Microcode is a computer hardware technique that imposes an interpreter between the CPU hardware and the programmer-visible instruction set architecture of the computer. Microcode typically resides in special high-speed memory and translates machine instructions, state machine data or other input into nintendo 64 roms & emulator for pc of detailed circuit-level operations. It separates the machine instructions from the underlying electronics so that instructions can be designed and altered more freely.
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Some hardware vendors, especially IBM, use the term microcode as a synonym for firmware. The lowest layer in a computer’s software stack is traditionally raw binary machine code instructions for the processor. Microcode sits one level below this. To avoid confusion, each microprogram-related element is differentiated by the micro prefix: microinstruction, microassembler, microprogrammer, microarchitecture, etc. A high-level programmer, or even an assembly programmer, does not normally see or change microcode. Microprograms consist of series of microinstructions, which control the CPU at a very fundamental level of hardware circuitry. Microprograms are carefully designed and optimized for the fastest possible execution, as a slow microprogram would result in a slow machine instruction and degraded performance for related application programs that use such instructions.
Microcode was originally developed as a simpler method of developing the control logic for a computer. Initially, CPU instruction sets were hardwired. Microcode simplified the job by allowing much of the processor’s behaviour and programming model to be defined via microprogram routines rather than by dedicated circuitry. Even late in the design process, microcode could easily be changed, whereas hard-wired CPU designs were very cumbersome to change.