3. [syn: central processing unit, CPU, C.P.U., central processor, processor, mainframe]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a business engaged in processing agricultural products and
preparing them for market
2: someone who processes things (foods or photographs or
3: (computer science) the part of a computer (a microprocessor
chip) that does most of the data processing; "the CPU and the
memory form the central part of a computer to which the
peripherals are attached" [syn: central processing unit,
CPU, C.P.U., central processor, processor,
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015):
central processing unit
(CPU, processor) The part of a
computer which controls all the other parts. Designs vary
widely but the CPU generally consists of the control unit,
the arithmetic and logic unit (ALU), registers, temporary
buffers and various other logic.
The control unit fetches instructions from memory and
decodes them to produce signals which control the other parts
of the computer. These signals cause it to transfer data
between memory and ALU or to activate peripherals to perform
input or output.
Various types of memory, including cache, RAM and ROM,
are often considered to be part of the CPU, particularly in
modern microprocessors where a single integrated circuit
may contain one or more processors as well as any or all of
the above types of memory. The CPU, and any of these
components that are in separate chips, are usually all located
on the same printed circuit board, known as the
motherboard. This in turn is located in the system unit
(sometimes incorrectly referred to as the "CPU").
A parallel computer has several CPUs which may share other
resources such as memory and peripherals.
The term "processor" has to some extent replaced "CPU", though
RAM and ROM are not logically part of the processor.
List of processors