Differentiate general purpose processor, single purpose processor and ASIC with respect to design matrix, with suitable example.

1 Answer



General purpose processor

  • General purpose processor is a Programmable device.
  • General purpose processor used in microprocessor.
  • General purpose processor have general data path with large register file.
  • General purpose processor have general ALU.
  • General purpose processor take less time to market.
  • General purpose processor have low NRE cost.
  • General purpose processor have high flexibility.
  • General purpose processor is use for variety of applications.
  • It is manufactured in large scale. 
  • Performance is not high.
  • Size of general purpose processor is large.
  • So its efficiency is less.
  • Design cost and time of general purpose processor is low.
  • It perform variety of computation and consists of arithmetic and logic units (ALUs).
  • General purpose processor is use in laptop or desktop.
  • General purpose processor have the largest flexibility.
  • Example for general purpose processor is Pentium.


Single purpose processor
  • Single purpose processor is a Digital circuit which designed to execute exactly one program.
  • In single purpose processor no program memory is required.
  • Single purpose processor is fast.
  • Single purpose processor consume low power.
  • Single purpose processor have small memory.
  • Single purpose processor is design to execute only one program.
  • It perform particular computation task.
  • So it have faster performance.
  • Size of single purpose processor is small.
  • Power consumption is low.
  • Size is small means it have less multiplexers.
  • No program memory.
  • Coprocessor, Floating point processing and peripherals are the examples of single purpose processor.
  • The datapath contains only required components.
  • Example for single purpose processor is accelerator or peripheral.

Application specific processor
  • Application specific processor is the compromise between general purpose and single purpose processor.
  • Application specific processor have Programmable memory.
  • Application specific processor optimise for a particular class of application having common characteristics.
  • Application specific processor have optimised data path.
  • Application specific processor have a special unit function.
  • Application specific processor have some flexibility.
  • Application specific processor have good performance, size, and power.
  • It is designed for specific application.
  • ASIP have good flexibility with good performance.
  • It have low cost and low power consumption.
  • So efficiency is high.
  • Embedded microcontrollers, network processor and digital signal processor are the types of Application Specific Instruction Set Processor (ASIP).
  • It have higher computational speed.
  • And higher datapath utilization due to programmability.
  • Examples of application specific processor are embedded microcontroller, network processor and DSP.


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