Understanding Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Variation A

The part in a digital computer capable of executing
a program. It interprets commands in the computer
program and processes data accordingly. A CPU
that's made as a single integrated circuit
is usually known as a microprocessor.

Variation B

The group of circuits that controls the entire
computer system by

(i) interpreting and executing program instruction

(ii) coordinating the interplay of input, output,
and storage devices.

Variation C

The CPU is the brains of the computer. Sometimes
referred to simply as the processor or central
processor, the CPU is where most calculations take
place. In terms of computing power, the CPU is the
most critical element of a computer system.
On large machines, CPUs need one or more printed
circuit boards. On personal computers and small
workstations, the CPU is housed in a single chip
called a microprocessor.

Two typical elements of a CPU are:

The arithmetic logic unit (ALU), which executes
arithmetic and logical operations.
The control unit (CU), which extracts instructions
from memory and decodes and performs them, calling
on the ALU when necessary.

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