What is a CPU?
While computers have become a part of everyday life, few really know how they work. A CPU is a key component of a computer and a term that is heard often, but how many know what it actually stands for, let alone what it does?
What is a CPU?
CPU is an acronym for a central processing unit, which is considered to be the brains of a computer. The CPU is the most important part of a computer of any size. It controls everything from the operating system and software to games and hardware. The CPU is housed in the computer's motherboard and is responsible for instructing the computer what to do and when, such as connect to the Internet and write documents. It performs all analytical, computational and logical functions that occur within computers.The CPU interprets instructions from each program and piece of hardware and processes the data.
What are CPU Speeds?
CPU speed accounts for the amount of cycles that a CPU performs per second, which controls how quickly it accomplishes its task of doling out instructions of what to do when. The more cycles it performs, also known as clock speed, the more instructions it can execute, which in the end determines how fast a computer operates. The first Intel CPU operated at a speed of 108 KHz, which is equivalent to 108,000 cycles per second. Today's CPUs are much faster, with speeds as fast as 3.5 GHz, or 3.5 billion cycles per second.
The first CPUs were used in the 1960s, and were introduced to the retail market in the early 1970s by Intel. Since then, CPUs have become more sophisticated and faster. The two most popular manufacturers of CPUs today are Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. Other manufacturers include IBM, Motorola, Cyrix and Texas Instruments.