Difference Between Machine Cycle and Clock Cycle

Primary Difference

We know that human beings work and think in a manner no other being can, but they still get to understand whatever we want. But to make this happen frequently and actions to compete at a fast rate, there are many complications. TE process is not that simple and involves many different kinds of activities before we reach a conclusion. The terms getting defined in this article are machine and clock cycle and are very distinct from each other. The machine cycle is the process of instruction understanding while the clock cycle is the speed at which the process completes.

Comparison Chart

Machine CycleClock Cycle
DefinitionThe step that gets performed by the processor getting employed in a device and all the instructions that get implemented.It is the time between two head-to-head pulses generated by the oscillator that sets the tempo of the device.
ComponentsMemory and CPUMemory and CPU
ExplanationOnly one machine cycle will define the time taken by an instruction to complete from the beginning until the end.Most of the conventional processes have the ability to perform one instruction at each second and hence one clock cycle at a particular time.
UnitsNoneMHz or GHz

Definition of Machine Cycle

A machine cycle defines itself as the step that gets performed by the processor getting employed in a device and all the instructions that get implemented. It is a combination of four different processes that go along before an instruction becomes valid. It gets known that the computer works differently than other devices and has to understand whatever data that gets thrown their way. There are four main steps involved in the complete cycle, and they are called fetch, decode, execute and store. The first step is collecting the instructions that are coming the device’s way and doing that a control unit is required; whatever data originates from the main memory to the control unit is based on the particular things mentioned. The next step is decoding that information. A human being inputs the things they require through keyboard but the computer works on the bits and bytes. All this information is then decoded correctly to make it comfortable for the device to understand. The third step is to execute the commands; all the data is now in the system; it then converts to the proper format that the machine understands now the controls performed. The last step is the store process after the action completes the final result and all the related activities then go to the memory unit where they get stored on the hard drive. Data get moved and deleted according to the user, and the whole process gets repeated. These four steps complete the cycle which becomes critical when the machine has to work in an efficient manner.

Definition of Clock Cycle

Most of the times efficiency are the thing everyone is worried about. When we buy a computer or a new device, the main thing asked by the user is that how fast the device works. This action, along with similar information is stored within the system and is known for the clock cycle. A simple way of defining the term will be that a clock cycle for the computer is the time between two head-to-head pulses generated by the oscillator that sets the tempo of the device. A number of pulses produced during one second are called the clock cycle and the unit for measuring it is megahertz or millions of pulses per second. In the recent times when the technology is advanced a lot, even gigahertz gets used for the same calculation. The item which helps in finding the speed about the system is the quartz-crystal circuit that gets employed in other devices such as radio communication equipment. Most of the standard processes have the ability to perform one instruction at each second, while the difficult ones, get to perform more than one instruction during each second. Another factor that helps in determining the speed is the bit number; a 16-bit computer will have a slower clock cycle as compared to the one in a 32-bit cycle. A processor that has faster clock cycle will get more work done at the same time. This term gets more prominent even in devices such as notepads and cell phones where speed is critical for people who navigate through the touchscreens.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. A machine cycle defines itself as the step that gets performed by the processor getting employed in a device and all the instructions that get implemented. A clock cycle for the computer is the time between two head-to-head pulses generated by the oscillator that sets the tempo of the device.
  2. There are no proper units to measure the machine cycle, but the units for measuring a clock cycle is either megahertz or gigahertz.
  3. There are four main steps involved in the memory cycle, and they are called fetch, decode, execute and store. There are no main steps involved in a clock cycle, just the time taken by instructions acting in a million per second.
  4. Only one machine cycle will define the time taken by an instruction to complete from the beginning until the end. Most of the conventional processes have the ability to perform one instruction at each second and hence one clock cycle at a particular time.
  5. The time Required by the microprocessor to complete the operation of accessing memory or I/O devices is called machine cycle. The time needed by the computer to perform a particular task is called a clock cycle.

Conclusion

Many individuals exist who do not have much information about the systems that are involved in how a device functions will benefit a great deal from this article as it lays out proper definitions, differences and a comparison chart of the machine cycle and clock cycle. They both are connected tightly and therefore required a comprehensive analysis done in this article.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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