ANTONIO ROMERO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANTONIO ROMERO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Microprocessor instruction decode unit. Light micrograph of an Intel Pentium microprocessor's instruction decode unit. In each instruction cycle or fetch-decode-execute cycle, the decode unit decodes the prefetched instructions for the processor to execute. The chip was fabricated by photolithography, using several overlapping metalization layers and vertical contacts to interconnect them in a mono-crystal silicon wafer, which serves as the substrate. Magnification: x90, when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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