WWS Technology Wiki

"Intel 8080" - First microprocessor in a home computer

The Central Processing Unit or CPU is the command center for the computer. It is made up of transistors, that regulate the flow and voltage of electricity that passes through them. The transistors can be conductive one minute and non-conductive the next, this allows them to control the voltage that is passed on. The transistors receive many inputs and when put together and electrically charged, it then produces a result or an output out the other side. This is how the CPU processes things and produces results. The CPU was first created by Intel in 1971. Before this, engineers used a combination of chips to process things. The first microprocessor put into a home computer was the "Intel 8080" in 1974. Integrated chips are a more modern development, and consist of a single layer of silicon that hold multiple components. The components that make up a CPU are: Execution Core, Data Bus, Adress Bus, Math Co-processor, Instruction sets/ Microcode, Multimedia extensions, Registers, Flags, Pipelining, Memory Controller, and Cache Memory.

Two units make up the CPU. The control unit is responsible for interpreting the commands sent to the computer. It then takes the necessary measures to determine where the data is stored. It is in charge of both internal and external devices operating with the computer. The arithmetic and logic unit (ALU) is where all the computations happen. If one asks the computer to perform a math problem, the circuits in the ALU carry it out. Central Processing Units are geting more and more advanced and will continue to do so in the future. The CPU is essential to the computer. Without the CPU, the Sound Card, Video Card, Optical Drive, and many of the other components would be useless.