I would like to know the basic design structure of computer processors. My concept of a processor is that it reads some binary data from memory, performs operations on it (according to a set of instructions, which it also reads in), and then writes the result to memory somewhere. (Is this correct?) What I'm curious about is the "performs operations on it" part. Is the "operations" section of a processor just a huge array of millions of AND, OR, NOR, etc, gates, which are invoked in a sequence dictated by the "instructions"? If that's true, could you (in principle) have a processor made out of just a single set of logic gates? If a processor is really just a chip with millions of logic gates on it, do modern microprocessors have so many gates simply so that many operations can be performed at once in parallel (to speed up computing time)? Also, if anyone can point me to a nice discussion of this aspect of computing, I'd be really grateful. Thanks!