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What is a microprocessor?

A microprocessor is a computer processor on a microchip. It's sometimes called a logic chip. It is the "engine" that goes into motion when you turn your computer on. A microprocessor is designed to perform arithmetic and logic operations that make use of small number-holding areas called registers. Typical microprocessor operations include adding, subtracting, comparing two numbers, and fetching numbers from one area to another. These operations are the result of a set of instruction that are part of the microprocessor design. When the computer is turned on, the microprocessor is designed to get the first instruction from the Basic Input/Output System (basic input/output system) that comes with the computer as part of its memory. After that, either the BIOS, or the operating system that BIOS loads into computer memory, or an application program is "driving" the microprocessor, giving it instructions to perform.