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  A microprocessor is a multipurpose, programmable, clock-driven, register-based electronic device that reads binary instructions from a storage device called memory, accepts binary data as input and processes data according to those instructions, and provides results as output. A typical programmable machine can be represented with three components: microprocessor, memory, and I/O. These three components work together or interact with each other to perform a given task; thus, they comprise a system. The physical components of this system are called hardware. A set of instructions written for the microprocessor to perform a task is called a program, and a group of programs is called software. The microprocessor applications are classified primarily in two categories: reprogrammable systems and embedded systems. In reprogrammable systems, such as microcomputers, the microprocessor is used for computing and data processing. These systems include general-purpose microprocessors capable of handling large data, mass storage devices (such as disks and CD-ROMs), and peripherals such as printers; a personal computer (PC) is a typical illustration. In embedded systems, the microprocessor is a part of a final product and is not available for reprogramming to the end user. A copying machine is a typical example of an embedded system.

   The microprocessor is in many ways similar to the CPU, but includes all the logic circuitry, including the control unit, on one chip. The microprocessor can be divided into three segments:

Arithmetic/Logic Unit: This is the area of the microprocessor where various computing functions are performed on data. The ALU unit performs such arithmetic operations as addition and subtraction, and such logic operations as AND, OR, and exclusive OR.

Register Array: This area of the microprocessor consists of various registers identified by letters such as B, C, D, E, H and L. These registers are primarily used to store data temporarily during the execution of a program and are accessible to the users through instructions.

Control Unit: The control unit provides the necessary timing and control signals to all the operations in the microcomputer. It controls the flow of data between the microprocessor and memory and peripherals

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