Let's talk first about the instructions because an instruction, is all the processor cares about.
The main data processing component within a processor is an ALU. The ALU is capable of carrying out some arithmetic & logical operations on data fed to it. So, an instruction may tell the ALU, what operation is to be done and on which data. Apart from alu operations, other major task performed by processor is data moving or data transfer. The data may be moved to/from memory from/to internal registers. Further the processor may want to communicate with peripheral devices.
Articles and stuff addressing the design issues of a digital processor . . .
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