CPU (pronounced as separate letters) is the abbreviation for central processing unit.
Sometimes referred to simply as the central processor, but more commonly called processor, the CPU is the brains of the computer where most calculations take place. In terms of computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system.
Printed Circuit Boards
On large machines, the CPU requires one or more printed circuit boards. On personal computers and small workstations, the CPU is housed in a single chip called a microprocessor. Since the 1970’s the microprocessor class of CPUs has almost completely overtaken all other CPU implementations.
The CPU itself is an internal component of the computer. Modern CPUs are small and square and contain multiple metallic connectors or pins on the underside. The CPU is inserted directly into a CPU socket, pin side down, on the motherboard.
Each motherboard will support only a specific type (or range) of CPU, so you must check the motherboard manufacturer’s specifications before attempting to replace or upgrade a CPU in your computer. Modern CPUs also have an attached heat sink and small fan that go directly on top of the CPU to help dissipate heat.
Components of a CPU
Two typical components of a CPU are the following:
The arithmetic logic unit (ALU), which performs arithmetic and logical operations.
The control unit (CU), which extracts instructions from memory and decodes and executes them, calling on the ALU when necessary.
- cache coherence
(cash cōhēr´&ns) (n.) A protocol for managing the caches of a multiprocessor system so that no data is lost or overwritten before the data is transferred from a cache to the target memory. When two or more computer processors work together on a single program, known as multiprocessing, each processor may have its own memory […]
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(1) A small hand-held computer that performs mathematical calculations. Some calculators even permit simple text editing and programming. (2) A program on a computer that simulates a hand-held calculator. Calculator programs let you perform simple math calculations without leaving the computer. The Apple Macintosh comes with a calculator desk accessory. Likewise, Microsoft Windows includes a […]
A program that enables you to record events and appointments on an electronic calendar. Computer calendars act like datebooks, but they have several advantages over traditional datebooks: automatic entries for regular events: You can specify, for example, that the first Thursday of every month is bridge night, and the calendar program will automatically fill in […]
On an iPod or iPhone calibrate is the term used to describe the act of running the battery all the way down (full discharge) and then charging it all the way up to full again.