Central processing unit

In Computer

The fundamental operation of a CPU is to execute a sequence of stored instructions that is called a program. The instructions are kept in the memory of the computer. Almost all CPUs follow the fetch, decode and execute steps in their operation, which are collectively known as the instruction cycle. Most modern CPUs are microprocessors, meaning they are contained on a single integrated circuit (IC) chip.

In more complex CPUs, multiple instructions can be fetched, decoded and executed simultaneously (classic RISC pipeline).

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