Central processing unit

CPUprocessorprocessorsCPUscomputer processorcentral processing unitscentral processorcentral processor unitcomputer processorsmicroprocessor
A central processing unit (CPU) is the electronic circuitry within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic, logic, controlling, and input/output (I/O) operations specified by the instructions.wikipedia
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Computer

computerscomputer systemdigital computer
A central processing unit (CPU) is the electronic circuitry within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic, logic, controlling, and input/output (I/O) operations specified by the instructions.
Conventionally, a modern computer consists of at least one processing element, typically a central processing unit (CPU), and some form of memory.

Computer data storage

main memorystoragememory
Traditionally, the term "CPU" refers to a processor, more specifically to its processing unit and control unit (CU), distinguishing these core elements of a computer from external components such as main memory and I/O circuitry.
The central processing unit (CPU) of a computer is what manipulates data by performing computations.

Processor register

registersregistergeneral purpose register
Principal components of a CPU include the arithmetic logic unit (ALU) that performs arithmetic and logic operations, processor registers that supply operands to the ALU and store the results of ALU operations and a control unit that orchestrates the fetching (from memory) and execution of instructions by directing the coordinated operations of the ALU, registers and other components.
In computer architecture, a processor register is a quickly accessible location available to a computer's central processing unit (CPU).

Control unit

hardwiredhardwired controlcontrol module
Traditionally, the term "CPU" refers to a processor, more specifically to its processing unit and control unit (CU), distinguishing these core elements of a computer from external components such as main memory and I/O circuitry.
The control unit (CU) is a component of a computer's central processing unit (CPU) that directs the operation of the processor.

System on a chip

SoCsystem-on-a-chipsystem-on-chip
An IC that contains a CPU may also contain memory, peripheral interfaces, and other components of a computer; such integrated devices are variously called microcontrollers or systems on a chip (SoC).
These components typically include a central processing unit (CPU), memory, input/output ports and secondary storage – all on a single substrate.

Multi-core processor

multi-coredual-corequad-core
Some computers employ a multi-core processor, which is a single chip containing two or more CPUs called "cores"; in that context, one can speak of such single chips as "sockets".
A multi-core processor is a single computing component with two or more independent processing units called cores, which read and execute program instructions.

CPU socket

socketsocketsprocessor socket
Some computers employ a multi-core processor, which is a single chip containing two or more CPUs called "cores"; in that context, one can speak of such single chips as "sockets".
This allows for placing and replacing the central processing unit (CPU) without soldering.

Vector processor

vector processingvectorarray processor
Array processors or vector processors have multiple processors that operate in parallel, with no unit considered central. Additionally while discrete transistor and IC CPUs were in heavy usage, new high-performance designs like SIMD (Single Instruction Multiple Data) vector processors began to appear.
In computing, a vector processor or array processor is a central processing unit (CPU) that implements an instruction set containing instructions that operate on one-dimensional arrays of data called vectors, compared to scalar processors, whose instructions operate on single data items.

Software

computer softwaresoftware technologyprogram
Since the term "CPU" is generally defined as a device for software (computer program) execution, the earliest devices that could rightly be called CPUs came with the advent of the stored-program computer.
At the lowest programming level, executable code consists of machine language instructions supported by an individual processor—typically a central processing unit (CPU) or a graphics processing unit (GPU).

Mainframe computer

mainframemainframesmainframe computers
This standardization began in the era of discrete transistor mainframes and minicomputers and has rapidly accelerated with the popularization of the integrated circuit (IC).
The term originally referred to the large cabinets called "main frames" that housed the central processing unit and main memory of early computers.

Minicomputer

minicomputersmini-computermini
This standardization began in the era of discrete transistor mainframes and minicomputers and has rapidly accelerated with the popularization of the integrated circuit (IC).
When single-chip CPU microprocessors appeared, beginning with the Intel 4004 in 1971, the term "minicomputer" came to mean a machine that lies in the middle range of the computing spectrum, in between the smallest mainframe computers and the microcomputers.

Clock rate

clock speedclock frequencyclock
Most of these early synchronous CPUs ran at low clock rates compared to modern microelectronic designs.
The clock rate typically refers to the frequency at which a chip like a central processing unit (CPU), one core of a multi-core processor, is running and is used as an indicator of the processor's speed.

Von Neumann architecture

von Neumannvon Neumann bottleneckvon Neumann machine
While von Neumann is most often credited with the design of the stored-program computer because of his design of EDVAC, and the design became known as the von Neumann architecture, others before him, such as Konrad Zuse, had suggested and implemented similar ideas.
A processing unit that contains an arithmetic logic unit and processor registers

Microcode

microprogrammicroprogrammedmicroprogramming
To facilitate this improvement, IBM used the concept of a microprogram (often called "microcode"), which still sees widespread usage in modern CPUs.
Microcode is used in general-purpose central processing units, although in current desktop CPUs it is only a fallback path for cases that the faster hardwired control unit cannot handle.

Microcontroller

microcontrollersMCUmicro-controller
An IC that contains a CPU may also contain memory, peripheral interfaces, and other components of a computer; such integrated devices are variously called microcontrollers or systems on a chip (SoC).
In 2002, about 55% of all CPUs sold in the world were 8-bit microcontrollers and microprocessors.

SIMD

single instruction, multiple datasingle instruction multiple datavector instructions
Additionally while discrete transistor and IC CPUs were in heavy usage, new high-performance designs like SIMD (Single Instruction Multiple Data) vector processors began to appear.
Most modern CPU designs include SIMD instructions to improve the performance of multimedia use.

Input/output

I/Ooutputinterface
A central processing unit (CPU) is the electronic circuitry within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic, logic, controlling, and input/output (I/O) operations specified by the instructions. Traditionally, the term "CPU" refers to a processor, more specifically to its processing unit and control unit (CU), distinguishing these core elements of a computer from external components such as main memory and I/O circuitry.
In computer architecture, the combination of the CPU and main memory, to which the CPU can read or write directly using individual instructions, is considered the brain of a computer.

Harvard architecture

HarvardHarvard computer architectureHarvard memory architecture
The so-called Harvard architecture of the Harvard Mark I, which was completed before EDVAC, also used a stored-program design using punched paper tape rather than electronic memory.
These early machines had data storage entirely contained within the central processing unit, and provided no access to the instruction storage as data.

Supercomputer

high-performance computingsupercomputinghigh performance computing
These early experimental designs later gave rise to the era of specialized supercomputers like those made by Cray Inc and Fujitsu Ltd.
Through the 1960s, they began to add increasing amounts of parallelism with one to four processors being typical.

Computer program

programprogramscomputer programs
A central processing unit (CPU) is the electronic circuitry within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic, logic, controlling, and input/output (I/O) operations specified by the instructions.
Object code needs further processing to become machine code, and machine code consists of the central processing unit's native instructions, ready for execution.

Intel 4004

40044004 (MCS-4) projectfirst commercially available microprocessor (Intel 4004)
Since the introduction of the first commercially available microprocessor, the Intel 4004 in 1970, and the first widely used microprocessor, the Intel 8080 in 1974, this class of CPUs has almost completely overtaken all other central processing unit implementation methods.
The Intel 4004 is a 4-bit central processing unit (CPU) released by Intel Corporation in 1971.

Personal computer

PCPCspersonal computers
Combined with the advent and eventual success of the ubiquitous personal computer, the term CPU is now applied almost exclusively to microprocessors.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) provides the main alternative to Intel's processors.

Integrated circuit

integrated circuitsmicrochipchip
This standardization began in the era of discrete transistor mainframes and minicomputers and has rapidly accelerated with the popularization of the integrated circuit (IC). Most modern CPUs are microprocessors, meaning they are contained on a single integrated circuit (IC) chip.
In 1970, he joined Intel in order to develop the first single-chip central processing unit (CPU) microprocessor, the Intel 4004, for which he received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2010.

CPU cache

cachecache memorycaches
It largely ignores the important role of CPU cache, and therefore the access stage of the pipeline.
A CPU cache is a hardware cache used by the central processing unit (CPU) of a computer to reduce the average cost (time or energy) to access data from the main memory.

PDP-11

DEC PDP-11DEC LSI-11LSI-11
DEC's PDP-8/I and KI10 PDP-10 also switched from the individual transistors used by the PDP-8 and PDP-10 to SSI ICs, and their extremely popular PDP-11 line was originally built with SSI ICs but was eventually implemented with LSI components once these became practical.
Instead, memory was interfaced by dedicated circuitry and space in the CPU cabinet, while the Unibus continued to be used for I/O only.