Processors – CPUs – Cores … Aren’t they all the same?

I get questioned often about the difference between these terms and it can be confusing. Now that we are in the era of multi-core, let's explore common terminology. What is the difference between a processor, CPU, a chip, a core and a socket? And how is threading different?

Processor / CPU: This is what Intel makes and OEMs design into their systems.
tProcessors and CPUs are sometimes referred to as CHIPs
*Sockets:* The physical location on the system board where the processor/CPU goes. Sockets are increasingly used to describe a servers capability. A 4S (4 socket) server supports up to 4 CPUs inside. Sometimes this might also described as to as 4w (wayness) or 4P (processor) server.

Cores: The number physical processing units contained within the processor. There can be one, two, four or more ...
*Threads:* Some Intel processors support multi-threading technology. This is simply the ability to run more than one software thread on a core (Single threaded means one stream of software per core at a time) (Multi-threaded means more than one stream of software is executed in parallel)

So ... Processor, CPU, Socket, and Chips are terms that are often used interchangeably. Cores and Threads are both features inside the processor. Was this helpful to you ? Let me know. Chris