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What is a Central Processing Unit: How does a CPU work?

Next, you will understand the central processing unit.

When we turn on the computer, that cabinet box is known as the CPU. But, its job is not just to start computer activities, it is also responsible for maintaining functionality, running programs and other components that help ensure that you read this article, for example.

Furthermore, the CPU is responsible for external components, such as the keyboard and mouse, for typing and clicking some programs.

What this article covers:

What is a central processing unit?

The central processing unit is known by the acronym UPC. But, popularly, computer specialists call it by the English acronym, CPU, which means central processing unit. Some believe that it is the heart of a computer and mobile devices, since it is responsible for running the software and hardware.

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The focus will be on talking about the UPC that comes from computers. When it has problems, all digital equipment does. After all, it is he who will generate the main activities, being composed of an already established command.

What are its basic components?

The basic components of a UPC are: Control Unit and Arithmetic Logic Unit.

The first controls the activities of the PC through a clock, which they call a clock. The Arithmetic Logic Unit will be responsible for the machine’s algorithms and operations. That is, it will develop commands from programming.

About the clock, we will explain better below.

Central processing unit clock

It is a CPU device that generates pulses within a time interval so that no program runs out of time. The pulses are emitted in the form of a wave, so their unit of measurement is the hertz.

CPU registers

Below are some CPU registers.


Its name is accumulator, in addition to saving programming data and helping the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) to work.


The instruction register holds the binary algorithms of the current operation, already established in the machine language.


The Instruction Counter stores the record in memory for the computer to perform the next activity.


The Memory Data Logger, responsible for writing programs to memory.


Its name comes from the Memory Address Register, which links the CPU with the computer’s memory.

CPU Processor Instruction

To explain how the central processor unit performs, we need to explain how it performs the activities for which the computer works very well.

machine language

Every UPC already has a language programmed from binary codes, representing all activities to be carried out within a computer.

operation code

The operating cycle, as the name implies, is a code used to operate computer components, such as memory.

One instruction cycle

The instruction cycle is a sequence similar to that of the clock, and it searches for the program, decodes its code, loads, executes and saves its data so that when it opens again, it repeats the procedure.

Number of cores and capacity of the CPU processor

The most famous cores are 32-bit and 64-bit. The difference between the two is that the second processor can work harder and not completely damage the RAM memory. That’s why they need processor cores

Next, we will present the characteristics of the cores and capacity of the CPU.

single core cpu

It is a core, which can run one program or component at a time. Therefore, he is not good at performing various activities.

dual core cpu

The dual core, as the name implies, works twice as hard. Thus, they duplicate the activities of the processors and thus can work much more efficiently. It even has a more modern version, which we will explain below.

quad core cpu

Yes, the most modern processor core is quad-core. That is, he works four times more than the single and twice as much as the dual. It is ideal for those who like to run heavier programs, such as image editing. But it’s also ideal for those who enjoy gaming and want it to run flawlessly.

What describes processing speed?

The processing speed is counted from the instructions for an already determined time. The unit of measurement is MIPS, which stands for Millions of Instructions Per Second. However, some machines already use their own measure.

What describes processing speed

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Did you know about the Central Processing Unit? Please leave your comment here. And, keep accompanying us to learn more about information technology and its particularities.

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