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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | The Processor ]

Roots of the Processor: Digital Logic and the Semiconductor

This section describes the technology that underlies the modern processor. CPUs are incredibly powerful, complicated devices, but their current state is the result of years of evolution and improvement from rather humble beginnings. All processors work in the same basic way "deep down". This section describes the fundamentals of how digital logic and circuits work, which are the building blocks used to make modern processors (as well as most of the other chips in your PC, such as your chipset, controllers, etc.)

If you are new to computers, you might want to read this introductory section, if you haven't already. It describes the basics of the binary numbering system, hardware and software, etc., and acts as a good backdrop for the contents below.

Note: This is an advanced section containing in-depth information on processor and semiconductor technology. It is interesting background material but not strictly required reading in order to understand the practical aspects of your system processor. Note that you will find this section most helpful if you read all the subsections it contains in order.

Next: Functions and Digital Logic

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