What is Central Processing Unit and Types of CPU

Nuelson Penuel Friday, August 19, 2022 Technology



In this article, you are going to learn what is central processing unit (CPU), the various types of CPU, components of a CPU and CPU clock speed.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Central processing unit also known as processor, central processor or microprocessor performs all the major work of a computer. CPU accepts command from the hardware as well as the active software and give out result as an output respectively. Major programs like Operating system (OS) as well as application software are stored in it. CPU ensures the communication of both the input and the output devices. Due to all these characteristics CPU is usually called the brain of the computer. On the motherboard, CPU is found in a CPU socket,it can be inserted or by installation. Alongside CPU is an heatsink and fan which absorbs the heat from the CPU and cause it to disappear in order to keep it cool and function well.

Components of a Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Central Processing Unit in general is made up of three components namely: 1. Control Unit 2. Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) 3. Memory or storage unit 1. Control Unit CPU serves as the circuitry present in the control unit, it utilizes electrical signals as a command to activate the computer system in carrying out already stored instructions. It accepts commands from memory and further decodes and carry out these commands. CPU is in charge of all the parts of the computer and how they function. The major function of the control units is to maintain and control information flowing through the processor. It does not process nor store data. 2. Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) CPU carries out arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and comparisons. Also, logical operations such as selecting, comparing and merging the data are being carried out by the CPU. It is the arithmetic logic unit and may have more than one ALU. ALU can also serve as a maintenance tool for timers that help run the computer. 3. Memory or Storage Unit Memory or storage unit also known as RAM( Random Access Memory) stores data and programs for a while or temporarily. It serves as a temporary storage medium needed to run the computer.

Types of Central Processing Unit

All CPU types are built in different architecture like the 33 bit and 64 bit with maximum speed and flexible capacity. The different types of computer CPU are:

1. Single-core CPU

The single core CPU is known to be the oldest type of CPU mostly used in personal computers and other forms of computers. Unlike other versions succeeding single core, its speed of processing is slow and also performance reduces drastically when more than one task are executed concurrently. In other words, it simply means that it can only execute one command at a time and not sufficient enough for multitasking purposes. But, if there is any need to use it for for multitasking, then know that your wait time for the task's completion will be longer than expected.

2. Dual-core CPU

As the name implies, this CPU is 2x faster than the single core CPU. It supports multitasking and also has the ability to complete them in a faster way and efficiently. It is made up of two powerful cores in a single Integrated Circuit (IC) hence making it to act according to its name. Despite each of these cores has its own cache and controller, they still work together as if single due to the fact that they are linked.

3. Quad-core CPU

The Quad-core CPU is an upgrade of the Dual-core CPU. It is made up of two Dual-core processors in one Integrated Circuit (IC) hence making it to be more faster than the predecessor. In other words, it is also known as a single Integrated circuit (IC) that contains two distinct processors. This kind of CPU is mostly used by people that wants to perform or execute different applications simultaneously.

4. Hexa-core Processors

Just as the name implies, a hexa-core has six different cores installed in one Integrated Circuit (IC). In terms of speed and tasks completion, it is far faster than the predecessors. A very good example of this type of CPU is the AMD Phenom II X6 which speeds varies from 2.6 to 3.8 GHz. CPU Clock Speed The term CPU clock speed simple means the number of instructions that the CPU can process in a second. It is usually measured in gigahertz. For instance, a CPU that has a clock speed of 4.0 GHz can process 4 billion instructions in a second.

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