The Fundamental Units of A MicroProcessor

Some of the most common questions in any computer architecture assignment/assessment/interview are based on CPU design. CPUs are the brain of any computer system, & are responsible for all the heavy lifting regarding data processing. But what are they made of? What lies within these marvels of electrical technology?

Questions on processor design and fundamentals are exceedingly common in computer architecture assignments. Get help understanding the core units in processor architecture design with this lucid article.

Fundamental Units of Processor Design

All computers need processors that support a concise, comprehensive, multi-purpose, and generic instruction set. The processor’s microarchitecture implements the instruction set architecture in reality and comprises multiple sequential & combination logic circuits that work in unison. Analog integrated circuits act as the basal framework of all digital logic circuits. We have CMOS transistors, thyristors, diodes, and several other types of semiconductor components, along with resistors, capacitors, and certain electrical components that form the core of any and all processor microarchitecture. And all such components are fabricated semiconductor wafers through VLSI engineering.

Here’s a look at the architecture of the 8085 microprocessor, one of the first mass-produced processors from Intel and the starting point for all learners.

Accumulators, decoders, flags, the control & arithmetic-logic unit, pointers, buffers- every component of a processor’s architecture have multiple intricate circuits, which are networked systems of different digital electronic components.

Flip-flops, registers, and counters are the most common and fundamental electronic components.

If you wish to attain complete mastery over the concepts of processor design & microarchitecture, possessing a near-rigorous knowledge of analogue and digital electronics is essential. Look for digital electronics assignment help in Birmingham or reputed assignment & case study assignment help services in or near Birmingham or Preston.

Now, let’s look at a processor’s most crucial and common elements—registers.


Registers are capable of storing information and thus act as memory units. There are different registers, each of which has flip flops as their fundamental units. Flip flops are the most basic of all memory elements and can store a single bit. Multiple flip-flops work in unison to carry out the function of a register.

Shift registers are common digital devices for data storage and transfer. Shift registers and the like form an important bridge between the processor, the main memory, and the input/output channels. Shift registers are quite versatile and can be combined to perform different tasks, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc.

Registers and counters are essential sequential digital circuits integrated into every processor’s underlying architecture.


As the name suggests, counters are used in counting applications. However, they can also measure time intervals between two instances and the frequency of operations. Counters can be either synchronous or asynchronous.

Asynchronous or ripple counters have a cascading arrangement of flip-flops. The output of one flip-flop feeds into the clock input of the next one. The number of flip flops in a ripple counter is directly proportional to the number of logic states the counter traverse before it repeats the entire sequence.

Also known as serial counters, all the series sequence flip-flops take input from only the clock circuit. For example, in the following n-bit ripple counter, each J-K flip flop has its inputs tied to high or one, and the signal is fed to their clock inputs.

Well, that’s all the space we have for today. Build your fundamentals in computer architecture to score well in your assignments. If need be, get expert aid from reputed assignment help services in Birmingham or Preston essay & assignment help services.

All the best!


Summary: Processors are the brain of any computerized system. Find out what makes them tick with this easy-to-read article.

Author-Bio: Nikita Devon is a VLSI engineer with a reputed electronics firm in Birmingham, UK. She is also a part-time academic writer with Assignment help website, one of the UK’s biggest do my assignment help services.