What is the CPU and its Functions?

It is always asked questions by computer beginners: what is CPU and its functions? As the CPU is an important part of a computer machine.

To clarify, the CPU is also known as the brain of a computer.

CPU stands for Central Processing Unit. In general language, CPU is also known as main processor, processor, computer processor.

what is cpu

What is CPU or Central Processing Unit?

As said above, it acts as a brain of a computer which contains circuits required to process the input, store data and output the result.

The CPU is a small chip consisting of a thin layer of thousands of transistors and has three (3) important components in it:

  • Memory Unit
  • Control Unit
  • Arithmetic Login Unit (ALU)

The following diagram shows how data processes from input to until output via CPU:

what are the 3 components of CPU

Memory and Storage Unit: This function can store instructions, process the data and intermediate results. All inputs from a user and output results are transmitted through the memory unit.

Control Unit (CU): CU It obtains the instructions from the memory unit, interprets them and directs the processor’s operation of the computer.

Arithmetic Login Unit (ALU): Basically, ALU performs mathematical, logical, and decision operations of a computer. This unit contains two subsections as below:

  1. Arithmetic Section: Performs arithmetic operations such as addition, subtractions, division and multiplication, etc.
  2. Logic Section: This performs logic operations like selecting, matching, comparing, or merging the data, etc.

Types of CPU

Nowadays, there are many computer processors that are available with different names along with different architectures (32-bit and 64-bit).

It also comes with different speeds and capabilities.

AMD and Intel are the most common type of CPU’s used in computer machines.

Note: Few smartphones and tablets devices use ARM CPU.

[Read: Difference between 32-bit and 64-bit Processor]

Where is the CPU Located on the Computer?

The CPU is located on a CPU socket, which is embedded on the computer motherboard inside the cabinet.

what is cpu and its functions

What is the Function of a CPU?

The main important function of a central processing unit is, from the input data, store and process data by performing mathematical and logical calculation and output data to the users.

Below are four example steps that can make you understand easily:

  1. Firstly, the CPU receives the data from input devices such as keyboard and mouse or any other.
  2. Secondly, the CPU process receives input data by performing mathematical and logical calculations
  3. As a result, CPU provides the processed data on your output device which is most probably, your Monitor screen or any other.
  4. Finally, CPU stores the processed data in the form of a cache so user can use it in the future.

How CPU function works

[Read: List of Input and Output Devices Related to Computer]

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