What is Microprocessor : History, Process and Applications

Today, we will discuss, What is a microprocessor?  The microprocessor has the capability to make a decision.

The device (mobile, laptop, and computer) you are using to read this article has a microprocessor. Without a microprocessor, any electronic device is just like a plastic box.

Microprocessors are used in everything from geysers in the bathroom to microwaves in your kitchen.

We always hear that the microprocessor has the capability to make a decision.

Do you, ever wonder where the ability to take decisions by a microprocessor came from? Didn’t think, it is not a human, it’s a processor. With the help of programming, we have given decision-making capability to a microprocessor.

Evolution of Microprocessor

Intel 4004 μp was the first μp introduced by the Intel Corporation in 1971. After that 4040 μp was introduced. Intel 4004 and 4040 is the 4-bit μp.

Intel Corporation introduced P-MOS technology-based 8-bit μp i.e., Intel 8008 in the year 1972. This μp is slow.

In 1973, Intel introduced NMOS technology-based 8-bit μp i.e., 8080. Its speed is good, but it needed three power supplies.

Also Read: Addressing modes of 8085 Microprocessor

In 1975, Intel introduced the 8085 μp. Which is based on NMOS Technology? This processor is based on a single +5V power supply. This processor is still used in the laboratory for students’ training.

Intel 8086 μp was introduced in the year 1978. It is a 16-bit μp.

After the development of Intel 80186, Intel 8088, Intel 80188, Intel 80286, Intel introduces a 32-bit μp in the year 1980. Intel introduced a powerful 32-bit processor in the year 1985. And It is widely used in desktop computers. From the below mention table, you can read about the evolution of μp.

Microprocessor Year Word Length (bit) Remarks
4004 1971 4 First μp
8085 1976 8 8-bit μp
8086 1978 16 16-bit μp
8088 1980 8/16 bit Used in PC/XT
80286 1982 16-bit Used in PC/AT
80386 1985 32-bit MMU on Chip
80486 1989 32-bit Consists of MMU, cache
Pentium 1993 32-bit
Pentium Pro 1995 32-bit Data Flow processor
Pentium II 1997 32-bit MMX Technology
Pentium III 1999 32-bit Improved version of Pentium II
Pentium 4 2000 32-bit Improved version of Pentium III
Itanium 2001 64-bit 64-bit EPIC

How to Communicate With Microprocessor?

we need to communicate with the computer to get our work done. The computer understands only one language, which we call machine language. What is machine language and what is assembly language? Why don’t we use machine language in programming?

The computer understands only one language, which we call machine language. In this language, only two digits are used 0 and 1. These are called binary numbers. The computer only understands this language.

For example MVI A, 05H

This instruction says copy 05 data into register A. The opcode of this instruction is 3E. If we want that microprocessor to understand this instruction, then we have to write it in binary form (00111110). It is fine for an instruction to remember the 8-bit opcode but it is very difficult to remember the code of the 256 instruction.

Whatever instruction is written using the English alphabet, we call them assembly language. This language is easy for the user to remember. These instructions are called mnemonics.

But the question arises that the microprocessor only understands machine language. So what about assembly language? This language is for humans. So that’s why these instructions have a hex code, which we also call opcode.

All the instructions are stored in memory. Whenever we give an instruction to the microprocessor, the microprocessor fetches that instruction from memory and then executes it.

After all, what is decoding? Already all instructions in memory are in binary form. For instance,

Output=a+b; High Level Language

ADD B; Assembly Language

011001011; Low-Level Language or machine Language

If you write the program in a high-level language, it goes to the compiler. Suppose,  if you write the program is in assembly language, then the program is going to the assembler.

A compiler converts high-level language programs into machine language but an assembler converts it into machine language and stored it into memory.

Also Read: Memory Layout of C Program

Steps of Microprocessor Process

The process of converting programs written in assembly language or high-level language to machine language or binary format is called decode.

What is Microprocessor

The microprocessor that operates based on instruction, we call it execution.

The combined process of fetching, decoding, and execution is called the instruction cycle.

What is Word Length?

Word length tells about the size of the microprocessor. The size of μp is depended upon the size of the ALU (Arithmetic Logical Unit) and the General-Purpose register.

Also Read: What is Dangling Pointer? How it affects your programming?

For instance: Because 8085 μp processes 8 -bit data at a time. If data is more than 8-bits then the processor process the first 8-bits then processes the next 8-bits. Similarly, 16-bit μp has 16-bit ALU and a general-purpose register. So, it can handle 16-bit data at a time.

Difference Between Microprocessor and Microcomputer

When we read about microprocessors and microcomputers, we often think that microprocessors and microcomputers are the same things or different. Let‘s find out what is the difference between microprocessors and microcomputers.

Also Read: What is Double Pointer in C?

The microprocessor is part of the microcomputer. A microcomputer consists of memory, I/O device, and microprocessor.

A microprocessor is a very important part of a microcomputer. Programming provides decision-making capability to a microprocessor. Notebooks, computers, and laptops, etc. are microcomputers.

What is Microprocessor

What is the Difference Between Microprocessor and Microcontroller?

When we integrate the I/O device, memory, and microprocessor on a single chip, we call it a microcontroller.

List of Various Microprocessor Applications

The microprocessor has many applications. No electronics device can work without a microprocessor. Any gadget without a microprocessor is like a human without a heart. Let’s know about the applications of the microprocessor,

  1. Mobile Phones (For instance, Android, iPhone)
  2. Laptop, notebook, and computer
  3. Traffic light controller
  4. Smoke Detector
  5. Kid’s Games
  6. In Blood Pressure Measurement Machine
  7. For Temperature Measurement
  8. In Printers
  9. LCD TV
  10. Microwave Oven
  11. Washing Machine
  12. In Geyser
  13. In the Chemical plant to collect data, indications, and measurements.
  14. Embedded Systems For instance Robots etc.
  15. Refrigerator
  16. Power Train
  17. Electricity Meters
  18. Water MEter
  19. Gas Meter
  20. In GPS System
  21. Lightening System
  22. Sensors, For instance,  humidity, speed, moisture, etc.

What is Arduino?

Arduino is not a microprocessor. This is a board, on which you can set up a device by installing other components. I would like to tell you one more thing that it is not a microcontroller either.

Latest Core Processor 

Core i9 processor

I hope you understand what is a microprocessor? But if you have any problems, then let us know by commenting in the comment box. And if you want information on any other topic, then write to us in the comment box or email and tell us.


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