PART ONE: READING COMPREHENSION
GREAT INVENTIONS AND DISCOVERIES
The microprocessor is an electronic circuit that functions as the central processing unit(CPU) of a computer and provides computational control. Microprocessors are also used in other advanced electronic systems, such as computer printers, automobiles, and jet airliners. The microprocessoris one type of ultra-large-scale integrated circuit. Integrated circuits, also known as microchips or chips, are complex electronic circuits which consist of extremely tiny components formed on asingle, thin, flat piece of material known as a semiconductor. The first microprocessor was the Intel 4004, produced in 1971. It was originally developed for a calculator. It contained 2300 transistors ona 4-bit microprocessor that could perform only 60.000 operations per second. The first truly general-purpose microprocessor, developed in 1974, was the 8-bit Intel 8080 which contained 4500transistors and could execute 200.000 instructions per second. Moderns microprocessors have much greater capacity and speed.
Supercomputers are computers designed to perform very complexcalculations and to solve extremely complex problems. They are used to design automobiles, aircraft, and spacecraft; to forecast the weather and global climate: to design new drugs and chemicalcompounds; and to make calculations that help scientists understand the properties of particles that make up atoms as well as the behaviour and evolution of stars and galaxies. Supercomputers are also usedextensively by the military for weapons and defense systems research.
Supercomputers are different from other types of computers in that they are designed to work on a single problem at a time. Thetwo major components of a supercomputer are the same as any other computer: a central processing unit (CPU) where instructions are carried out, and the memory in which data instructions are stored....