What is a CPU in Computer? 

5 minute read
What is a CPU in Computer

The full form of CPU is the Central Processing Unit, which is the primary component of every computer. Think of it as its brain that acts like the control center of the computer. This is also why it is widely referred to as the central or main processor. But have you ever wondered what it is exactly and why is it necessary for your computer to function properly? Well, its complex intricacies can make anyone ponder upon such questions. In this blog, we will explore what is a CPU in a computer, its key functions, parts, types, and more. Let’s get started. 

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What is the Central Processing Unit?

The CPU is actually a processor or microprocessor of your computer. It is among the most important hardware components. Inside every CPU, there are thousands of microscopic transistors or tiny switches that help in controlling the flow of electricity through the integrated circuits. Moreover, it is also responsible for processing data, executing instructions, and performing calculations that help your computer in operating. 

To explain it in simple words, the CPU is responsible for handling the entire processing part of logical and mathematical operations. Additionally, it also looks after executing instructions as specified by the user. For this, CPUs are generally capable of executing up to millions of instructions per second. Pretty cool, right? However, it should be remembered that CPUs can carry out a single instruction at one time.

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What is the Function of the Central Processing Unit?

The CPU first receives some type of input either from a software program or a device such as a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Next, it goes on to perform the rest crucial functions such as: 

  • Receiving instructions: Firstly, the CPU receives instructions from the user and then fetches the same from its memory to corresponding instructions for that particular input. Upon identifying the address of the corresponding instruction, it then forwards the request to RAM. This constant working between RAM and CPU is known as reading from memory. 
  • Decoding or translating: Next, it decodes or translates your instructions into machine language which only the CPU can understand. 
  • Executing: Then, it executes the desired instructions as specified by the user. 
  • Storing: It also stores the result to use later as and when requested by the user. This is commonly known as writing to memory. 

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What are the Parts of the Central Processing Unit?

There are three parts of a CPU including:

1. Arithmetic and Logical Unit (ALU)

The ALU performs arithmetic and logical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, merging the data, comparing, and so on. These and other similar complex operations are performed by repetitive use of operations.

2. Control Unit

The control unit is a crucial component of the CPU. It not only directs the computer system to perform tasks but also helps it coordinate and control everything. 

3. Memory Unit

The memory unit of the CPU is also known as RAM. It acts as a temporary storage area that holds the entire data which can be accessed and used later to run the computer. It simply supplies the data to other units of the computer as required. 

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Types of CPU

Here are the different types of CPUs:

1. Single-core CPU

  • This is the oldest and most common type of CPU.
  • It can execute only one command at a time.
  • If the user runs multiple apps or software at the same time, a single-core CPU can become slow and inefficient. 

2. Dual-core CPU

  • The dual-core CPU is stronger than a single-core CPU.
  • These CPUs switch back and forth within a variable array of data streams. 
  • It is a suitable option for people who multitask. 
  • To utilize it more efficiently, the running programs and operating system should have simultaneous multi-threading technology.  

3. Quad-core CPU

  • Quad-core CPUs are among the best options for effective multitasking. 
  • It is like a chip with four independent units known as cores which are used to read and extract instructions. 
  • They divide the workload between different cores that ultimately deliver superior performance.
  • It is more commonly used by gamers who need constant multitasking. 

4. Hexa core processors

  • Hexa-core processors have six cores.
  • They are faster and more efficient than quad-core and dual-core processors.
  • Nowadays, numerous companies are launching computer systems with hexa-core processors to support heavy workloads. 

5. Octa-core processors

  • Interestingly, octa-core processors include a set of quad-core processors that divide activities between different types.
  • As the name suggests, octa-core processors come with eight independent cores that help the computer perform multiple complex tasks rapidly. 

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What is the CPU of the computer?

The CPU which is short for Central Processing Unit is a primary component of the computer. It acts as its control center and receives commands from the user, decodes or translates instructions, executes them, and then stores the result for later use. Moreover, it is an intriguing electronic circuit required to run apps and the operating system.

What are the 5 functions of the CPU?

The 5 main functions of CPUs include logical, control, arithmetic, input, and output operations. 

Why is the CPU important?

The CPU is among the most crucial components of every computer system. The more powerful your processor is, the faster and better your computer with complete its tasks. It receives and understands the instructions given and then executes them accordingly to provide users with the desired output.

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