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GeneralRe: Microprocessor vs microchips Pin
Eddy Vluggen27-Feb-22 13:11
professionalEddy Vluggen27-Feb-22 13:11 
AnswerRe: Microprocessor vs microchips Pin
trønderen27-Feb-22 13:37
trønderen27-Feb-22 13:37 
GeneralRe: Microprocessor vs microchips Pin
Eddy Vluggen27-Feb-22 14:45
professionalEddy Vluggen27-Feb-22 14:45 
GeneralRe: Microprocessor vs microchips Pin
trønderen27-Feb-22 16:05
trønderen27-Feb-22 16:05 
GeneralRe: Microprocessor vs microchips Pin
Eddy Vluggen27-Feb-22 16:25
professionalEddy Vluggen27-Feb-22 16:25 
GeneralRe: Microprocessor vs microchips Pin
trønderen27-Feb-22 13:49
trønderen27-Feb-22 13:49 
GeneralRe: Microprocessor vs microchips Pin
Calin Negru27-Feb-22 12:04
Calin Negru27-Feb-22 12:04 
AnswerRe: Microprocessor vs microchips Pin
trønderen27-Feb-22 13:34
trønderen27-Feb-22 13:34 
Surprise of the day: That this is a problem.

A chip (whether micro or not, I rarely hear people refer to microchips) is a collection of electronic basic components (transistors, resistors, capacitors, ...) in one physical package - a quite general term.

One chip, or possibly a well defined set of chips, may be designed as programmable: It may access a set of instructions from a more or less independent storage, that will determine how the chip(s) behave(s). Another set of instructions (i.e. another program) can make the chip behave differently. The programmability is what identifies the chip(s) as a microprocessor.

'Microprocessor' is functionality, not transistors etc. 'Chip' is any package of components like transistors etc.

You may of course press extreme definitions. E.g. How many changeable bits does it take to define it as a 'program'? If an I/O-controller reads a 4-bit set of flags, a 4-bit "program", behaving in one of 16 different ways, is it then a microprocessor? Depends on your understanding of what is a program.

Many advanced chips of today contain several microprocessors, sometimes arbitrarily programable, but some of them may be running a single program, read from flash memory (or even ROM). Yet, that set of electronic components is capable of running another program, if flashed in.

Are there still multi-chip microprocessors being made? There is this concept of a "chipset", doing lot of support tasks for the main CPU, especially related to I/O, but more and more of this is taken over by the main CPU chip. What is still left to the "chipset" are so advanced I/O-functions that the logic most definitely is programmable, and deserves to be called a microprocessor it its own right. Or some more specialized term, such as a GPU. These are distinct microprocessor; they are not a multi-chip single microprocessor. Maybe there still are multi-chip microprocessors around - thirty years ago, they were not uncommon.

In the old days, you saw a lot of chips that could do a single function, determined by how the components where hooked together, and no program store that can be updated or replaced to make the circuits do another job. Since the first super-simple 74-chips appeared, there has been a steady trend towards replacing dedicated circuitry with programmable, so we see more and more microprocessor crammed into a single chip, and more and more non-programmable chips being replaced by programmable ones. I tend to relate to non-programmable chips as in the same class as discrete resistors and capacitors, primarily used to adapt a more complex chip (with one or more microprocessors) to an outside world.

What was once single-function, non-programmable chips (say, a counter, shift register or clock) are so primitive by today's standards that there is no reason to make a separate chip for it. You integrate it on the microprocessor chip, treating it as a basic component, an 'advanced transistor' (or a sibling thereof).

Then, since I rarely hear anyone referring to 'microchip': Could there be a confusion with what is commonly referred to as a 'chiplet', i.e. part of the components making up a microprocessor? A number of new processors of today are made in smaller pieces, "silicon-wise", for greater flexibility. These silicon pieces are put together in a single package. If a processor is marketed in several variants, e.g. with or without a vector unit, there may be a single set of chiplets, but the vectorless chip omits the vector unit chiplet. Also, if one chiplet fails at testing (before integration on the chip), the loss is limited compared to a huge multi-billion-transistor chip failing.
AnswerRe: Microprocessor vs microchips Pin
Gerry Schmitz28-Feb-22 9:05
mveGerry Schmitz28-Feb-22 9:05 
QuestionStrange, Recurring Router Reset When Connected by LAN Pin
Sonhospa2-Feb-22 8:06
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AnswerRe: Strange, Recurring Router Reset When Connected by LAN Pin
Dave Kreskowiak2-Feb-22 19:10
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GeneralRe: Strange, Recurring Router Reset When Connected by LAN Pin
Sonhospa3-Feb-22 2:14
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GeneralRe: Strange, Recurring Router Reset When Connected by LAN Pin
Dave Kreskowiak3-Feb-22 4:42
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GeneralRe: Strange, Recurring Router Reset When Connected by LAN Pin
Sonhospa3-Feb-22 6:20
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GeneralRe: Strange, Recurring Router Reset When Connected by LAN Pin
Dave Kreskowiak3-Feb-22 6:22
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GeneralRe: Strange, Recurring Router Reset When Connected by LAN Pin
Richard Andrew x643-Feb-22 10:40
professionalRichard Andrew x643-Feb-22 10:40 
AnswerRe: Strange, Recurring Router Reset When Connected by LAN Pin
Gerry Schmitz3-Feb-22 7:06
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AnswerRe: Strange, Recurring Router Reset When Connected by LAN Pin
jsc421-Mar-22 1:20
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QuestionHigh CPU Usage For Visual Studio! Pin
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AnswerRe: High CPU Usage For Visual Studio! Pin
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QuestionCompelling reading as question in Hardware. Window's 10 related. Pin
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QuestionControlling a Canon EOS 2000 via a DLL written in Delphi 7 Pin
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