Hardware description classes

On this page the different terms used when dealing with hardware are explained.

core A cpu can have one or more cores.

A cpu is the central processing unit of a chip.


An architecture can be more or less seen as a family of cpu’s. Most cpus of a certain architecture have the same ISA.

An isa is the instruction set architecture. This means basically the set of instructions that are available. A cpu is said to implement a certain ISA.


A system is one of linux, windows, mac, helenos, minix, qnx, freebsd or another system.


A chip is a specific package which can be a microcontroller having a cpu or more then one.

A board is a specific PCB, usually containing a cpu or more.