Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » C »

CPU - Central Processing Unit

CPU (pronounced as separate letters) is the abbreviation for central processing unit.

Sometimes referred to simply as the central processor, but more commonly called processor, the CPU is the brains of the computer where most calculations take place. In terms of computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system.

WEBOPEDIA QUICK FACT
The world's first CPU was introduced by Intel in 1971. The Intel 4004 was a 4-bit CPU, clocked at 740 KHz and capable of executing up to 92,600 instructions per second. Five months after the Intel 4004, the Intel 8008 was introduced. This was the world's first 8-bit microprocessor.

On large machines, the CPU requires one or more printed circuit boards. On personal computers and small workstations, the CPU is housed in a single chip called a microprocessor. Since the 1970's the microprocessor class of CPUs has almost completely overtaken all other CPU implementations.

The CPU itself is an internal component of the computer. Modern CPUs are small and square and contain multiple metallic connectors or pins on the underside. The CPU is inserted directly into a CPU socket, pin side down, on the motherboard.

Each motherboard will support only a specific type (or range) of CPU, so you must check the motherboard manufacturer's specifications before attempting to replace or upgrade a CPU in your computer. Modern CPUs also have an attached heat sink and small fan that go directly on top of the CPU to help dissipate heat.

Two typical components of a CPU are the following:


Top 5 CPU Related Questions

1.What is clock speed?
2. What is CPU socket?
3. What is register?
4. What is motherboard?
5.What is dual-core?






';
TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
DID YOU KNOW?
Hype Versus Action in the Developer's World

Often times technologies start as hype but with time become adopted. As a developer or technologist, it is worth reading the hype and knowing the... Read More »

Microsoft Hyper-V Network Virtualization Q&A

The top 5 Hyper-V questions with answers provided by Nirmal Sharma, a MCSEx3, MCITP and Microsoft MVP in Directory Services. Read More »

Storage Trends: Solid State and Software Defined

Solid state drives and software defined storage are two leading trends in the rapidly growing storage market.  Read More »

QUICK REFERENCE
How to Create a Desktop Shortcut to a Website

Creating desktop shortcuts to a websites is useful. When you double-click the icon from your desktop it automatically launches the browser and... Read More »

Flash Data Storage Vendor Trends

Although it is almost impossible to keep up with the pace of ongoing product releases, here are three recent highlights in the flash data storage... Read More »

15 Important Big Data Facts for IT Professionals

Keeping track of big data trends, research and statistics gives IT professionals  a solid foundation to plan big data projects. Here are 15... Read More »