The CPU takes instructional inputs from the computer’s RAM, decodes and processes the action, before delivering an output. CPU has five main tasks: Point, Fetch, Decode, Manipulate, and Output, and each task has a specific part of the CPU that performs it. The Instruction Pointer tells the CPU where the instructions or data is stored. The Instruction Fetch retrieves the data specified by the instruction pointer. The Instruction Decoder, well, decodes the fetched instructions. The register, one of the more basic parts of memory, stores the processed data. The Arithmetic Logic Unit completes the algorithms that the instructions tell it to perform. Regulating the entire process is the Control Unit which specifies when different operations on the CPU are to be performed. To add, the CPU processes information in binary which means it stores data in bits and bytes.


The CPU functions as a kind of assembly line with each part performing a specific function, contributing to the overall power and speed of the CPU. The speed of the CPU is measured in megahertz (MHz).  A CPU has its own eternal clock which syncopated the processes it performs by generating an electronic pulse at regular intervals. The clock performs a similar function for the CPU and data circulation as a traffic lights does in regulating vehicle traffic. In addition, the CPU  has upwards of a million logic gates which are formatted in a tree graph system. Though convenient, this arrangement limits how fast the CPU can process information. The reason for this is that tree graphs become denser as more branches sprout, resulting in more heat being produced. Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel, came up with an idea, called Moore's Law, which, as noted in article, states that computer chip capabilities would double every year for the foreseeable future. Today, computer scientists believe that this increase in power will begin to slow as our cooling systems fail to cool the increasingly hot CPUs.

The CPU rest on the motherboard in a location where it intersects all buss pathways. A bus pathway is the route by which electric impulses travel, transferring information from one area of the computer to the other. The CPU’s location on the motherboard allows the CPU to efficiently communicate with the entire computer system. To learn more about the function of the motherboard, please read this article .


Intel was the first to develop a CPU; infact, the CPU was initially created for early digital calculators. Since then, Intel has nearly monopolized CPU development. However, AMD recently developed a groundbreaking CPU that proved much faster than Intel's most recent development. The speed of a CPU depends on its efficiency when performing calculations. In the case of AMD, the company developed a CPU with a shorter pipeline. A pipeline is the algorithm elaborated upon earlier, where the CPU’s component part execute specific instructions. Creating a shorter and more efficient pipeline allows for a faster CPU. Priorly, we elaborated on the standard five-step instructional algorithm, but there are many more algorithms we can use. Computer scientist are constantly searching for a new theoretical construct that would increase the overall efficiency of the computer. Without the CPU, computer components such as the Video Card would be useless.

To learn more about how CPUs work please read this article

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