Introduction to Microprocessor


1. Introduction to Microprocessor

A microprocessor is a multipurpose, programmable, clock-driven, register-based electronic device that reads binary instructions from a storage device called memory, accepts binary data as input and processes data according to those instructions, and provides results as output.

At a very elementary level, we can draw an analogy between microprocessor operations and the functions of a human brain that process information according to instructions (understanding) stored in its memory. The brain gets input from eyes, ear and nose etc. and sends processed information to output devices such as the face with its capacity to register expression, the hands or feet etc. However, there is no comparison between the complexity of a human brain and its memory and the relative simplicity of a microprocessor and its memory.

A typical programmable machine can be represented with four components; microprocessor, memory, input, and output as shown in below figure 1.

These components interact with each other to perform a given task, hence comprise a system. The physical components of this system are called Hardware. A set of instructions written for the microprocessor to perform a task is called a program. And a group of programs is called software.

The microprocessor can be programmed to turn traffic lights on and off, automatic operations in washing machines, fridge, dish washers, microwave oven, digital cameras etc.

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