We explain what a CPU is and some of its primary functions. Also, features, parts, and the language it uses.
What is a CPU?
CPU is the abbreviation for Central Processing Unit, an essential component of any device that processes data and performs mathematical-computer calculations.
The CPU provides the programming capability and, along with memory and input/output devices, is one of the components in the history of computers. Over time, single-chip microprocessors replaced CPUs; usually, when referring to this term, we are talking about microprocessors.
Some of the essential functions of the CPU are to collect information, decode it into smaller parts, and carry out instructions, which it executes.
What is a CPU for?
The CPU is the fundamental piece of every device; it is considered the brain of a system.
First, it is in charge of receiving and interpreting data and executing the sequence of instructions to be carried out by each program using arithmetic and mathematical operations. The CPU analyzes all the data from the device, both from the programs and the information the user sends through applications.
In addition, it controls the proper functioning of each component of the system so that all actions are carried out promptly.
Characteristics of a CPU
Specific characteristics differentiate one CPU from another:
- Energy consumption. It refers to the amount of energy consumed by the CPU when executing actions; the higher the quality, the higher the energy consumption.
- Clock frequency. It refers to the clock speed that the CPU has and determines the number of actions it can execute in a period.
- Several cores. The greater the number of seats, the greater the number of actions that can be performed simultaneously.
- Several threads. It helps the processor handle and executes actions more efficiently. Divide tasks or processes to optimize waiting times between one step and the other.
- Cache. It stores data and allows quick access to it. The speed and capacity of the stock improve the performance of the device.
- Bus type. It refers to the communication established by the CPU with the rest of the system.
A CPU is internally composed of the following components:
- Nucleus. The base unit constitutes a CPU, which interprets and executes actions. Originally the processors only had one (single core), but currently, the minimum is two.
- Control unit. A digital circuit retrieves the instruction from memory, decrypts it, and executes it.
- Logical arithmetic unit. It is a digital circuit that performs logical, mathematical, and arithmetic operations on data.
Floating point unit. It is a component specialized in the calculation of floating point operations.
- Cache. It is the memory in which the data the user consults frequently is stored; this allows the processor to gain speed.
- Records. It is a high-speed memory that allows one to control and store the instructions in execution.
Memory controller. It is a circuit that can be integrated into the processor and regulates the data flow between the processor and the memory.
- Bus. It is a digital system that sends and receives data between components.
Graphic card. It is the component that processes the video and image data, which may or may not be included in the CPU.
CPUs are classified according to the number of cores in:
- Single core. Only one body in the processor can perform one action at a time, the oldest type of processor.
Two core. Two cores allow more than one action to be performed simultaneously.
- Quad-core. Four independent cores allow several actions to be carried out simultaneously and are usually more efficient processors than those with two hearts.
The language of the CPU is a system of codes through which the instructions that the processor must execute for the correct operation of the device are communicated.
The processors do not interpret any information written in binary form, th the characters zero and one. Each program or application comprises a chain of instructions written in this code, which are correctly interpreted by the machine.