follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

microprocessor

[mahy-kroh-pros-es-er, ‐uh-ser; especially British ‐proh-ses-er, ‐suh-ser] /ˈmaɪ kroʊˌprɒs ɛs ər, ‐ə sər; especially British ‐ˌproʊ sɛs ər, ‐sə sər/
noun
1.
an integrated computer circuit that performs all the functions of a CPU.
Origin
1965-1970
1965-70; micro- + processor
Related forms
microprocessing, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for microprocessor
  • Users strap on a backpack containing a battery and microprocessor, then bionic legs with motorized joints at the hips and knees.
  • It consists of a pump, an internal microprocessor to monitor and control blood flow, and an implanted rechargeable battery.
  • The best wi-fi is invisible without a brilliant video microprocessor.
  • We look at how the challenges and opportunities of mobile computing are transforming the microprocessor.
  • At the level of a desktop or server microprocessor, the power cost of these two items will be completely negligible.
  • Advances in microprocessor technology are producing far more hardware than programmers can collectively or individually program.
  • Give each page its own onboard microprocessor built up out of ink.
  • However, as currently written, the statute specifically excludes prosthetic devices that contain microprocessor devices.
British Dictionary definitions for microprocessor

microprocessor

/ˌmaɪkrəʊˈprəʊsɛsə/
noun
1.
(computing) a single integrated circuit performing the basic functions of the central processing unit in a small computer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for microprocessor
n.

1970, from micro- + processor.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
microprocessor in Science
microprocessor
  (mī'krō-prŏs'ěs-ər)   
An integrated circuit that contains a processor, such as a central processing unit.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
microprocessor in Technology
architecture
(Or "micro") A computer whose entire CPU is contained on one (or a small number of) integrated circuits.
The important characteristics of a microprocessor are the widths of its internal and external address bus and data bus (and instruction), its clock rate and its instruction set. Processors are also often classified as either RISC or CISC.
The first commercial microprocessor was the Intel 4004 which appeared in 1971. This was the CPU member of a set of four LSI integrated circuits called the MCS-4, which was originally designed for use in a calculator but was marketed as "programmable controller for logic replacement". The 4004 is referred to as a 4-bit microprocessor since it processed only 4 bits of data at a time. This very short word size is due mainly to the limitations imposed by the maximum integrated circuit density then achievable.
As integrated circuit densities increased with the rapid development of integrated circuit manufacturing technology, the power and performance of the microprocessors also increased. This is reflected in the increase in the CPU word size to 4, 8, 16, and by mid-1980s, 32 bits. The smaller microprocessors have relatively simple instruction sets, e.g., no floating point instructions, but they are nevertheless suitable as controllers for a very wide range of applications such as car engines and microwave ovens.
The Intel 4004 was followed with, among others the 4040, 8008, 8080, 8086, 80186, 80286, 80386, 486 and Pentium. Other families include the Motorola 6800 and 680x0 families, National Semiconductor 16000 and National Semiconductor 32000, SPARC, ARM, MIPS, Zilog Z8000, PowerPC and the Inmos Transputer family.
The larger, more recent microprocessors families have gradually acquired most of the features of large computers. As the microprocessor industry has matured, several families of microprocessors have evolved into de facto industrial standards with multiple manufacturers and numerous "support" chips including RAM, ROM, I/O controllers etc.
A single chip microprocessor may include other components such as memory (RAM, ROM, PROM), memory management, caches, floating-point unit, input/output ports and timers. Such devices are also known as microcontrollers.
The one-chip microcomputer is in many respects, a landmark development in computer technology because it reduces the computer to a small, inexpensive, and easily replaceable design component.
Microcomputers have given rise to a new class of general-purpose machines called personal computers. These are small low cost computers that are designed to sit on an ordinary office desk or to be portable and fuelled the computer boom of the late 1980s. The most widespread example is the also IBM PC, based on microprocessors from Intel Corporation. Apple Computers, Inc. have also produced a range of personal computers, as have several other companies.
See also killer micro, minicomputer, CPU Info Center.
(2002-07-16)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for microprocessor

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for microprocessor

22
0
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for microprocessor