What is CPU?

CPU alternately referred to as a processor, central processor, or microprocessor for a Computer. A computer’s CPU handles all instructions it receives from hardware and software running on the computer. The CPU is often referred to as the brain of the computer. However, it is more appropriate to refer to software as the brain and the CPU as a very efficient calculator. A CPU is really good with numbers, but if it wasn’t for the software it wouldn’t know how to do anything else.

Many new computer users may improperly call their computer and sometimes their monitor the CPU. When referring to your computer or monitor, it is proper to refer to them as either the “computer” or “monitor” and not a CPU. The CPU is a chip within the computer.

The term processor is used interchangeably with the term central processing unit (CPU), although strictly speaking, the CPU is not the only processor in a computer. The GPU (graphics processing unit) is the most notable example but the hard drive and other devices within a computer also perform some processing independently. Nevertheless, the term processor is generally understood to mean the CPU.

In the CPU, the primary components are the ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit) that performs mathematical, logical, and decision operations and the CU (Control Unit) that directs all of the processor’s operations.

Today, in addition to the different names of computer processors, there are different architectures (32-bit and 64-bit), speeds, and capabilities. Below is a list of the more common types of CPUs for home or business computers.

Some mobile devices, like tablets and smartphones, use ARM CPUs. These CPUs are smaller in size, require less power, and generate less heat.

 

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