What Does Core Mean in CPU?
"Cores" means "cycles". A cycle is a unit of time equal to one complete cycle. That seems pretty basic, but many people tend to use them in two different ways, and that leads to confusion. This article intends to clear up the confusion for you.
"A core is a small processor element attached to a microprocessor that controls operation on a segment of a main memory system." There are many different cores, but they are all part of a processor family. Each core has a designated number and is assigned a specific task by the microprocessor. Instructions are generally executed on each individual core.
On the AMD Athlon processors there are five general instructions that can be executed by any core: Load Address Target (LSOT), Init Function Call (IFOC), Register Load with Register Operation (LROC), Register Init with Step-Up and Register Decrement with decrement. Some instructions can only be executed on a single core. In general, an instruction pointer (IOP) is a pointer to an instruction buffer (IAB). The IOP indicates the location of the next instruction to be executed. Instructions are not executed sequentially in a virtual machine.
Instructions are executed in a virtual machine manner, through the use of a program and hardware abstraction layer. The virtual machine controls the execution of instructions. Instructions may be stored in a vector or array form, depending on the instruction set. Some instructions, called global or static, are only used at the point of use. Static or global functions can be called multiple times by a single application.
The word clock is probably not familiar to many of you. In a CPU, it is the unit of measurement for the frequency with which bits are shifted or borrowed from the CPU's main memory. Every instruction that the CPU executes uses one bit of the CPU's memory. The term clock also refers to the number of clock cycles used per second.
The size of the main memory is measured in bytes. It is the most significant specification in a computer because this is the memory that is used all the time by the computer. On a notebook or netbook computer, the RAM is installed directly into the PC. The other type of memory is the cache, which is used once the system has entered its sleep mode.
Instruction sets can have one or more instructions. One instruction per instruction is common. Multiple instructions per clock cycle is called multithreading. Instructions are executed in software by the use of threads. A single logical instruction refers to one isolated logical operation on one PC. For example, a single I/O operation represents one mouse click on a PC.
What does cores mean in CPU is a very important question especially for those who design or build PCs. One answer is the clock frequency. Another is frequency efficiency. Still another is to measure power consumption efficiencies. Manufacturers of PCs may combine them in different ways in order to maximize performance.
The meaning of 'cores' in a CPU is not fixed and may vary depending on the manufacturer and the architecture of the CPU. Some manufacturers of personal computers include a single core in their CPU. They may include two or four such cores in a quad-core design. On the other hand, a manufacturer of a mainstream processor may use up to six such cores in one processor design.
So, what does core mean in CPU is really dependent on whom you ask? If you are asking a manufacturer of a mainstream chip, then what does core mean in CPU would be dependent on the frequency efficiency of the chip. For one, it may determine the maximum frequency that the chip can attain. Frequency efficiency is important because it determines the amount of heat generated by the chip. Thus, higher frequencies generally result in lower temperatures.
Another thing that may help you in knowing what does core mean in CPU is to know the variation of frequencies that come with the different cores. This will allow you to assess whether the frequency of a particular core is enough to give you the kind of performance that you want. The best part about these chips is that they have a large range of frequencies. Some of the highest rated cores are found in the RYX mark of Intel. However, it is advised that you go with a high-end chip only if you can afford the price that goes with it.
Hence, the meaning of what does core mean in CPU is not fixed. It all depends on whom you ask. If you are asking a motherboard manufacturer, then the answer is probably "no". However, if you are asking an Intel product specialist, then the answer might change. So, make sure that you do your own research on the matter before you make any purchasing decisions.