Explanation Needed: What Exactly are CPU Cores ?

File-It-Under: Tech explanation By: D.F.Skin  



The Intel Core i5 processor,the Core i7, cores this cores that,what does it all mean,what exactly are CPU cores? Which generally is multi-core processing. Let me explain it all as best I can. To put it all in a more simplistic explanation,a single computer component with two or more independent central processing units are consider to be "Cores", which in essence are units that can read and execute program instructions. Manufacturers will infuse cores onto a single integrated circuit die which is better known as CMP ( chip multiprcessor) or they will integrate onto multiple dies in a single chip package.

For a long time processors had only one core, but In the early 2000's a big shift in processing technology took place when Mutli-core processors were developed by major players in the processor game which you know them as Intel and AMD. First we had the dual-core CPU's Intel Core Duo and AMD Phenom II X2, then there was the four core processing introduced to the market,which is quad-core processing , AMD Phenom II X4 and Intel's Core i5 and i7, then we have the CPU that's seen in most mid-range and high-end computers today the six core processor (Hexa-cores) AMD Phenom II 6 and Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition 980x comes to mind. You think it ends at six-cores no,there is eight-core processor (Octo-Core Xeon E7-2820 and AMD FX-8350,and even an insane ten-core processor (Intel Xeon E7-2850),these processors with 8 or more cores are usually found in most high-end servers and workstations. Just about every computer you see on the market today be it a Mac or a PC uses multi-core processing.


One of the biggest advantages in multi-core processing is cores on the same die (die is a ceramic based material in which the CPU is rested on) allows for the cache circuity to operate at a much higher clock rate. When you combine CPU's on one single die there is a big boost in performance. But probably the biggest absolute number one advantage in having multi-core processing is power,less power that is. A single core processor has a tendency to consume more power thus causing the processor to get a bit toasty.

Multi-core core processing has a definite impact on software in that multi-threaded software adds processing power with minimal amount of latency. I can go  on and on about multi-core processing, but that would require me to get more technical. If you still haven't grasp what multi-core processor is,its basically two or more CPU's infused into one package.