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Classification of Microprocessor

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Microprocessor can be classified based on the their specification ,applications, and architecture.
Based on the size of Data that microprocessor can handled, they are classified as 4-bit,8-bit , 16-bit and 64 bit microprocessor.
Based on the application of microprocessor ,they are classified as follows:-
  • General Purpose Processors
  • Micro controllers
  • Special Purpose Processors
General Purpose Processors are those that are used in general computer system integration and can be used by the programmer for any application. Common microprocessor from Intel 8085 to Intel Pentium are example of general purpose processors.
Micro-controllers are microprocessor chips with built in hardware for the memory and ports. Theses chips can be programmed by the user for any generic control applications.
Special purpose processors are designed specifically to handle special functions required for an application. Digital signal processor are example of special purpose processors. These have special instructions to handle the signal processing.
Based on the Architecture and hardware of the processors, they are classified as follows:-
  • RISC processors
  • CISC processors
  • VLIW processor
  • SS processors
RISC (Reduced Instruction set computer) is a processor architecture that supports limited machine language instructions . RISC processors can execute programs as faster than CISC processors.
CISC (Complex instruction set computer) processors have about 70 to a few hundred instruction. These are easier to program . However CISC processors are slower and more expensive than RISC processors.
VLIW (Very long instruction word) processors have instructions composed of many machine operations. These instruction can be executed in parallel. This parallel execution is called instruction level parallelism.
SS (Super Scalar processors) use complex hardware to achieve parallelism . It is possible to have overlapping of instruction, execution to increase the speed of execution.
Types of Microprocessor Based System
According to superiority and number of microprocessor used , microprocessor systems are classified as follows:-
  • Microcomputers
  • Minicomputers
  • Mainframe computers
Microcomputers as name implies micro computers are smaller computers. They contain only one CPU. One distinguishing feature of microcomputer is that the CPU is usually a single integrated circuit called a microprocessor.
Microprocessor is the integration of microprocessor and supporting peripherals(memory and I/O devices). The word length depends on the microprocessor used and is in the range of 8 bits to 32 bits. These types of computers are used for small industrial control, process control and where storage and speed requirements are moderate.
Minicomputers are the scaled up version of the microcomputers with the moderate speed and storage capacity. These are designed to process smaller data words, typically 32 bit word. This types of computers are used for scientific research, data processing application and many more.
Mainframe computers are implemented using two or more CPU .These are designed to work at very high speeds with large data words lengths, typically 64-bits or greater. The data storage capacity of these computers is very high. These types of computers are used for complex, scientific calculations, large data processing applications, military defence control and for complex graphics applications.
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