astronomer Timers and/or sensors would awaken/speed up the processor in time for important tasks, such as navigation updates, attitude control, data acquisition, and radio communication.
The first multi-chip 16-bit microprocessor was the National Semiconductor IMP-16, introduced in early 1973. National Semiconductor ( is a Semiconductor manufacturer specializing in analog devices and subsystems headquartered in Santa Clara, California, The IMP-16, by National Semiconductor, was the first multi-chip 16-bit Microprocessor. An 8-bit version of the chipset was introduced in 1974 as the IMP-8. During the same year, National introduced the first 16-bit single-chip microprocessor, the National Semiconductor PACE, which was later followed by an NMOS version, the INS8900. The INS8900 was the NMOS version of National Semiconductor 's PACE 16-bit Microprocessor.
Other early multi-chip 16-bit microprocessors include one used by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in the LSI-11 OEM board set and the packaged PDP 11/03 minicomputer, and the Fairchild Semiconductor MicroFlame 9440, both of which were introduced in the 1975 to 1976 timeframe. Digital Equipment Corporation was a pioneering American company in the Computer industry The PDP-11 was a series of 16-bit Minicomputers sold by Digital Equipment Corp The PDP-11 was a series of 16-bit Minicomputers sold by Digital Equipment Corp A minicomputer (colloquially mini) is a class of multi-user Computers that lies in the middle range of the computing spectrum in between the largest Multi-user Present day Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc is a spin-off company resulting from reconstitution of assets in National Semiconductor
The first single-chip 16-bit microprocessor was TI's TMS 9900, which was also compatible with their TI-990 line of minicomputers. Introduced in 1976 and based on the Texas Instruments 990 Minicomputer CPU, the TMS9900 was one of the first true 16-bit The TI-990 was a series of 16-bit Minicomputers sold by Texas Instruments (TI in the 1970s and 1980s The 9900 was used in the TI 990/4 minicomputer, the TI-99/4A home computer, and the TM990 line of OEM microcomputer boards. The Texas Instruments TI-99/4A was an early Home computer, released in June 1981 originally at a price of USD $525 The chip was packaged in a large ceramic 64-pin DIP package, while most 8-bit microprocessors such as the Intel 8080 used the more common, smaller, and less expensive plastic 40-pin DIP. In Microelectronics, a dual in-line package (DIP, sometimes called a DIL package is an electronic device package with a rectangular housing and two parallel rows A follow-on chip, the TMS 9980, was designed to compete with the Intel 8080, had the full TI 990 16-bit instruction set, used a plastic 40-pin package, moved data 8 bits at a time, but could only address 16 KB. A third chip, the TMS 9995, was a new design. The family later expanded to include the 99105 and 99110.
The Western Design Center, Inc. (WDC) introduced the CMOS 65816 16-bit upgrade of the WDC CMOS 65C02 in 1984. The Western Design Center (WDC, located in Mesa Arizona, USA, is a company developing and manufacturing MOS 65xx -based Microprocessors The WDC 65816 (also 65C816) a 16-bit Microprocessor CPU developed by the Western Design Center (WDC, is an expanded and compatible The Western Design Center WDC 65C02 Microprocessor is an upgraded CMOS version of the popular NMOS -based MOS Technology 6502 The 65816 16-bit microprocessor was the core of the Apple IIgs and later the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, making it one of the most popular 16-bit designs of all time. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System or Super NES (also called SNES and Super Nintendo) is a 16-bit Video game console that was
Intel followed a different path, having no minicomputers to emulate, and instead "upsized" their 8080 design into the 16-bit Intel 8086, the first member of the x86 family which powers most modern PC type computers. The 8086 is a 16-bit Microprocessor chip designed by Intel and introduced on the market in 1978 which gave rise to the X86 architecture See also X86 assembly language The generic term x86 refers to the most commercially successful Instruction set architecture in the history of Personal IBM PC compatible computers are those generally similar to the original IBM PC, XT, and AT. Intel introduced the 8086 as a cost effective way of porting software from the 8080 lines, and succeeded in winning much business on that premise. The 8088, a version of the 8086 that used an external 8-bit data bus, was the microprocessor in the first IBM PC, the model 5150. Following up their 8086 and 8088, Intel released the 80186, 80286 and, in 1985, the 32-bit 80386, cementing their PC market dominance with the processor family's backwards compatibility. The 80186 is a Microprocessor that was developed by Intel circa 1982. The Intel 286, introduced on February 1, 1982, (originally named 80286, and also called iAPX 286 in the programmer's manual
The integrated microprocessor memory management unit (MMU) was developed by Childs et al. A memory management unit ( MMU) sometimes called paged memory management unit ( PMMU) is a Computer hardware component responsible for handling of Intel, and awarded US patent number 4,442,484.
16-bit designs were in the market only briefly when full 32-bit implementations started to appear.
The most significant of the 32-bit designs is the MC68000, introduced in 1979. The Motorola 68000 is a 16/32-bit CISC Microprocessor core designed and marketed by Freescale Semiconductor (formerly Motorola Semiconductor The 68K, as it was widely known, had 32-bit registers but used 16-bit internal data paths, and a 16-bit external data bus to reduce pin count, and supported only 24-bit addresses. Motorola generally described it as a 16-bit processor, though it clearly has 32-bit architecture. In Computer engineering, computer architecture is the conceptual design and fundamental operational structure of a Computer system The combination of high speed, large (16 megabytes (2^24)) memory space and fairly low costs made it the most popular CPU design of its class. A megabyte is a unit of Information or Computer storage equal to either 106 (1000000 Bytes or 220 (1048576 bytes depending on The Apple Lisa and Macintosh designs made use of the 68000, as did a host of other designs in the mid-1980s, including the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga. For the MOS 6502 assembler for Apple II computers see Lisa assembler. Macintosh, commonly nicknamed Mac is a Brand name which covers several lines of Personal computers designed developed and marketed by Apple Inc The Atari ST is a home / Personal computer that was commercially available from 1985 to the early 1990s The Amiga is a family of Personal computers originally developed by Amiga Corporation.
The world's first single-chip fully-32-bit microprocessor, with 32-bit data paths, 32-bit buses, and 32-bit addresses, was the AT&T Bell Labs BELLMAC-32A, with first samples in 1980, and general production in 1982 (See this bibliographic reference and this general reference). Before proposing a merge request please see Talk and see if the merger you propose has recently been made and Bell Laboratories (also known as Bell Labs and formerly known as AT&T Bell Laboratories and Bell Telephone Laboratories) is the Research organization After the divestiture of AT&T in 1984, it was renamed the WE 32000 (WE for Western Electric), and had two follow-on generations, the WE 32100 and WE 32200. Western Electric Company (sometimes abbreviated WE and WECo) was an American Electrical engineering company the manufacturing arm These microprocessors were used in the AT&T 3B5 and 3B15 minicomputers; in the 3B2, the world's first desktop supermicrocomputer; in the "Companion", the world's first 32-bit laptop computer; and in "Alexander", the world's first book-sized supermicrocomputer, featuring ROM-pack memory cartridges similar to today's gaming consoles. Before proposing a merge request please see Talk and see if the merger you propose has recently been made and All these systems ran the UNIX System V operating system. Unix System V, commonly abbreviated SysV (and usually pronounced though rarely written as System 5 was one of the versions of the Unix Operating system
Intel's first 32-bit microprocessor was the iAPX 432, which was introduced in 1981 but was not a commercial success. The Intel iAPX 432 was Intel 's first 32-bit Microprocessor design introduced in 1981 as a set of three Integrated circuits The iAPX 432 was intended It had an advanced capability-based object-oriented architecture, but poor performance compared to other competing architectures such as the Motorola 68000. Capability-based security is a concept in the design of Secure computing systems In its simplest embodiment an object is an allocated region of storage
Motorola's success with the 68000 led to the MC68010, which added virtual memory support. The Motorola MC68010 processor is a 16/32-bit Microprocessor from Motorola, released in 1982. The MC68020, introduced in 1985 added full 32-bit data and address busses. The Motorola 68020 is a 32-bit Microprocessor from Motorola, released in 1984. The 68020 became hugely popular in the Unix supermicrocomputer market, and many small companies (e. Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX, sometimes also written as Unix with Small caps) is a computer g. , Altos, Charles River Data Systems) produced desktop-size systems. Following this with the MC68030, which added the MMU into the chip, the 68K family became the processor for everything that wasn't running DOS. The Motorola 68030 is a 32-bit Microprocessor in Motorola 's 68000 family. DOS, short for "Disk Operating System" is a shorthand term for several closely related Operating systems that dominated the IBM PC compatible market The continued success led to the MC68040, which included an FPU for better math performance. The Motorola 68040 is a Microprocessor from Motorola, released in 1990. A floating point unit (FPU is a part of a Computer system specially designed to carry out operations on Floating point numbers A 68050 failed to achieve its performance goals and was not released, and the follow-up MC68060 was released into a market saturated by much faster RISC designs. The Motorola 68060 is a 32-bit Microprocessor from Motorola, released in 1994, and is the successor to the Motorola 68040. The 68K family faded from the desktop in the early 1990s.
Other large companies designed the 68020 and follow-ons into embedded equipment. At one point, there were more 68020s in embedded equipment than there were Intel Pentiums in PCs (See this webpage for this embedded usage information). The ColdFire processor cores are derivatives of the venerable 68020. The Freescale ColdFire is a 68k architecture Microprocessor manufactured for Embedded systems development by Freescale Semiconductor (formerly
During this time (early to mid 1980s), National Semiconductor introduced a very similar 16-bit pinout, 32-bit internal microprocessor called the NS 16032 (later renamed 32016), the full 32-bit version named the NS 32032, and a line of 32-bit industrial OEM microcomputers. National Semiconductor ( is a Semiconductor manufacturer specializing in analog devices and subsystems headquartered in Santa Clara, California, The 320xx or NS32000 is a series of Microprocessors from National Semiconductor ("NS" "Natsemi" By the mid-1980s, Sequent introduced the first symmetric multiprocessor (SMP) server-class computer using the NS 32032. Sequent Computer Systems, or Sequent, was a computer company that designed and manufactured Multiprocessing Computer systems They were among the pioneers This was one of the design's few wins, and it disappeared in the late 1980s.
The MIPS R2000 (1984) and R3000 (1989) were highly successful 32-bit RISC microprocessors. MIPS (originally an acronym for Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipeline Stages) is a RISC microprocessor architecture developed by MIPS Technologies They were used in high-end workstations and servers by SGI, among others. Silicon Graphics Inc (commonly initialised to SGI, historically sometimes referred to as Silicon Graphics Computer Systems or SGCS) is a company
Other designs included the interesting Zilog Z8000, which arrived too late to market to stand a chance and disappeared quickly. The Z8000 was a 16-bit Microprocessor introduced by ZiLOG in 1979
In the late 1980s, "microprocessor wars" started killing off some of the microprocessors. Apparently, with only one major design win, Sequent, the NS 32032 just faded out of existence, and Sequent switched to Intel microprocessors.
From 1985 to 2003, the 32-bit x86 architectures became increasingly dominant in desktop, laptop, and server markets, and these microprocessors became faster and more capable. See also X86 assembly language The generic term x86 refers to the most commercially successful Instruction set architecture in the history of Personal Intel had licensed early versions of the architecture to other companies, but declined to license the Pentium, so AMD and Cyrix built later versions of the architecture based on their own designs. Cyrix was a CPU manufacturer that began in 1978 in Richardson Texas as a specialist supplier of high-performance math co-processors for 286 and During this span, these processors increased in complexity (transistor count) and capability (instructions/second) by at least a factor of 1000. Intel's Pentium line is probably the most famous and recognizable 32-bit processor model, at least with the public at large.
While 64-bit microprocessor designs have been in use in several markets since the early 1990s, the early 2000s saw the introduction of 64-bit microchips targeted at the PC market.
With AMD's introduction of a 64-bit architecture backwards-compatible with x86, x86-64 (now called AMD64), in September 2003, followed by Intel's fully compatible 64-bit extensions (first called IA-32e or EM64T, later renamed Intel 64), the 64-bit desktop era began. x86-64 is a Superset of the x86 instruction set architecture. Both versions can run 32-bit legacy applications without any speed penalty as well as new 64-bit software. With operating systems Windows XP x64, Windows Vista x64, Linux and Mac OS X that run 64-bit native, the software too is geared to utilize the full power of such processors. Windows XP has been released in several editions since its original release in 2001 Windows Vista (ˈvɪstə is a line of Operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on Personal computers including home and business desktops Linux (commonly pronounced ˈlɪnəks Mac OS X (mæk oʊ ɛs tɛn is a line of computer Operating systems developed marketed and sold by Apple Inc, the latest of which is pre-loaded on all currently The move to 64 bits is more than just an increase in register size from the IA-32 as it also doubles the number of general-purpose registers.
The move to 64 bits by PowerPC processors had been intended since the processors' design in the early 90s and was not a major cause of incompatibility. PowerPC is a RISC Instruction set architecture created by the 1991 Apple – IBM – Motorola alliance known as AIM Existing integer registers are extended as are all related data pathways, but, as was the case with IA-32, both floating point and vector units had been operating at or above 64 bits for several years. Unlike what happened with IA-32 was extended to x86-64, no new general purpose registers were added in 64-bit PowerPC, so any performance gained when using the 64-bit mode for applications making no use of the larger address space is minimal.
A different approach to improving a computer's performance is to add extra processors, as in symmetric multiprocessing designs which have been popular in servers and workstations since the early 1990s. A multi-core processor (or chip-level multiprocessor, CMP) combines two or more independent cores into a single package composed of a single Integrated In Computing, symmetric multiprocessing or SMP involves a Multiprocessor computer-architecture where two or more identical processors can connect to a single Keeping up with Moore's Law is becoming increasingly challenging as chip-making technologies approach the physical limits of the technology. Moore's law describes an important trend in the History of computer hardware.
In response, the microprocessor manufacturers look for other ways to improve performance, in order to hold on to the momentum of constant upgrades in the market.
A multi-core processor is simply a single chip containing more than one microprocessor core, effectively multiplying the potential performance with the number of cores (as long as the operating system and software is designed to take advantage of more than one processor). Some components, such as bus interface and second level cache, may be shared between cores. Because the cores are physically very close they interface at much faster clock speeds compared to discrete multiprocessor systems, improving overall system performance.
In 2005, the first mass-market dual-core processors were announced and as of 2007 dual-core processors are widely used in servers, workstations and PCs while quad-core processors are now available for high-end applications in both the home and professional environments.
Sun Microsystems has released the Niagara and Niagara 2 chips, both of which feature an eight-core design. The Niagara 2 supports more threads and operates at 1. 6 GHz.
Apple produces the Mac Pro which also utilizes an 8-core Intel Xeon processor that can operate up to 3. 2 GHz.
In the mid-1980s to early-1990s, a crop of new high-performance RISC (reduced instruction set computer) microprocessors appeared, which were initially used in special purpose machines and Unix workstations, but then gained wide acceptance in other roles. Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX, sometimes also written as Unix with Small caps) is a computer A workstation, such as a Unix workstation, RISC workstation or Engineering workstation, is a high-end Microcomputer
The first commercial design was released by MIPS Technologies, the 32-bit R2000 (the R1000 was not released). MIPS Technologies Inc ( formerly MIPS Computer Systems, is most widely known for developing the MIPS architecture and a series of pioneering RISC The R3000 made the design truly practical, and the R4000 introduced the world's first 64-bit design. MIPS (originally an acronym for Microprocessor without Interlocked Pipeline Stages) is a RISC microprocessor architecture developed by MIPS Technologies Competing projects would result in the IBM POWER and Sun SPARC systems, respectively. POWER is a RISC Instruction set architecture designed by IBM. Sun Microsystems Inc ( is a multinational vendor of Computers computer components Computer software, and Information technology services SPARC (from Scalable Processor Architecture is a RISC Microprocessor Instruction set architecture originally Soon every major vendor was releasing a RISC design, including the AT&T CRISP, AMD 29000, Intel i860 and Intel i960, Motorola 88000, DEC Alpha and the HP-PA. The Hobbit is a Microprocessor design of the early 1990s from AT&T. AMD 29000, often simply 29k, was a popular family of RISC -based 32-bit Microprocessors and Microcontrollers from Advanced Micro Devices The Intel i860 (also 80860) was a RISC Microprocessor from Intel, first released in 1989. Intel 's i960 (or 80960) was a RISC -based Microprocessor design that became popular during the early 1990s as an embedded The 88000 ( m88k for short is a Microprocessor design produced by Motorola. Alpha, originally known as Alpha AXP, was a 64-bit Reduced instruction set computer (RISC Instruction set architecture (ISA developed PA-RISC is a Microprocessor architecture developed by Hewlett-Packard 's Systems & VLSI Technology Operation.
Market forces have "weeded out" many of these designs, with almost no desktop or laptop RISC processors and with the SPARC being used in Sun designs only. MIPS is primarily used in embedded systems, notably in Cisco routers. The rest of the original crop of designs have disappeared. Other companies have attacked niches in the market, notably ARM, originally intended for home computer use but since focussed on the embedded processor market. Today RISC designs based on the MIPS, ARM or PowerPC core power the vast majority of computing devices.
As of 2007, two 64-bit RISC architectures are still produced in volume for non-embedded applications: SPARC and Power Architecture. SPARC (from Scalable Processor Architecture is a RISC Microprocessor Instruction set architecture originally Power Architecture is a broad term to describe similar Instruction sets for RISC Microprocessors developed and manufactured by such companies as IBM The RISC-like Itanium is produced in smaller quantities. Itanium is the brand name for 64-bit Intel Microprocessors that implement the Intel Itanium architecture (formerly called IA-64) The vast majority of 64-bit microprocessors are now x86-64 CISC designs from AMD and Intel. x86-64 is a Superset of the x86 instruction set architecture.
Though the term "microprocessor" has traditionally referred to a single- or multi-chip CPU or system-on-a-chip (SoC), several types of specialized processing devices have followed from the technology. System-on-a-chip or system on chip ( SoC or SOC) refers to integrating all components of a Computer or other electronic System The most common examples are microcontrollers, digital signal processors (DSP) and graphics processing units (GPU). A microcontroller (also MCU or µC is a functional Computer system-on-a- chip. A digital signal processor ( DSP or DSP micro) is a specialized Microprocessor designed specifically for Digital signal processing, generally Many examples of these are either not programmable, or have limited programming facilities. For example, in general GPUs through the 1990s were mostly non-programmable and have only recently gained limited facilities like programmable vertex shaders. Vertex shader (abbreviation VS) is a shader program normally executed on the Graphics processing unit. There is no universal consensus on what defines a "microprocessor", but it is usually safe to assume that the term refers to a general-purpose CPU of some sort and not a special-purpose processor unless specifically noted.
In 2003, about $44 billion (USD) worth of microprocessors were manufactured and sold.  Although about half of that money was spent on CPUs used in desktop or laptop personal computers, those count for only about 0. A personal computer ( PC) is any Computer whose original sales price size and capabilities make it useful for individuals and which is intended to be operated 2% of all CPUs sold.
Silicon Valley has an old saying: "The first chip costs a million dollars; the second one costs a nickel. For the valley nicknamed "Silicone Valley" see San Fernando Valley. " In other words, most of the cost is in the design and the manufacturing setup: once manufacturing is underway, it costs almost nothing.
About 55% of all CPUs sold in the world are 8-bit microcontrollers. Eight-bit CPUs normally use an 8-bit data bus and a 16-bit address bus which means that their Address space is limited to 64 KBs This is not a "natural A microcontroller (also MCU or µC is a functional Computer system-on-a- chip. Over 2 billion 8-bit microcontrollers were sold in 1997. A microcontroller (also MCU or µC is a functional Computer system-on-a- chip. 
Less than 10% of all the CPUs sold in the world are 32-bit or more. The range of Integer values that can be stored in 32 bits is 0 through 4294967295 or −2147483648 through 2147483647 using Two's complement encoding Of all the 32-bit CPUs sold, about 2% are used in desktop or laptop personal computers, the rest are sold in household appliances such as toasters, microwaves, vacuum cleaners and televisions. A personal computer ( PC) is any Computer whose original sales price size and capabilities make it useful for individuals and which is intended to be operated "Taken as a whole, the average price for a microprocessor, microcontroller, or DSP is just over $6. A microcontroller (also MCU or µC is a functional Computer system-on-a- chip. A digital signal processor ( DSP or DSP micro) is a specialized Microprocessor designed specifically for Digital signal processing, generally " 
3 Ak Ray & KM Bhurchandi , "Advanced Microprocessors and Peripherals on Architecture Programming and Interfacing" published in India by Tata McGraw Hill Publishing Company Ltd.