What is a Central Processing Unit (CPU)?
A central processing unit (CPU), or sometimes simply
processor, is the component in a digital computer that
interprets instructions and processes data contained in
computer programs. CPUs provide the fundamental digital
computer trait of programmability, and are one of the
necessary components found in computers of any era, along with
primary storage and input/output facilities. A CPU that is
manufactured using integrated circuits is known as a
microprocessor. Since the mid-1970s, single-chip
microprocessors have almost totally replaced all other types
of CPUs, and today the term "CPU" is usually applied to some
type of microprocessor.
What is a microprocessor?
microprocessor (sometimes abbreviated
What is a microcontroller (MCU)?
microcontroller (or MCU) is a computer-on-a-chip used to
control electronic devices. It is a type of microprocessor
emphasizing self-sufficiency and cost-effectiveness, in
contrast to a general-purpose microprocessor (the kind used in
a PC). A typical microcontroller contains all the memory and
interfaces needed for a simple application, whereas a general
purpose microprocessor requires additional chips to provide
What is Electronic Design Automation (EDA)?
Electronic design automation (EDA) is the category of tools
for designing and producing electronic systems ranging from
printed circuit boards (PCBs) to integrated circuits. This is
sometimes referred to as ECAD (electronic computer-aided
design) or just CAD.
What is an embedded system?
An embedded system is a special-purpose system in which the
computer is completely encapsulated by the device it controls.
Unlike a general-purpose computer, such as a personal
computer, an embedded system performs pre-defined tasks,
usually with very specific requirements. Example: Routers,
ATMs, cellular phones.
What is an Original Device Manufacturer (ODM)?
Some OEMs have also taken on a larger role in the design of
the product they are manufacturing. The term Original Design
Manufacturer (ODM) is used to describe companies that design
and manufacture a product that is then sold under other brand
What is an Original Equipment Manufacturer
An original equipment manufacturer (frequently abbreviated
"OEM") is a company that builds products or components which
are used in products sold by another company (often called a
value-added reseller, or VAR). An OEM will typically build to
order based on designs of the VAR. For example, a hard drive
in a computer system may be manufactured by a corporation
separate from the company that markets and sells the computer,
or a loudspeaker in a stereo system made by a company that
specializes in audio manufacturing.
What is an Integrated Device Manufacturer (IDM)?
An integrated device manufacturer (IDM) is a semiconductor
company which designs, manufactures, and sells integrated
circuit (IC) products.
What are merchant foundries?
Merchant foundries only manufacture devices under contract by
other companies, without designing them. They are able to find
work from the pool of fabless companies and by careful
scheduling, pricing and contracting remain at full
What are Intellectual Property (IP) firms?
A fabless company may concentrate its research and development
resources on the end market without being required to invest
resources in staying current in semiconductor technology. For
this reason they are also known as IP firms, because their
primary product consists of licenses in patents, trade
secrets, mask works, and other forms of intellectual property.