Thecentral processing unit, otherwise known as the CPU or processor, is the chipon the motherboard of a computer which controls everything that the computerprocesses as the heart of a computer. The circuitry inside a CPU processes theinstructions that software and programs send it by interpreting theinstructions into movements of data within a computer’s memory.Itdoes this through four functions, first – Fetch, this is when the CPU firstreceives the instructions from a program, each instruction has a particular,unique address and it is kept track of by a CPU’s program counter whenaccessed. Secondly is the Decode function – the language that the instructionsare written in is broken down/translated to Assembly language which it canunderstand to then use an assembler to translate the Assembly code into binarycode. The CPU can now use the code to execute the program’s instructions.
Itthen executes the code by carrying out the necessary procedure of either usingits ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit) to calculate incredibly difficult mathematicalfunctions, move data around within the memory, or jump to various dataaddresses within the program itself. The final phase is Writeback, where itwrites the output into the computer’s memory to create the change in data thatthe program/user requested. The performance of a CPU is typically the speed at which itprocesses data, called the clock speed. The clock speed is measured inGigahertz (GHz); one gigahertz is one billion calculations per second. Otheraspects of a processor include a higher memory capacity, a lower requiredvoltage to prevent the processor from getting hot, and the capabilities toprocess new types of instructions. The CPU contains a memory store called thecache, which may be built in or near the CPU; the cache stores functions thatare used regularly which is what creates a computer’s history and allows thesystem to reload pages through the back/forward buttons. Most modern CPUs dohave more than one cache for different roles which work together to processinformation as fast and efficient as possible. Obviously, every computerrequires a CPU – PCs have different processors depending on the model or whatthe owner chose to use if it was custom made.
Meanwhile, other gaming platformsof the same model will use the same processor – for example, all PlayStation4’s have an 8-core AMD x86-64 Jaguar processor that runs at 1.6 GHz.