Meaning of CPU

What is CPU:

CPU is the acronym for Central Processing Unittranslated into Spanish as the central processing unit of an electronic device, such as a computer, a mobile phone, a tablet, a video game console, etc.

The CPU is a board or chip that is integrated into the motherboard, and contains all the essential circuits for the operation of the electronic device that contains it.

The function of the CPU is to process all the logical and arithmetic operations that the device requires, in order to execute the action desired by the user.

Computers can have more than one CPU, such as multicore processors (multi-core processors) that integrate two CPUs on a single chip. It is also the case of formatted computers, which incorporate more than one CPU to speed up their information processing power.

The size of the CPU has decreased considerably from previous models, which is why it is also known as a microprocessor.

It is a mistake to use the acronym CPU to refer to the tower, case or case of the desktop computer. The tower is not the central processing unit but the place where all the important components are located, including your motherboard and CPU.

What is the CPU for?

CPU, macro image of a central processing unit

The central processing unit is used to “read” and execute the instructions of the programs installed on the computer, telephone or other electronic device.

This process is carried out in four phases:

  • Search: The CPU searches RAM for the data it requires to execute the instruction.
  • decoding: the data is analyzed to understand what the instruction is about.
  • Execution: the decoded instructions are executed. It is when the program “runs”.
  • Writing: The opposite occurs than in the search process. The data is reloaded, but this time from the CPU to memory.
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What are the components of the CPU?

A central processing unit is composed of:

  • Control unit: it is the part of the CPU in charge of looking for the instructions in the main memory of the device, interpreting the data and sending them to the processing unit for execution.
  • process unit: here the instructions received by the control unit are executed through the arithmetic logic unit (ALU) that performs basic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, logic functions, sign changes, etc.
  • Input and output bus: It is the system in charge of transferring the data through all the components of the CPU.
  • Cache: it is the part of the CPU where the files that are used frequently by the user are saved, which allows them to be accessed quickly.

CPU Features

Regardless of their type, CPUs have a number of characteristics that determine their performance and functionality:

Number of threads

Threads are program instructions that are responsible for executing several processes simultaneously, preventing the computer’s performance from being affected.

They are often confused with kernels, since these also allow the execution of multiple tasks. However, threads function as part of software, while cores are physical components of the processor.

Usually, for each core there are two threads.

Number of cores

The more cores, the more tasks the CPU can execute and the faster it can do them.

Energy consumption

CPU power consumption is measured in watts (W) and the higher the capacity of the CPU, the higher the power consumption.

clock frequency

It is a measure of CPU power and is measured in Mhz or Ghz. It is classified into two types:

  • base frequency: The minimum power required by the computer to perform basic tasks, such as power on/off, operation of the operating system, etc.
  • turbo frequency: power necessary for the execution of complex processes, such as video games, for example.
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See also:

  • Motherboard.
  • Microprocessor.