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The Central Processing Unit (Cpu) Essay

1601 words - 6 pages

The Central Processing Unit (CPU)What exactly is a CPU? If you opened up a Mainframe or a Supercomputer the answer you would get could surprise you. These machines hav lots of printed circuit boardsheld in framed cases and connected by endless metres of cables to form their CPUs.Looking into a PC is much simpler - you can find an identifiable chip as the CPU. Another surprise is that, for all their physical differences the CPUs of both PCs and Supercomputers have in common.The Operation of the CPUEvery processor has its own set of instructions (instruction set) that it can recognize and execute. These instructions are low-level instructions, such as add, subtract, multiply and divide. They work directly with the processor and communicate with the basic capabilities of the processor.Data and sequences of instructions (known as programs) are stored in memory. The working part of the computer is the CPU which is separate from memory.Instructions and data is transferred from memory into the CPU. When they get there thew CPU actually has to carry out the instructions and processes the data.The CPU deals with each instruction in a series of steps - these steps repeated fro every instruction that it gets processed so the series of steps is called a 'cycle'. The cycle os called the machine cycle. Each machine cycle involves Fetching an instruction from memory, decoding an instruction, transferring data and executing the instruction.As you can see the machine cycle is not a simple one-step process. This means that the CPU cannot be simple, one component device.Components of the CPUAl CPUs are divided into parts that do specific jobs. These parts are actually made up of many components but, for the sake of simplicity, we are going to pretend that they are single devices. The main components of the CPU are the Control Unit (CU) Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) registers cache.Level of instructionsHigh-Level languageMore Basic LevelMachine instructionsThe control unitThe control unit is one of the most important parts of the microprocessor because it is in charge of the entire process. The control unit performs its job by repeating what is called the machine cyclce.The CU is responsible for fetching and decoding instructions from memory and then carrying out the instructions. It creates control signals that tell the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) and the registers how to operate, what to operate on, and what to do with the result. The Control Unit makes sure everything happens in the right place ate the right time.If an instruction involves maths or comparisons it sends the instructions to the ALU which does the job.Arithmetic logic unitThe ALU is responsible for all the mathematical and logical (comparative and decision making) aspects of the computer's operation.RegistersA register is a storage area within the CPU.Both the CU and ALU contain registers. Registers are used to hold the addresses of instructions...

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