Purpose of the Microprocessor

By Darren Johannsen

Microprocessors are used in electronic devices to compute data. They can be found in just about any modern electronic device, from televisions to personal computers.

Microprocessor Usage

Microprocessor are the "brains" of an electronic device. The term microprocessor is commonly used to refer to the central processing unit (CPU) of personal computers. Although CPUs are microprocessors, they are not the only type of microprocessor.

Parts of a Microprocessor

Microprocessor contain two parts, the control unit and the arithmetic logic unit. The control unit interprets instructions to the microprocessor telling it what to do. The arithmetic logic unit performs the arithmetic required for the device to run, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and logical comparisons (are two numbers equal or not).

Transistors

Both the control unit and the arithmetic logic unit are made up of a component called a transistor. Transistors act as a sort of switch, either allowing electricity to flow past it or not. Microprocessors are made by combining many hundreds, if not thousands, of transistors together.