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CPU (pronounced as separate letters) is the abbreviation for central processing unit. Sometimes referred to simply as the central processor, but more commonly called processor, the CPU is the brains of the computer where most calculations take place. In terms of computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system.
The two typical components of a CPU include the following:
- The arithmetic logic unit (ALU), which performs arithmetic and logical operations.
- The control unit (CU), which extracts instructions from memoryand decodes and executes them, calling on the ALU when necessary.