A Central Processing Unit is also called a processor, central processor, or microprocessor. It carries out all the important functions of a computer. It receives instructions from both the hardware and active software and produces output accordingly. It stores all important programs like operating systems and application software. CPU also helps Input and output devices to communicate with each other. Owing to these features of CPU, it is often referred to as the brain of the computer.
CPU is installed or inserted into a CPU socket located on the motherboard. Furthermore, it is provided with a heat sink to absorb and dissipate heat to keep the CPU cool and functioning smoothly.
Generally, a CPU has three components:
- ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit)
- Control Unit
- Memory or Storage Unit
Control Unit: It is the circuitry in the control unit, which makes use of electrical signals to instruct the computer system for executing already stored instructions. It takes instructions from memory and then decodes and executes these instructions. So, it controls and coordinates the functioning of all parts of the computer. The Control Unit’s main task is to maintain and regulate the flow of information across the processor. It does not take part in processing and storing data.
ALU: It is the arithmetic logic unit, which performs arithmetic and logical functions. Arithmetic functions include addition, subtraction, multiplication division, and comparisons. Logical functions mainly include selecting, comparing, and merging the data. A CPU may contain more than one ALU. Furthermore, ALUs can be used for maintaining timers that help run the computer.
Memory or Storage Unit/ Registers: It is called Random access memory (RAM). It temporarily stores data, programs, and intermediate and final results of processing. So, it acts as a temporary storage area that holds the data temporarily, which is used to run the computer.