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how to determine - how many bit processor

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scorrpeio

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This question seems to be weird but I have confusion about it...how can I determine whether a processor is 8,16 or 32 bit?

Even I have searched on google and this website as well. But everyone had their own opinion which is baffling me...

1. The no of bits ALU can process at a time
2. Data width
3. Internal Register width

...etc

I had knowledge that the ALU would determine the bit size of processor. But, then
how to determine how many bit processor is dual core/multicore processors are?

Also, how many bit processor is BF561?

Can anyone tell, which parameters to be considered and on which priority to determine how many bit is our processor??
 

Jack// ani

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All of the three options are correct.

Internal register width, determines number of bits a processor is capable of handing at a time. Register width in turn dictates data bus width, and number of bits ALU can process in single go.

8-bit processor can very well process 16 & 32-bit data, but not necessarily in a single cycle.
 

FvM

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how can I determine whether a processor is 8,16 or 32 bit?
I'm tempted to ask what's the purpose of this question? A processor with a set of 32-bit GP registers and a 32-bit datapath and ALU would be usually recognized as 32-bit processor. As far as the BF561 is used as general purpose processor, it plays the role of a 32-bit processor. In DSP applications - depends on. This point raises doubts about the sense of general classifications.
 

scorrpeio

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@Jack//ani
Thank you for sharing info

@FvM
I am asking the question because, many a times it is asked in interview. So, I must be clear of how to answer such a basic question.
Well, about BF561, there is still an ambiguity, as some experts call it as 16 bit processor.
 

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