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

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1 Processor statistics

In this section you are going to find out a little more about one of the key components of a personal computer and so many other devices: the processor. It is the processor that manipulates data according to a list of instructions in a program.

Here is a mini-quiz which explores some facts about processors.

Activity 1

Question 1

Which of the numbers given below is closest to the number of processors sold worldwide in 2000?

a. 

20 million


b. 

1 billion


c. 

40 million


d. 

125 million


The correct answer is b.

Discussion

The processor market is vast; it is estimated that around 1 billion processors were sold in 2000.

Question 2

Which of the numbers given below is closest to the number of processors sold worldwide in 2020?

a. 

12 billion


b. 

123 million


c. 

25 billion


d. 

1 billion


The correct answer is c.

Discussion

If the processor market was vast in 2000, consider how it has grown in the twenty years since then.

Question 3

Which of the numbers given below is closest to the number of Personal Computers sold worldwide in 2020?

a. 

250 million


b. 

25 million


c. 

1 million


d. 

1 billion


The correct answer is a.

Discussion

In 2020, the same year that about 25 billion processors were sold, about 250 million Personal Computers were sold.

In other words, only one in a hundred processors were used in a Personal Computer. The other processors found their way in other devices.

Perhaps you got all the answers to the quiz correct; perhaps all your answers were wrong. It doesn’t matter. What is important is that you now appreciate:

  • the huge number of applications that can use processors and hence how vast the processor market is
  • that the market for processors is not limited to personal computers
  • and that the market for processors used in personal computers is very much smaller than that for processors used in other applications.

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