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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Microprocessors - 1129 words
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.. mmerstrom, 19). This chip could only support a four bit bus. These fourbits only offered the possibility of coding 16 symbols (2^4=16). Sixteen symbolswas enough for digits 1-9 and then some operators.
This limited the 4004 tocalculator usage. The 4004 ran at 108 kHz which is 1/10 of 1 MHz (Rosch, 66).The smallest feature on the chip measured 10 microns and contained 2300transistors. The next generation of Intel chips used a 8 bit data bus. Thefirst member of this generation was released in 1972 and was called the 8008.This chip was the same as the 4004, but it had 4 more bits on each register.This chip had enough bits to code 256 symbols (2^8=256). This number is easilyenough to encode our alphabet, numerals, punctuation marks, etc. The 8008 alsoran a little faster than the 4004 with its speedy clock of 200 kHz
The 8008contained 3500 transistors and had line widths 10 microns. Both chips had a MIPSof 0.06 (Rosch, 66). The next member of the Intel family was born in 1974 andwas called the 8080. This chipped was intended to handle byte sized data (8 bit).The 8080 contained 6000 transistors and had 6 micron technology. This chipperformed at 0.65 MIPS and had an internal clock speed of 2 MHz.
This was one ofthe first chips to have the capabilities of running a small computer (Rosch,66). In June of 1978 the 8086 family was released by Intel. These chips used 16bit registers. The fastest chip in this series ran at 10 MHz and couldexecute.75 MIPS. This chip forced engineers of the time to begin developingfully 16 bit devices, which were more expensive than their 8-bit brethren.Because of this, the 8086 family was considered ahead of it's time (Rosch, 67-68).
A year later Intel introduced the 8080. This chip was a step backwards inchip evolution with it's 8 bit data bus. The 8080 could process.64 MIPS withit's 6000 transistors. The 8080 used 6 micron technology. This chip is worthmentioning primarily because IBM chose to use it in it's first personal computer.IBM was able to use the 8088 with existing 8 bit hardware, which was more costeffective. Later IBM began using the 8086 in it's newer systems (Rosch, 68).
In1982 Intel released the 80286. The 286 family was available in clock speeds of 8,10, and 12 MHz that could execute 1.2, 1.5, and 1.66 MIPS respectively. The80286 contained 134,000 transistors with 1.5 micron technology. These chips allused a 16 bit data bus and were used by IBM in it's AT models. This was also thefirst chip to use virtual memory, or using disk space as RAM (Random AccessMemory). To allow full downward compatibility the 286 was designed to have twooperating modes. These modes are real and protected mode. Real mode mimics theoperation of an 8086.
Protected mode allows multiple applications to be runsimultaneously and not interfere with each other (Rosch, 70-71). The next memberto the Intel family was added in November 1985 and was the 80386. These chipsare offered in speeds of 16, 20, 25, 33 MHz and can process 5.5, 6.5, 8.5, and11.4 MIPS respectively. The number of transistors in the 80386 is 275,000 with1.5 micron technology. The 386 family doubled the register size to 32 bits. Alsothe 386 uses 16 bytes of prefetch cache that the chip uses to store the next fewinstructions.
The 386 has three models which are called the 386DX, 386SX, andthe 386SL. The 386DX was the original and most powerful. The 386SX is a moreeconomical sibling to the DX. It is basically scaled down, less powerful DX.Also the SX uses a 16 bit data bus. The SL also uses 16 bit buses but itincludes power saving features targeted at notebook usage.
The SL uses 1.0micron technology and contains 855,000 transistors (Rosch, 72-78). The 80486 family was introduced in April 1989 and became a 'better 386'(Rosch, 78). The 486 was originally released in a DX model with speeds of 25, 33,and 50 MHz that processed 20, 27, and 41 MIPS respectively. The DX also containsa math coprocessor or floating point unit that helps speed up math operations.The 486DX uses a 32 bit bus and contains 1,200,000 transistors. It uses 1.0micron technology in the 25 and 33 MHz models, but in the 50 MHz model uses 0.8.The next to be released was the 486SX. The SX was designed to cut cost at theprice of not having a math coprocessor.
As a result the SX will not perform aswell as the DX in math intensive operations. The SX contains 1,185,000transistors and uses the same technology as the DX. The SX is available in 16,20, 25, and 33 MHz models that process 13, 16.5, 20, and 27 MIPS respectively.To add the power of a FPU (Floating Point Unit) to the SX Intel released theOverDrive upgrade processors in March 1992. The first, the 486DX2, incorporatedclock doubling technology. These chips operate at double the bus speed.
Thesechips are available in 50 and 66 MHz models that can process 41 and 54 MIPSrespectively. The 50 MHz model was designed to replace the 25 MHz 486SX and the66 MHz model was for the 33 MHz 486SX. The OverDrive chips contain 1.2 milliontransistors. The next to be released was the SL model which was, like the 386SL,targeted at laptop usage. The SL contains 1.4 million transistors and canprocess 15.4, 19, and 25 MIPS while running at 20, 25, and 33 MHz respectively.The 486DX4 was the next OverDrive chip to be released.
It contains clocktripling technology. The DX4 can turn a 33 and 25 MHz 486's into DX4-100 andDX4-75 respectively. These chips can process 60 and 81 MIPS running at 75 and100 MHz respectively. The DX4 uses 0.6 micron technology (Rosch 84-85). The next addition to the Intel family was the Pentium.
The Pentium wasoriginally released in a 60 MHz model that operated at 5 volts. This chipcontains 3,100,000 transistors and can process 100 MIPS. The next to be releasedwas the 66 MHz model. It uses the same technology but is a 3.3 volt chip and canprocess 112 MIPS. Currently the Pentium is available in 66, 75, 90, 100, 120,133, 150, and 166 MHz models. Beyond the 75 all Pentiums use 0.6 microntechnology.
A 180 MHz is slated for future release. The Pentium family is, likeall of Intel's chips, uses CISC technology. Also they use pipelining,superscalar architecture, and branch prediction logic. A Pentium OverDrive isalso available for upgrading 486 systems to Pentium technology. The PentiumOverDrive is available in a 63 and 83 MHz version (Rosch, 85-87).
After the Pentium, the only more advanced chip Intel has for personaluse is the Pentium Pro. This chip has only been available for a short time andis targeted at workstation and server usage. It will only run Windows NT andnative 32 bit software at an increased speed. When using 16 bit software, theless powerful Pentium will outperform its larger sibling. The Pentium Pro alsocontains 256K (256,000 bytes) of on chip cache memory.
The only certainty in the future of microprocessors is constantimprovement. One prediction for the future is called Moore's Law. Thisprediction is named after Intel cofounder Gordon Moore who presented it in 1965.The law states the transistor densities will double every two years. Line widthis also continuing to shrink and is estimated to be at 0.2 microns by the turnof the century. When all is considered the future of computers is very exciting(Wyant and Hammerstrom, 184-185).BibliographyKnorr, Eric.
'From 586 to Pentium Pro: Choosing Your Dream PC.' PC WorldFebruary 1996: 133-142.Rosch, Winn L. The Hardware Bible. Indianapolis: SAMS, 1994.Wyant, Gregg, Hammerstrom, Tucker. Intel, How Microprocessors Work.Emeryville: Ziff-Davis, 1994.
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