A bit-slice microprocessor (BSM) is a microprocessor designed as a module with the primary purpose of being able to assemble multiple identical such microprocessors to form a larger processor of some desired word size. Bit-slice microprocessors can be cascaded to produce any conventional (e.g. 4-bit, 8-bit, 16-bit) as well as unconventional word sizes (e.g. 10-bit, 12-bit, 18-bit). A notable advantage of a BSM over discrete logic components is the fact that most connections are internal to the chip with only few connections being external.
A departure from normal microprocessors is that fact that many bit-slice chips do not have an instruction set architecture. Such bit slicing systems allow designers to create their own architecture and other key characteristics such as I/O pins and address width. This flexibility of course came with overall more expensive system and larger amount of ICs.
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