We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Superscalar Processor?

M. McGee
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A superscalar processor is a type of processor that can execute multiple sets of instructions at the same time. This type of processor contains several sub-units that control certain types of basic functions. While other processors have these units as well, a superscalar processor can have information sent directly to these units for processing while the main processor is busy with something else. The superscalar processor is the midpoint of the three main types of processors.

A computer's central processing unit, also called a CPU or simply processor, does the majority of the calculations for a computer. Every time something happens on the machine, the CPU works on it a little before it actually happens. This makes the processor very busy and time spent with it very valuable. When the CPU has reached its limit, other computer functions are left waiting for the processor to catch up.

Many CPUs are made up of a main processor and several smaller areas. The main processor does the majority of the calculations for the computer system. Other systems, like the arithmetic logic unit, have very specific functions and are used less than the main processor. In the case of the arithmetic logic unit, it performs low-level math functions for the computer.

At this point, computer processors divide into three broad categories: scalar, superscalar and vector. A scalar system is the type of processor with which most users are familiar. This processor accepts one command at a time and executes them in sequence or order of priority. These processors make up the majority of home and business computers.

Vector processors take in multiple commands at once through an array system. A series of commands arrive simultaneously within the processor's main core. These commands are treated as single parts of a larger command by the processor and executed simultaneously.

A superscalar processor is the midpoint between these two methods. The main processor is only able to take a single command at a time, similar to a scalar processor. On the other hand, there are direct connections to the processor's secondary systems, something not commonly present in other forms of processor. These connections allow information to feed directly into the subsystems where they can execute specific commands and output information separate from the main processor. This allows the processor to work on and output multiple instructions, like a vector processor.

This operation is not to be confused with a multi-core processor. These systems actually have more than one entire processor active at a single time. In order to be a superscalar processor, the commands go to sub-units, not entire systems. In most cases, a multi-core system is a collection of scalar, processors but it is possible for them to be superscalar processors as well.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
M. McGee
By M. McGee
Mark McGee is a skilled writer and communicator who excels in crafting content that resonates with diverse audiences. With a background in communication-related fields, he brings strong organizational and interpersonal skills to his writing, ensuring that his work is both informative and engaging.
Discussion Comments
M. McGee
M. McGee
Mark McGee is a skilled writer and communicator who excels in crafting content that resonates with diverse audiences....
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.