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Microprocessors

Terms related to microprocessors, including definitions about silicon chips and words and phrases about computer processors.

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  • processing in memory (PIM) - Processing in memory, or PIM (sometimes called processor in memory), refers to the integration of a processor with Random Access Memory (RAM) on a single chip.
  • processor (CPU) - A processor is the logic circuitry that responds to and processes the basic instructions that drive a computer.
  • proximity sensing - Proximity sensing is the ability of a robot to tell when it is near an object, or when something is near it.
  • quad gate - A quad gate is an IC (integrated circuit or chip) containing four logic gates.
  • quad-core processor - A quad-core processor is a chip with four independent units called cores that read and execute central processing unit (CPU) instructions such as add, move data and branch.
  • RAMDAC (random access memory digital-to-analog converter) - RAMDAC (random access memory digital-to-analog converter) is a microchip that converts digital image data into the analog data needed by a computer display.
  • real-time clock (RTC) - A real-time clock (RTC) is a battery-powered clock that is included in a microchip in a computer motherboard.
  • register (processor register, CPU register) - A processor register is one of a small set of data holding places that are part of the computer processor.
  • RIMM - In a computer, a RIMM is a memory module developed by Kingston Technology Corp.
  • RISC (reduced instruction set computer) - RISC (reduced instruction set computer) is a microprocessor that is designed to perform a smaller number of types of computer instructions so that it can operate at a higher speed (perform more millions of instructions per second, or MIPS).
  • Ryzen (AMD Ryzen) - Ryzen (pronounced RYE zen) is an AMD CPU aimed at the server, desktop, workstation, media center PC and all-in-one markets.
  • Scalable Processor Architecture (SPARC) - Scalable Processor Architecture (SPARC) is a 32- and 64-bit microprocessor architecture developed by Sun Microsystems in 1987.
  • SDRAM (synchronous DRAM) - SDRAM (synchronous DRAM) is a generic name for various kinds of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) that are synchronized with the clock speed that the microprocessor is optimized for.
  • segmented memory - Segmented memory is a system of addressing computer memory, which may be physical or virtual and may be operating in real or protected mode.
  • semiconductor - A semiconductor is a substance that has specific electrical properties that enable it to serve as a foundation for computers and other electronic devices.
  • semiconductor fab - A semiconductor fab is a manufacturing plant in which raw silicon wafers are turned into integrated circuits.
  • SerDes (serializer/deserializer) - A SerDes or serializer/deserializer is an integrated circuit (IC or chip) transceiver that converts parallel data to serial data and vice-versa.
  • serial communications interface (SCI) - A serial communications interface (SCI) is a device that enables the serial (one bit at a time) exchange of data between a microprocessor and peripherals such as printers, external drives, scanners, or mice.
  • serial peripheral interface (SPI) - In a computer, a serial peripheral interface (SPI) is an interface that enables the serial (one bit at a time) exchange of data between two devices, one called a master and the other called a slave.
  • shift register - A shift register is a digital memory circuit found in calculators, computers, and data-processing systems.
  • silicon photonics - Silicon photonics is an evolving technology in which data is transferred among computer chips by optical rays.
  • SIMM (single in-line memory module) - A SIMM (single in-line memory module) is a module containing one or several random access memory (RAM) chips on a small circuit board with pins that connect to the computer motherboard.
  • smart card - A smart card is a physical card that has an embedded integrated chip that acts as a security token.
  • SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) - SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) is the processing of programs by multiple processors that share a common operating system and memory.
  • Southbridge - Southbridge is an Intel chipset that manages the basic forms of input/output (I/O) such as Universal Serial Bus (USB), serial, audio, Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE), and Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) I/O in a computer.
  • speculation (speculative loading) - Speculation (also known as speculative loading), is a process implemented in Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing (EPIC) processors and their compilers to reduce processor-memory exchanging bottlenecks or latency by putting all the data into memory in advance of an actual load instruction.
  • stack pointer - A stack pointer is a small register that stores the memory address of the last data element added to the stack or, in some cases, the first available address in the stack.
  • stepper - A stepper is a machine used to project the image of a circuit in photolithographic semiconductor fabrication.
  • stepping - Stepping is a number used by Intel to identify what level of design change a microprocessor was built to.
  • substrate - A substrate is a solid substance or medium to which another substance is applied and to which that second substance adheres.
  • superscalar - Superscalar describes a microprocessor design that makes it possible for more than one instruction at a time to be executed during a single clock cycle.
  • system-on-a-chip (SoC) - System-on-a-chip (SoC) technology is the packaging of all the necessary electronic circuits and parts for a "system" (such as a cell phone or digital camera) on a single integrated circuit (IC), generally known as a microchip.
  • teraflop - A teraflop is a measure of a computer's speed and can be expressed as: A trillion floating point operations per second 10 to the 12th power floating-point operations per second 2 to the 40th power flops Today's fastest parallel computing operations are capable of teraflop speeds.
  • thermal grease (thermal paste or thermal compound) - Thermal grease, also called thermal paste or thermal compound, is a substance used to promote better heat conduction between two surfaces and is commonly used between a microprocessor and a heatsink.
  • thyristor - A thyristor is a four-layer semiconductor device, consisting of alternating P type and N type materials (PNPN).
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  • Transistor - A transistor is a miniature semiconductor that regulates or controls current or voltage flow.
  • transistor-to-transistor logic (TTL) - Transistor-transistor logic (TTL) is a digital logic design in which bipolar transistors act on direct-current pulses.
  • true multitasking - True multitasking is the capacity of an operating system to carry out two or more tasks simultaneously rather than switching from one task to another.
  • USART (Universal Synchronous/Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter) - A USART (Universal Synchronous/Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter) is a microchip that facilitates communication through a computer's serial port using the RS-232C protocol.
  • Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) - VLSI (very large-scale integration) is the current level of computer microchip miniaturization and refers to microchips containing in the hundreds of thousands of transistor s.
  • VLIW (very long instruction word) - Very long instruction word (VLIW) describes a computer processing architecture in which a language compiler or pre-processor breaks program instruction down into basic operations that can be performed by the processor in parallel (that is, at the same time).
  • volatile - In general, volatile (from the Latin "volatilis" meaning "to fly")is an adjective used to describe something unstable or changeable.
  • voltage reference - A voltage reference is an electronic component or circuit that produces a constant DC (direct-current) output voltage regardless of variations in external conditions such as temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, current demand, or the passage of time.
  • von Neumann bottleneck - The von Neumann bottleneck is a limitation on throughput caused by the standard personal computer architecture.
  • wait state - A wait state is a situation in which a computer program or processor is waiting for the completion of some event before resuming activity.
  • What is server virtualization? The ultimate guide - Server virtualization is a process that creates and abstracts multiple virtual instances on a single server.
  • x86 - x86 is a generic name for the series of Intel microprocessor families that began with the 80286 microprocessor.
  • x86-64 - x86-64 is a 64-bit processing technology developed by AMD that debuted with the Opteron and Athlon 64 processor.
  • Xeon - Xeon (pronounced ZEE-ahn) is a 400 MHz Pentium microprocessor from Intel for use in "mid-range" enterprise servers and workstations.
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