What Do You Mean By Processor?


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Rebecca Hunt answered
A processor, or central processing unit (CPU), is the section of the computer system that carries out all of the instructions of a computer program. It is the primary element of the computer that carries out the functions of the computer or other processing devices. Each instruction of the program is carried out in sequence and the CPU carries out a number of arithmetical, logical and input/output operations of the system. The CPU can be described as the 'brains' of the computer.

  • The control unit.
The control unit contains the circuitry that uses electric signals to direct the whole computer system to carry out certain stored program instructions. Rather than executing the program instructions itself, it directs other parts of the system to do so. In order for the control unit to be most efficient, it must communicate with both the arithmetic/logic unit and the memory. CPUs can either be produced to be discrete transistor and integrated circuits CPUs or microprocessors.
  • Operation.
The fundamental operation across all types of CPUs is the same - to carry out the instructions of a computer program. The program that needs to be carried out is represented by a series of numbers that are kept in a computer memory. Within the operation of central processing units, there are four steps that are used. These steps are fetching, decoding, executing and write back. This is a process that is repeated and within the next cycle, the next in sequence is fetched because of the incremented value in the program counter.

While the physical appearance of a processor can vary across computers and models, the fundamental operation of them is the same. Without a CPU, computers would be unable to run the programs that are implemented onto them, they would not function without the 'brains'.

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