Processor choice

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Key points

  • The type of processor is an important choice when designing and information system.
  • Processors used in mobile devices should be low-power processors (like the Intel Atom or ARM processor).
  • Processors used in high powered servers must be able to deal with the demand of large data processing tasks (like an Intel Xeon or i7 processor).
  • The speed of the processor is measures in Hertz, which is the number of clock cycles per second – a way of measuring how many instructions can be carried out.
  • A high clock speed is needed for data to be processed quickly, with many processors now achieving a clock speed of over 4 Gigahertz (4 billion clock cycles per second).
  • The number of processors determines how much processing power is available. For calculations that can be divided up between processors, this can dramatically increase the processing carried out every second. Processor design is now incorporating multiple cores, to make sure a computer can process data efficiently.

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