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An introduction to computers and computer systems
An introduction to computers and computer systems

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2.2 Processors in ‘invisible’ computers

All computers, not just PCs, contain processors, so all those ‘invisible’ computers listed in Session 1 will contain a processor. However, the processor they use will not necessarily be the same as that used in a PC. For example, the processor used within a central-heating controller would not be the same as the main processor used in the personal computer you may be using to study this course. The processor in the personal computer has to carry out a much more complex set of tasks and execute its instructions much more quickly than the processor in the central heating controller. Consequently, the PC’s processor is likely to be physically larger and more costly. You will see later in the course that the complexity and speed of operation of processors has increased dramatically. As a result, the ‘simple’ processor in an electronic central heating controller may be very similar to a processor which was considered ‘state of the art’ a decade or two previously.