What is 32-bit and 64-bit processor

In this section, we will talk about the CPU processor, the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit processor, types of CPU Core, Hyperthreading, etc.

Let us first understand what is the processor in the computer system.

What is a processor

What is 32-bit and 64-bit processor

The processor or CPU ( Central Processing Unit) in a computer system is the small integrated chip that is located on the motherboard surrounded by the heat sink and cooling fan in order to keep the temperature of the CPU normal. The CPU is considered to be the brain of the computer, as it does all the arithmetic and logical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division of two numbers, and comparing two values.

There are many types of processors available in the market. Generally, two primary manufacturers: Intel and AMD ( Advanced Micro Trend) are the leading manufacturers and sellers in the global market.

Intel is one of the largest manufacturers of processors (CPU) and covers almost 80 to 85 percent of the global market. Apart from processors, Intel also manufactures chipset, memory, motherboard SSD ( Solid State Drive), etc.

On the other hand, AMD is also the tough competitor of Intel. AMD covers almost 10 to 15 percent of the global market. It also manufactures motherboard, chipset, memory, graphics processors, etc.

What is 32-bit or 64-bit processor

The processor generally comes in two variants: 32 bit and 64 bit.

A 32-bit processor can support a 32-bit address bus and can address up to 232 bit memory locations. That means a 32-bit processor can support a maximum of 4 GB of RAM. On the other hand, a 64-bit processor can support up to 64-bit address bus which can address up to 264 bit of memory locations. hence, a 64-bit processor can support a maximum of 18EB memory. However, 64-bit CPUs practically supports 8 TB of addressable RAM.

Note: Apart from processors, operating systems are also available as a 32-bit operating system and 64-bit operating system.

All 64-bit processors support both 32-bit OS and 64 bit OS, however, when 32-bit OS installed in a 64-bit machine, the performance of the system will be limited to that of a 32-bit machine. On the other hand, a 32-bit processor supports only 32-bit OS.

What is a CPU core

The CPU core is the brain of the CPU. The actual processing of instructions is performed by the CPU core. There may be multiple cores resides inside the single processor. The multiple cores are useful in handling the complex instructions where parallel operations need to be performed by multiple cores. The operating systems view these multiple cores as separate CPUs and the instructions to be executed are divided among individual cores.  This increases the efficiency of the CPU  and as a result, the system responds very fast.

A processor having two cores is called dual-core, quad-core processors have 4 cores, and CPU with 8 cores are called octa-core.

What is hyper-threading

Hyper-threading, also called HT Technology is the multi-threading technology introduced by Intel in order to improve the CPU performance. Earlier, this technology was introduced in Pentium 4 and Xeon server Processor during 2002.

HT Technology allows a single processor to execute two parallel streams of CPU threads simultaneously. The operating system sees them as two separate processors to perform the two threads at a time. This will increase the CPU throughput and overall processing capability of the single-core processor.


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