Evolution of Microprocessor – Types of Microprocessors

The microprocessor is nothing but the CPU and it is an essential component of the computer. It is a silicon chip that comprises millions of transistors and other electronic components that process millions of instructions per second. A Microprocessor is a versatile chip, that is combined with memory and special-purpose chips and preprogrammed by a software. It accepts digital data as i/p and processes it according to the instructions stored in the memory. The microprocessor has many functions like functions of data storage, interact with various other devices and other time-related functions. But, the main function is to send and receive the data to make the function of the computer well. This article discusses the types and evolution of microprocessors.Please follow this link for Microprocessor History and Generation of Microprocessor


Evolution of Microprocessor

The microprocessor has become a more essential part of many gadgets. The evolution of microprocessors was divided into five generations such as first, second, third, fourth and fifth generation and the characteristics of these generations are discussed below.

Evolution of Microprocessors
Evolution of Microprocessors

First Generation Microprocessors

The first generation microprocessors were introduced in the year 1971-1972. The instructions of these microprocessors were processed serially, they fetched the instruction, decoded and then executed it. When an instruction of the microprocessor was finished, then the microprocessor updates the instruction pointer & fetched the following instruction, performing this consecutive operation for each instruction in turn.

Second Generation Microprocessors

In the year 1970, a small number of transistors were available on the integrated circuit in the second-generation microprocessors. Examples of the second-generation microprocessors are 16-bit arithmetic 7 pipelined instruction processing, MC68000 Motorola microprocessor. These processors are introduced in the year 1979, and Intel 8080 processor is another example of the microprocessor. The second generation of the microprocessor is defined by overlapped fetch, decode and execute the steps.  When the first generation is processed in the execution unit, then the second instruction is decoded and the third instruction is fetched.

The difference between the first generation microprocessor and second-generation microprocessors was mainly the use of new semiconductor technologies to manufacture the chips. The result of this technology resulted in a fivefold increase in instruction, speed, execution and higher chip densities.

Third Generation Microprocessors

The third generation microprocessors were introduced in the year 1978, as denoted by Intel’s 8086 and the Zilog Z8000. These were 16-bit processors with a performance like mini computers. These types of microprocessors were different from the previous generations of microprocessors in that all main workstation industrialists began evolving their own ISC based microprocessor architectures.


Fourth Generation Microprocessors

As many industries converted from commercial microprocessors to in house designs, the fourth generation microprocessors are entered with outstanding design with a million transistors. Leading-edge microprocessors like Motorola’s 88100 and Intel’s 80960CA could issue & retire more than one instruction per clock cycle.

Fifth Generation Microprocessors

Fifth-generation microprocessors employed decoupled superscalar processing, and their design soon exceeded 10 million transistors. In the fifth generation, PCs are a low-margin, high volume business conquered by a single microprocessor.

Types of Microprocessor

Microprocessors are classified into five types, namely: CISC-Complex Instruction Set Microprocessors, RISC-Reduced Instruction Set Microprocessor, ASIC- Application Specific Integrated Circuit, Superscalar Processors, DSP’s-Digital Signal Microprocessors.

Types Of Microprocessors
Types Of Microprocessors

Complex Instruction Set Microprocessors

The short term of Complex Instruction Set Microprocessors is CISM and they classify a microprocessor in which orders can be performed together along with other low-level activities. These types of processors perform different tasks like downloading, uploading, recalling data into the memory card and recalling data from the memory card. Apart from these tasks, it also does complex mathematical calculations in a single command.

Reduced Instruction Set Microprocessor

The short term of Reduced Instruction Set Microprocessor is RISC. These types of processors are made according to the function in which the microprocessor can carry out small things in specific commands. In this way, these processors complete more commands at a faster rate.

Superscalar Microprocessors

Superscalar processor facsimiles the hardware on the processor to perform various tasks at a time. These processors can be used for ALUs or multipliers. They have different operational units and these processors can carry out more than one command by continuously transmitting several instructions to the extra operational units inside the processor.

The Application Specific Integrated Circuit

The short term of Application Specific Integrated Circuit processor is an ASIC. These processors are used for particular purposes that include automotive emissions control or personal digital assistant’s computer. This type of processor is made with the proper specification, but apart from these, it can also be made with off the shelf gears.

Digital Signal Multiprocessors

Digital signal processors are also called as DSP’s, these processors are used to encode and decode the videos or to convert the D/A (digital to analog) &A/D (analog to digital). They need a microprocessor that is excellent in mathematical calculations. The chips of this processor are employed in RADAR, home theaters, SONAR, audio gears, TV set-top boxes, and Mobile phones

There are many companies like Intel, Motorola, DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation ), TI (Texas Instruments) associated with many microprocessors such as 8085 microprocessors, ASIC, CISM, RISC, DSPs and 8086 microprocessors like Intel

Advantages and Disadvantages of Microprocessors

The advantages of microprocessors are

  • The processing speed is high
  • Intelligence has been brought to systems
  • Flexible.
  • Compact size.
  • Easy maintenance
  • Complex mathematics

Some of the disadvantages of the microprocessor are it might get overheated and the limitation of the microprocessor imposes on the size of data.

The applications of the microprocessors mainly involve in controllers in home appliances, wireless communication equipment, office publication and automation, consumer electronic goods, calculators, accounting system, video games, industrial controllers and data acquisition systems

Applications of Microprocessor
Applications of Microprocessor

This is all about the types and evolution of microprocessors. The availability of a microprocessor with low power, low cost, small weight, and computing capability makes it useful in various applications. In the present day, microprocessor-based systems are used in the automatic testing product, traffic signal control systems, instructions,  speed control of motors, etc. Furthermore, any doubts regarding this article or electronic and electrical projects, please give your comments in the comment section box. Here is a question for you, which stack is used in 8085 microprocessor?

Don’t Miss: Know about the difference between microprocessor and microcontroller.

Photo Credits:


    1. Tarun Agarwal says:

      Hi Sai
      I sincerely appreciate your kind response regarding my article
      For more information on microprocessor, working applications and projects please refer to the link.
      For customization of projects please email us on team@elprocus.com

Add Comment