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A processor is the central processing unit (CPU) of a computer system.

As bus architectures evolve, so do the CPU and support chip architectures. The latest processor versions provide multiple CPU cores per processor and have enhancements that support 64bit operating systems. 64bit operating systems can take advantage of the 64bit architectures that are now inherent in PC designs. With 64bit operating systems, the previous 32bit system address space limitation of 4GB is no longer an issue. This is extremely useful in applications where large amounts of image data is generated such as large area scan or line scan systems where a single image can take up several hundred megabytes.

Another major advance is the use of multi-core processors. These use multiple CPU cores on the same chip (2 or more) and offer the possibility of multiplying the performance by the number of cores used.

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