Microprocessors are classified into five types, namely:
A complex instruction set computer is a computer where single instructions can execute several low-level operations (such as a load from memory, an arithmetic operation, and a memory store) or are capable of multi-step operations or addressing modes within single instructions.
Eg. Intel 386, 486, Pentium, Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Pentium III.
RISC (reduced instruction set computer) is a microprocessor that is designed to perform a smaller number of types of computer instructions so that it can operate at a higher speed (perform more millions of instructions per second, or MIPS).
Eg. Sun UltaSPARC
ASIC- Application Specific Integrated Circuit
An ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) is a microchip designed for a special application, such as a particular kind of transmission protocol or a hand-held computer. You might contrast it with general integrated circuits, such as the microprocessor and the random access memory chips in your PC. ASICs are used in a wide-range of applications, including auto emission control, environmental monitoring, and personal digital assistants
A superscalar processor is a CPU that implements a form of parallelism called instruction-level parallelism within a single processor. In contrast to a scalar processor that can execute at most one single instruction per clock cycle, a superscalar processor can execute more than one instruction during a clock cycle by simultaneously dispatching multiple instructions to different execution units on the processor.
Eg. Nx586, P5 Pentium
DSP’s-Digital Signal Microprocessors
A Digital Signal Processor is a specialized microprocessor that has an architecture which is optimized for the fast operational needs of digital signal processing. A Digital Signal Processor (DSP) can process data in real time, making it ideal for applications that can’t tolerate delays. Digital signal processors take a digital signal and process it to improve the signal into clearer sound, faster data or sharper images. Digital Signal Processors use video, voice, audio, temperature or position signals that have been digitized and mathematically manipulate them. A digital signal processor is designed to perform these mathematical functions rapidly. The signals are processed so the information contained in them can be displayed or converted to another type of signal.