Once the information is entered into the computer by the input device, the processor processes it. The CPU is called the brain of the computer because it is the control centre of the computer. As the CPU is located on a small chip, it is also called the microprocessor. It first fetches instructions from memory and then interprets them so as to know what is to be done. If required, data is fetched from memory or input device. Thereafter CPU executes or performs the required computation and then either stores the output or displays on the output device. The CPU has three main components which are responsible for different functions – Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) , Control Unit (CU) and Memory registers.
A central processing unit (CPU) is the electronic circuitry within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic, logical, control and input/output (I/O) operations specified by the instructions. The computer industry has used the term “central processing unit” at least since the early 1960s. Traditionally, the term “CPU” refers to a processor, more specifically to its processing unit and control unit (CU), distinguishing these core elements of a computer from external components such as main memory and I/O circuitry.
The form, design, and implementation of CPUs have changed over the course of their history, but their fundamental operation remains almost unchanged. Principal components of a CPU include the arithmetic logic unit (ALU) that performs arithmetic and logic operations, processor registers that supply operands to the ALU and store the results of ALU operations and a control unit that orchestrates the fetching (from memory) and execution of instructions by directing the coordinated operations of the ALU, registers and other components.