The full form of CPU is Central Processing Unit. It is a small piece of hardware that processes all the instructions of a computer program. It handles all the important functions of a computer system such as arithmetic, logical, and input/output operations.
CPUs are built in such a way that billions of micro transistors can be housed in a single computer chip. With the help of these transistors, all the calculations required to run the program stored in the system’s memory are done.
The CPU is also called the brain of the computer because – all the instructions, no matter how simple, all have to pass through the CPU itself. For example, if you type a letter like L, it appears on the screen. The CPU has a hand in displaying it in the screen.
For this reason the CPU is also called the Central Processor Unit, and for short it is called the processor. So, when you are looking up the technical specifications of a device in an electronic store, the processor specification that is there is the CPU.
When we talk about CPU, by this we mean its speed. Like how quickly he completes all the functions. We only need speed in doing our work, the sooner our work is processed, the sooner we are able to do any new work easily.
As our instructions become complex such as 3D animations, editing video files, etc., we need a better CPU. Therefore, speed has been the most important reason behind all technological advances in processor technology.
We know CPU by many names such as processor, central processor, or microprocessor etc. It processes whatever instructions it receives from its software and hardware, no matter how small. So it is a very important part of the computer.
One thing that becomes increasingly important in all advances in CPU technology is how transistors can be made smaller and smaller. This is because it can make those CPUs more efficient and increase their speed by many folds.
How CPU Works
You need to know what the CPU does. Although we already know that the work that the CPU does is very important, now we will know how this CPU works. Since the origin of the CPU, many such improvements have been made to it over the years.
Despite so many improvements, the core function of the CPU is still the same. Its basic functions are fetching, decode and execute. Let us know about them in detail.
As the word suggests, instruction is received in it. This instruction refers to the series of numbers that go from RAM to CPU. Each instruction is a small part of an operation, so the CPU must know which instruction is coming next. The current instruction address is kept by the program counter (PC).
Then the PC and the instructions are placed in the Instruction Register (IR). After that the length of the pc is increased so that it can be referenced at the address of the next instruction.
Once the instruction is received and stored in the IR, the CPU passes that instruction to a circuit called the instruction decoder. It then converts that instruction into signals which are then passed on for further action by parts of other CPUs.
This is the final stage, in which the decoded instructions are sent to complete the respective parts of the CPU. The results are then often written to a CPU register, where they can be referred to by instructions later. Here you can think of them as the memory function of your calculator.
Components of CPU
What are the components of the CPU and what do they do? By the way, there are three main components of the CPU.
- Memory या Storage Unit
- Control Unit
- ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit)
Type of CPU
As we know the computer CPU (abbreviated as Central Processing Unit) is a very important component that handles all the instructions and calculations to be sent from other computer components and peripherals. The speed at which software programs work also depends on the CPU, and how powerful they are.
Therefore it is important that you choose the right CPU so that it can handle all the tasks according to your need. Right now the two largest CPU manufacturers in the whole world are Intel and AMD, which have their own types of CPUs.
Single core CPU
Single core CPUs are the oldest types of computer CPUs available and were the first to use this type of CPU.
In single-core CPUs, only one operation can be performed at a time, so they are not the right choice for multitasking. Whenever the user wants to run more than one application, their performance degrades very quickly.
If you want to run another application, you have to wait for the first one to finish. Otherwise, the first operation will be very slow. In this type of CPU, the performance of the computer mostly depends on the clock speed and which is also the measure of power.
A dual-core CPU is a single CPU but it has two cores and hence works like two CPUs.
Whereas in single-core CPUs the processor has to switch back and forth across different sets of data streams if more operations are to be performed, whereas dual-core CPUs can handle multitasking very comfortably and too efficiently.
To get the most out of dual-core, it is very important to have a special code written in both the operating system and the program running in it, which is called SMT (Simultaneous Multi-threading Technology). Dual-core CPUs are faster than single core but not like quad-core CPUs.
Quad Core CPU
Quad-core CPUs are a further refinement of the multi-core CPU design and feature four cores in a single CPU. Just as a dual-core CPU splits the workload into two cores, a quad-core can perform even larger multitasking tasks. This does not mean that a single operation will be four times faster.
This is possible only by having an SMT code. The speed is not very noticeable in these CPUs. But yes, if users have to do many heavy tasks like video editing, games, and animations at once, then these CPUs are going to be useful for them.
What is Hyper-Threading?
Some CPUs generate capacity for more cores by virtualizing their common physical cores. This process is called hyper threading. For example, using a single core and virtualizing it like a dual-core. Due to this, despite being single core, dual core work can be done.
Virtualization means that a CPU that has only one core starts working as a dual core. Here additional cores mean having separate threads. But here it should be known that the physical core performs much better than the virtual core.
What is multithreading?
Here the thread is considered as the core. Let’s say you can consider a single thread as a single piece of a computer process. Whereas multithreading means processing more threads simultaneously.
Meaning that in a single CPU more instructions are understood and processed at the same time. With this, the CPU core can process more work simultaneously. Due to this the computing speed increases greatly.
How is the CPU visible and where is it located?
A modern CPU is usually small and square in shape, with many short, rounded, metallic connectors on the bottom. But some older CPUs have pins in place of metallic connectors.
CPUs attach directly to the CPU “socket” (or sometimes a “slot”) that is located on the motherboard. The CPU is inserted into the socket pin-side-down, and a small lever helps to secure that processor.
Since the CPU has to do many processes simultaneously, these modern CPUs become hot most of the time due to running for some time. Therefore, to remove this heat, it is necessary to attach a heat sink and a fan directly to the top of the CPU. Usually, it comes bundled with the CPU which you must buy.
Talking about other advanced cooling options, you can use water cooling kits. While installing these CPUs, take special care of them because its pins are very sophisticated.
CPU Clock Speed?
The clock speed of any processor is called the number of instructions a processor can process in a second. It is measured in gigahertz (GHz).
For example, if the clock speed of a CPU is 1 Hz then it means that it processes only one instruction in a second. Whereas if the clock speed of a CPU is 3.0 GHz then it can process 3 billion instructions in a second.