What is The Central Processing Unit (CPU)?

 In Technology

The central processing unit (CPU) is also known as the processor. The CPU is the most main part of the computer system.

It is the part of the computer system that takes and executes given the instructions.

In this article, we have covered the basic information about the central processing unit.

We will also see some history of the CPU, features of the CPU, components of the CPU in the article.

So let’s start knowing more about the central processing units.

What is the central processing unit (CPU)?

The CPU is also known as the main processor or the central processor, or you can call it just a processor.

The central processing unit executes the instruction using the electronic circuit. The instructions can be anything to perform the task like a computer program.

Using the computer program you can guide the CPU to perform the task, and the CPU will execute it.

The CPU is capable to perform/executes the basic arithmetic logic, controlling or input/output operation as instructed into the computer program.

The central processing unit contains a minimum of one processor, but nowadays, it is normal/common to have a minimum of two processors for a single CPU.

The CPU has two processors called a Dual-core central processing unit. and CPU having four processors called a Quad-core CPU.

following are some of the CPU names with the processor counts.

  • CPU with 2 Processor – Dual-core CPU
  • CPU with 4 Processor – Quad-core CPU
  • CPU with 6 Processor – Hexa-core CPU
  • CPU with 8 Processor – Octa-core CPU

Each computer system contains a minimum of one CPU, but nowadays you can connect two CPUs. We can take an example of the server with the two Hexa-Core CPUs that have 12 Processors.

History: Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Before the invention of the CPU, computers are wired together to perform various tasks. From the year, 1955 the term “central processing unit” has been in use.

On the 21 June of the year 1948, the “Manchester Baby” ran its first stored program, and in the June of the year 1949, the “Manchester Mark” ran its first program.

The design complexity of CPUs improved as various technologies helped to build smaller and more reliable electronic devices. The first such development began with the arrival of the transistor.

As the many technologies helped in the building of smaller and more reliable electronic devices, the more complexity in the design of CPUs increased.

The first commercial microprocessor introduced by Intel in 1971 was named Intel 4004, the Intel 4004 is the 4-bit central processing unit.

Features of the Central Processing Unit

Following are the features of the Central Processing Unit (CPU)

  • CPU is popularly known as the brain of the computer
  • All types of data processing operations performed by CPU
  • CPU stores data and instructions/program
  • CPU is responsible to control all part operations of the computer.

Components of the Central Processing Unit

Following are the Component of the CPU

  • Memory or Storage Unit
  • Control Unit
  • Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU)

Memory or Storage Unit

Memory or Storage Unit is also known as the primary memory, internal storage, main storage, Random Access Memory (RAM), and many more.

Memory is the main part of the computer system that takes the instructions and data for processing. Though the memory is closely connected with the central processing unit, it is separated from the CPU.

The Memory is used to store the data or program instructions, but memory stores it as long as the program they concern with is in operation.

Memory splits/divides into the two general categories Random Access Memory and Read-Only Memory.

Control Unit

The Control Unit of the central processing unit contains a circuit, which is used an electric signal to direct the complete computer system to carry out or execute, stored program guidance.

The Control is the director, which itself does not execute the program, but rather direct other parts of the system to do so.

The control unit communicates with the memory and arithmetic logic unit.

Arithmetic Logic Unit

The arithmetic logic unit is a reason behind the digital circuit that accountable to performs some operations like arithmetic and bitwise operation with integer binary numbers

ALU responsible to perform the four operations like addition, subtraction, division, and logic operations like OR and AND.

Types of Central Processing Unit

Before the introduction of the Intel Pentium processor, the number of processors used to identify how fast was the processor, if the number is greater then the processor is fast.

If we take the example of Intel, the Intel 80486 (486) and 80386 (386) then here the processor 486 is faster than the processor 386, as the number 486 is greater than the 386.

After the introduction of the Intel Pentium processor, all processors start to use names like Athlon, Duron, Pentium, and Celeron.

Today there are different types of architecture like 32-bit and 64-bit, speed, capability in addition to the various names of the processor.

Could a Computer work Without a CPU?

No, All computers require a minimum of one central processing unit (CPU)

Can we use GPU in a place of CPU?

No, The GPU in comparison to the CPU, though GPU can do many same things as the CPU, it cannot perform functions required by some operating systems and software.

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