What is a Processor? - Explained

What is a Processor? - Explained

Image by Peter Pearson in Flickr under Creative Commons Category

To perform a task, there needs be a set of logic which needs to execute back and forth and prompt an output. For a human to do such processing requires a brain. Brain is capable of make decisions and logical builds according to the problem that they receive.

Humans do use computers, to do computing which means to do logical processing faster and efficient than humans. Computers also needs a component like a human brain to function and generate outputs accordingly.

Processor is the component which developed by humans to the task what the brain does much similar in the human brain. Unlike the human brain, processors which are in the computers are hardly dynamic. 

1. Processor Types Based on Performance

There are many devices which are supporting for humans to do calculations in different ways. From the simplest calculator to the most complex server do use an processors, but with different clock speed and different efficiency for sure.

1.1 Calculator

Calculator is claimed as the very basic computer which exists in the world and also it does have an processor in it. The functionality of the calculator is to do very basic logical calculations based on the human input.

Calculators needs extremely low energy compared with any other processor in the market because of the capable functionality of the device.

1.2 Mobile Processor

Each and every phone or a tablet PC use inside the device to do computing. Mobile processors are based on a set of architecture which is advance rather comparing with the processor types in the calculators.

Early aged mobile processors had only the capable to very specific and low amount of tasks to execute. And most of the programs were not much interactive or efficient because of the processor.

With the arrival of android into the market it was a huge advancement. The processor architecture got changed and got advanced day by day in internationally. Mobile processors needs to be powerful and should able to perform almost like an laptop or desktop computer and at the same time, the mobile processors needs to maintain low power consumption.

1.3 Laptop Processor

Laptop processors are just like the mobile processors which are there in the smart phones and tablet PCs. But there are various range of differences in the laptop processors compared with mobile processors.

Laptop processors do perform just like desktop computers, Laptop computers do have level 1 cache, level 2 cache and level 3 cache inside the processor. Due to the nature of the device laptop processors are designed to perform tasks going extra mile by utilizing energy rather than mobile processors.

Compared to desktop processors, the laptop processors are using less amount of voltage to deliver the processing for the end program or the application. When the load gets higher into the laptop's processor, the processor do use the extra voltage into the processor and utilize them to do calculations by increasing the clock speed and the transaction rates per second.
Unlike the desktop processor, laptop processors doesn't have much ventilation and cooling capability due to the compact nature. So the cooling down the laptop's processor needs to be efficient and the programs needs to be execute set of logic to the laptop's processor accordingly. Most of the laptop manufactures have programmed the laptop's cooling system to perform efficient in such scenarios. 

1.4 Desktop Processor

Desktop processors are designed to day to day human computing activities and general activities in the offices. Desktop processors are not designed to compact as mobile processors or the processors which are there in the laptops.

Desktop computer processors do have higher Level 1 cache, higher level 2 cache and higher level 3 cache compared with laptop processors. The voltage usage of the desktop processors are higher compared with laptop processors.

Desktop processors can perform better compared with the laptop processors due to the head distribution capability which is there due to desktop computers can have customized cooling and exhaust systems due to un-compromised space in the chassis.

1.5 Server Processor

Server processors are the extremely powerful processor types in the world. Processors which are there inside the server computers are designed to work 24 by 7 into 365 days non-stop to handle bulky tasks from different applications.

The clock speed Level 1 Cache, Level 2 Cache and Level 3 Cache of the server processors are predominantly higher compared with the desktop processors which are in the market. And the server processor's processor architecture is entirely different from desktop, mobile and laptop computers.

Most of the server processors which are there in the market is capable of collaborating with multiple processors (mostly two processors) in a single motherboard to enhance the computation power.


1.6 IoT Processor

IoT also known as Internet of Things, uses processors to compute the inputs which are received by the sensors and to generate outputs accordingly. There are three major points which are crucial for the IoT related processors.

The energy consumption of the processors is the most concerned topic for the IoT processors. IoT devices are used as the minimal level of computing platform to get inputs which are from the sensors and generate output accordingly.

Second point of the most concerned point in IoT devices is that IoT devices requires the least amount of clock speed, because the data transmission time periods are low and the computational data set are low in IoT devices.


2. Cost

In general cases, processor is the highest costing component in the computation build which are available in the public markets. The price points which makes the processor to a higher price is the technology and how hard to design and build the processor. 

Processors are made out by the semi conductor materials. And the processor sizes are measured by using the nano meter range not by millimeter or centimeters. Designing and developing such components requires lot of researching and lot of test trials.

Processor does have multiple component in it. And the closest place of the processor to provide faster computing power is the Level 1 cache. Level 1 cache is a temporary memory location in extreme low capacity and the only place where it's the closest to the processor. Higher level 1 cache could give the best performance to the computation power. But the cost of making the Level 1 cache is higher than any component. The price of the processor is directly proportional with the level 1 cache capacity.