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Jinal Panchal Kunal Sneha Nair Rhea Parag Phad - 41

Abbreviation of central processing unit, and pronounced as separate letters. The CPU is the brains of the computer. Sometimes referred to simply as the processor or central processor, the CPU is where most calculations take place. In terms of computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system. On large machines, CPUs require one or more printed circuit boards. On personal computers and small workstations, the CPU is housed in a single chip called a microprocessor.

Basic CPU Components

The CPU consists of The control unit which controls all operations of the computer system. The arithmetic and logic unit which performs arithmetic and logical operations. Arithmetic operations involve the general mathematical calculations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Logical operations involve comparisions like > < = etc. Registers which hold temporary data for a specific purpose or function. Interface which communicate with external memory, I/O units, and possibly other CPUs.


The rate of speed that the processor executes commands is measured by clock speed, or often called MHz (megahertz). The processor requires a fixed number of clock cycles to perform each instruction. The faster the clock speed, the more instructions it can execute. Thus resulting in a faster running computer system.

Listed below are some of the more common processors and clock speed on the market today.
Name of CPU Intel Celeron Intel Pentium II Intel Pentium III Intel Pentium III Xeon Intel Pentium 4 AMD K6-II AMD K6-III AMD Duron AMD Athlon K-7 AMD Athlon XP Macintosh G3 Macintosh G4 CPU Speed 500 MHz - 800 MHz 233 MHz - 450 MHz 450 MHz - 1 GHz 600 MHz - 1 GHz 1.4 GHz - 2 GHz 550 MHz 450 MHz 750 MHz -850 MHz 1 GHz - 1.33 GHz 1.4 GHz - 1.8 GHz 466 MHz - 733 MHz 733 MHz


Obsolete CPUs
1. Intel Celeron 266 - 533 MHz. 2. Intel Pentium II 233 - 450 MHz 3. AMD K6-2 266 - 550 MHz 4. VIA Cyrix III 553 - 667 MHz 5. AMD K6-3 400 and 450 MHz 6. Cyrix MII 7. Pentium 8. AMD K6 9. Cyrix 686

The arithmetic-logic unit (ALU) performs all arithmetic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) and logic operations. Logic operations test various conditions encountered during processing and allow for different actions to be taken based on the results. The data required to perform the arithmetic and logical functions are inputs from the designated CPU registers and operands. The ALU relies on basic items to perform its operations. These include number systems, data routing circuits (adders/subtracters), timing, instructions, operands, and registers.

Typically, the ALU has direct input and output access to the processor controller, main memory (random access memory or RAM in a personal computer), and input/output devices. Inputs and outputs flow along an electronic path that is called a bus. The input consists of an instruction word (sometimes called a machine instruction word) that contains an operation code (sometimes called an "op code"), one or more operands, and sometimes a format code.
The operation code tells the ALU what operation to perform and the operands are used in the operation. (For example, two operands might be added together or compared logically.) The format may be combined with the op code and tells, for example, whether this is a fixed-point or a floating-point instruction. The output consists of a result that is placed in a storage register and settings that indicate whether the operation was performed successfully. (If it isn't, some sort of status will be stored in a permanent place that is sometimes called the machine status word.)

Control Unit The control unit maintains order within the computer system and directs the flow of traffic (operations) and data.

The control unit directs the entire computer system to carry out stored program instructions. The control unit must communicate with both the arithmetic logic unit and main memory. The control unit uses the instruction contained in the Instruction Register to decide which circuits need to be activated. The control unit co-ordinates the activities of the other two units as well as all peripheral and auxiliary storage devices linked to the computer. The control unit instructs the arithmetic logic unit which arithmetic operations or logical operation is to be performed. The control unit is literally in control.

How the CPU works The CPU is centrally located on the motherboard. Since the CPU carries out a large share of the work in the computer, data pass continually through it. The data come from the RAM and the units (keyboard, drives, etc.). After processing, the data is sent back to the RAM and the units. The CPU continually receives instructions to be executed. Each instruction is a data processing order. The work itself consists mostly of calculations and data transport.


The Instruction-Execution Cycle Many types of personal computers can execute instructions in less than one-millionth of a second; supercomputers can execute instructions in less than one-billionth of a second. The CPU performs four steps in executing an instruction: 1. The control unit gets the instruction from memory. 2. The control unit decides what the instruction means and directs the necessary data to be moved from the memory to the arithmetic logic unit. 3. The arithmetic logic unit performs the actual operation on the data. 4. The result of the operation is stored in memory or a register.

The first two instructions make up what is called the instruction time. The last two instructions make up what is called the execution time. The combination of these two is called a machine cycle. 11

Each central processing unit has an internal clock (or system clock), which produces pulses at a fixed rate to synchronise all computer operations. A single machine cycle instruction is made up of a number of subinstructions, each of which must take at least one clock cycle. Each type of CPU is designed to understand a specific group of instruction called the instruction set.

How the CPU finds Instructions and Data The location in memory for each instruction and each piece of data is identified by an address, or a number that stands for a location in the computer memory. An address may be compared to a mailbox in everyday life, except that the address can hold only one item - a fixed amount of data, a number or a word - at any one time. 12

The following is an example of a simple case of adding two numbers together and placing the result in a location X. The command executed is - Let X = N1 + N2.


The computer may contain several types of buses (all located on the motherboard). Some of the more common buses found are: CPU bus or 'system' bus. An address bus Memory bus I/O or Expansion Bus ISA Bus PCI Bus Micro Channel Bus EISA Bus External Buses (Can have external cables connecting devices) SCSI Bus PC Card Bus USB Bus


The Processor Bus: This is the highest-level bus that the chipset uses to send information to and from the processor. The Cache Bus: Higher-level architectures, such as those used by the Pentium Pro and Pentium II, employ a dedicated bus for accessing the system cache. This is sometimes called a backside bus. Conventional processors using fifth-generation motherboards and chipsets have the cache connected to the standard memory bus. The Memory Bus: This is a second-level system bus that connects the memory subsystem to the chipset and the processor. In some systems the processor and memory buses are basically the same thing.


The Local I/O Bus: This is a high-speed input/output bus used for connecting performance-critical peripherals to the memory, chipset, and processor. For example, video cards, disk storage devices, high-speed networks interfaces generally use a bus of this sort. The two most common local I/O buses are the VESA Local Bus (VLB) and the Peripheral Component Interconnect Bus (PCI).

The Standard I/O Bus: Connecting to the above three buses is the "good old" standard I/O bus, used for slower peripherals (mice, modems, regular sound cards, low-speed networking) and also for compatibility with older devices. On almost all modern PCs this is the Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) bus.


All buses are located on the motherboard with the exception of the External buses. External buses connect to standard ISA or PCI expansion slots via a controller/adapter card. This card acts as an interface between the ISA/PCI bus architecture. The cables connected to the adapter/controller card are actually considered as the bus. Thus the 50 pin cable connecting SCSI devices to the controller is the actual bus. There is a new bus called the "Universal Serial Bus" that fits into this category. The difference is that this bus connects directly to the system bus on the motherboard.



A motherboard is the physical arrangement in a computer that contains the computer's basic circuitry and components. On the typical motherboard, the circuitry is imprinted or affixed to the surface of a firm planar surface and usually manufactured in a single step. The computer components included in the motherboard are: The microprocessor (Optionally) coprocessors Memory BIOS Expansion slots Interconnecting circuitry Additional components can be added to a motherboard through its expansion slots. The electronic interface between the motherboard and the smaller boards or cards in the expansion slots is called the bus.

A microprocessor is a computer processor on a microchip. It's sometimes called a logic chip. It is the "engine" that goes into motion when you turn the computer on. A microprocessor is designed to perform arithmetic and logic operations that make use of small numberholding areas called registers. Typical microprocessor operations include adding, subtracting, comparing two numbers, and fetching numbers from one area to another. These operations are the result of a set of instructions that are part of the microprocessor design. When the computer is turned on, the microprocessor is designed to get the first instruction from the basic input/output system (BIOS) that comes with the computer as part of its memory. After that, either the BIOS, or the operating system that BIOS loads into computer memory, or an application program is "driving" the microprocessor, giving it instructions to perform.

A microchip (sometimes just called a "chip") is a unit of packaged computer circuitry (usually called an integrated circuit) that is manufactured from a material such as silicon at a very small scale. Microchips are made for program logic (logic or microprocessor chips) and for computer memory (memory or RAM chips).


A special-purpose processing unit that assists the CPU in performing certain types of operations.

For example, a math coprocessor performs mathematical computations, particularly floating-point operations. Math coprocessors are also called numeric and floating-point coprocessors. Most computers come with a floating-point coprocessors built in. Note, however, that the program itself must be written to take advantage of the coprocessor. If the program contains no coprocessor instructions, the coprocessor will never be utilized. In addition to math coprocessors, there are also graphics coprocessors for manipulating graphic images. These are often called accelerator boards.

A computer requires a memory to store and retrieve instructions and data. There are a variety of storage devices including semiconductor memories and magnetic memories. Generally, the term memory refers to only the small integrated circuits called chips, which are used as a computer's internal memory.


An opening in a computer where a circuit board can be inserted to add new capabilities to the computer. Nearly all personal computers (except portables) contain expansion slots for adding more memory, graphics capabilities, and support for special devices. The boards inserted into the expansion slots are called expansion boards, expansion cards , cards , add-ins , and add-ons.


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