What is a CPU?
A CPU is a central processing unit, or “brain,” of a computer. It interprets and carries out the basic instructions that operate a computer. The term “CPU” is often used interchangeably with “processor.”
More About CPUs
A CPU comprises several parts, including the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU), the control unit, and the cache. The ALU performs mathematical and logical operations. The control unit coordinates the activities of the other CPU parts, and the cache stores data and instructions frequently used by the CPU.
The speed of a CPU is measured in hertz (Hz), which is a unit of frequency. One Hz is equal to one cycle per second. The faster a CPU can execute instructions, the higher its frequency.
The first CPUs were created in the early 1800s. They were called mechanical calculators, and only mathematicians and scientists could use them. In 1876, Charles Babbage designed a machine called the Analytical Engine, which could be programmed to perform any calculation that could be done by hand. However, he never completed the device.
Today, CPUs are found in many electronic devices, including smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs. They’re much smaller and much more powerful than the original mechanical calculators.