Difference Between CPU and MicroProcessor

Although, CPU and Microprocessor are very important parts of the computer are being used synonymously, but there is a considerable difference between these two terms. CPU (central processing unit) is a chip which works as the brain of your PC. It is made up of millions of tiny transistors. On the other hand, microprocessors are the small circuitry which encircles the CPU. A microprocessor is much more than the CPU as it contains the graphics processor, sound and network cards. Therefore, you can say that CPU is just a part of the microprocessor.


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    It is a hardware inside a computer which carries out the commands through fundamental arithmetic, logic and input or output operations of the whole system. The design and size of CPU have changed a lot in the past few decades. Moreover, the processing speed has also increased significantly. However, the basic purpose and principles on which it works are the same.

    It has basically two components which include ALU (arithmetic logic unit) and CU (control unit). ALU performs the logical and arithmetic operations of the computer while CU works for the extraction of the instructions from the memory of the system. Then, CU decodes the instructions and executes them accordingly by sending message to the ALU.

    You must know that the old computers used to have CPUs which were made up of very large vacuum tubes. However, with the development in the field of computer sciences, the size of CPU reduced to a great extent while its processing speed increased significantly.

    - Image Courtesy: gettyimages.co.uk

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    Microprocessor is one of the most amazing inventions in the field of information technology. It has helped a lot in reducing the size of the hardware and increasing its efficiency. It is an integrated circuit which is made up of millions of transistors and surrounds the CPU. It receives the electrical signals from the system memory, internal and external hard disks, network cards, graphics and video devices and from many other different kinds of input devices e.g. mouse, keyboard or printer.

    It has a circuitry which connects it with the motherboard which contains many different microprocessors which work in union to fulfil the commands. It comes with many different specifications and can be used according to the requirement of the system.

    - Image Courtesy: gettyimages.co.uk

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