In processor design, microcode serves as an intermediary layer situated between the central processing unit (CPU) hardware and the programmer-visible instruction set architecture of a computer. It consists of a set of hardware-level instructions that implement higher-level machine code instructions or control internal finite-state machine sequencing in many digital processing components. While microcode is utilized in general-purpose CPUs in contemporary desktops, it also functions as a fallback path for scenarios that the faster hardwired control unit is unable to manage.
Housed in special high-speed memory, microcode translates machine instructions, state machine data, or other input into sequences of detailed circuit-level operations. It separates the machine instructions from the underlying electronics, thereby enabling greater flexibility in designing and altering instructions. Moreover, it facilitates the construction of complex multi-step instructions, while simultaneously re