What Determines Your CPU’s Clock Speed?

The clock cycle, or the amount of time between two oscillator pulses, determines the speed of a CPU. The oscillator, or oscillator crystal, is an electronic oscillator circuit that uses the mechanical resonance of a vibrating crystal of piezoelectric material to create an electric signal with a precise frequency.

piezoelectricityPiezoelectricity is the electric charge that accumulates in certain solid materials (such as crystals, certain ceramics, and biological matter such as bone, DNA and various proteins) in response to applied mechanical stress. The word piezoelectricity means, literally, electricity resulting from pressure. The piezoelectric effect is understood as the linear electromechanical interaction between the mechanical and the electrical state in crystalline materials, the effect is a reversible process, meaning that just as the internal generation of electrical charge can result from an applied mechanical force, an applied electrical field can result in the generation of internal mechanical strain.

Anyway, the crystal oscillator produces a fixed sine wave that makes up the frequency reference signal. Electronic circuitry then translates that into a square wave at the same frequency for digital electronics applications (or, in using a CPU multiplier, some fixed multiple of the crystal frequency reference frequency). The clock distribution network inside the CPU then carries that clock signal to all the parts that need it.

The time between the two oscillator pulses, or the clock speed, is measured in MHz or GHz. For example, a 5GHz processor performs 5,000,000,000 clock cycles per second.

For some time now, the clock speed achievable by crystal oscillators every year has increased by roughly 2 times the top speed of the previous year, allowing for processors to run faster and faster.

no speed limitElectrical engineers are constantly trying to figure out how to combat the heat generated by the oscillator once it passes certain speeds and gate delays. Liquid nitrogen and liquid helium have both been utilized in an attempt to combat the heat.

That said, the clock speed achievable by a CPU is not the only determinant of the processing speed of that CPU. For an example of this, take the fact that some processors can send one instruction per clock pulse while others can send more than one.

An instruction is an order that a computer program gives to a computer processor. The order is composed of a set of binary codes that together describe a physical operation the computer is to perform as well as information regarding particular storage areas that may contain data relevant to that order.

Processors that can send multiple instructions per clock pulse will work faster at a given clock speed than processers that can perform only one instruction per clock pulse.

Bus speed is another factor outside of clock speed that affects processing speeds. A bus is a circuit between two parts of a motherboard. The width of the circuit determines how much data that circuit can handle at once, with wider circuits being able to handle more. Bus speed refers to how much data can be moved across the bus simultaneously.

Excessive clock speed can actually destabilize a processor that doesn’t have matching upgraded components.

The conveniences offered by computers: A necessity to businesses today

Computers and internet have taken our lives to an all different level making it convenient where everything is accessible with just a click of the button. Right from education to entertainment to gaming and live television; computers have made it easy to get anything and everything we want. And with the popularity of e-commerce you no longer have to go for shops but can shop online. In fact online shopping enables you to buy things that are actually not that easy to otherwise find in stores; legal steroids for instance. Computers and internet defy this era where you are directly or indirectly dependent on them.

Mobile data the proof of dependence on the net

This dependency on the World Wide Web has made internet go mobile where you can access the internet through mobile data internet connectivity. Computers have also evolved and shrunken in size such that they can be easily carried wherever you go and tablets, iPads are the perfect example of this where they perform a dual function of cellular smart phones and computers. The Kindle app or e-reader is another fitting example where you no longer have to heavy paperback books but download hundreds of electronic books on your devices and read them whenever you wish. This is the entertainment and social aspect of computers and internet; but the fact that computers have helped businesses is something that one cannot ignore.

Computers and businesses

Computers are very important for business where they help in more than one ways. Data are crucial for every business where confidential company information or information of their clients is the important data. Instead of going old school and filing it all up in a ledger, you can store tons of data on the computer either in the hard disk or use a secondary memory device.

Businesses are making most of the internet and electronic commerce enables the businesses to earn extra profits where they can have a wider client base from across the globe. In fact most businesses earn 60% more profit by having their presence online. All the businesses today need to have a presence online to gain the competitive edge. Especially when consumers are seeking services and buying products after referring to the net having a web presence becomes crucial.

The changes brought by computers

Publicity and advertisements and marketing have also taken an all new level with the advent of computers and internet where most of them use it as a platform for marketing their products with the increase in the number of internet users over the years. In fact, mobile internet connectivity is something that most of us cannot do without. Life was convenient of course before internet and computers but it has become even better after them.

Businesses can use computers as a medium t advertise their products where of late they are using the social networking sites and increasing their client base through it. Internet has enabled people to connect to one another and share opinions and likes which has popularized the concept of buying things based on recommendations from cyber friends.