Principles - CPU

What is the purpose and function of the Central Processing Unit?

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer is effectively the brain of the computer. It is a piece of hardware that executes instructions and manages the rest of the hardware. It has several component parts including the processor, main memory and cache memory. Program instructions and data move between the main memory and the processor using internal connections called system buses.

The CPU performs the following instructions in a continuous cycle:

Fetch instructions & data from main memory - Decode the instructions - Execute the instructions

It will also perform calculations and manage movement of instructions and data to and from peripheral devices.