“Whether we are based on carbon or on silicon makes no fundamental difference; we should each be treated with appropriate respect.” ― Arthur C. Clarke, 2010: Odyssey Two

 

Modern Computing

The last several years have been witness to an explosion of diversity in CPUs, and thus a serious expansion of architecture design. Such innovations include multi threading and asynchronous clock cycle CPUs. Multi threading is a solution to a problem with CPU designs, in that a CPU will function to its highest capacity when running only a single program. Unfortunately modern users delight in running several programs at once. This program complexity results in the CPU having to deal with a large amount of context conflict. To rectify this problem, multi threaded CPUs are equipped with a vast numbers of registers, super fast memory units, to deal with this context problem. Asynchronous CPUs have arisen because of graphics processing. Any process in a CPU can only run as fast as the clock speed of the processor. To combat this limit, some CPU designs do away with the clock altogether. Instead, any process can run at its maximum speed, and individual operations are coordinated differently than in a clock based CPU. This new design is generally not available for consumers on a large scale.  

Moving Bits

Modern CPUs are a wonder of engineering. Below is an amination of a single peice of information moving from memory, through the CPU, and back into memory.

 


 

The information moves from memory, in this case the classic Turing style tape, to the PC and the control unit. It then moves between the ALU and the register, before moving to cache and then memory again.