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What is a CPU (Central Processing Unit)?
The central processing unit (CPU) is the unit which performs most of the processing inside a computer of smartphone. A central processor, or CPU, is arguably the most important component of any computing device. It controls instructions and data flow to and from other parts of the computer.
The CPU has two components:
- Control Unit: extracts instructions from memory and decodes and executes them
- Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU): handles arithmetic and logical operations
modern processors are made up of multiple cores which allow it to perform multiple instructions at once. They’re effectively several CPUs on a single chip. Almost all CPUs sold today are at least dual core, but at the higher end, you’ll see four (quad) core CPUs, and even six, eight and 12 core CPUs in some cases. Some processors also employ a technology called multi-threading, which creates virtual processor cores. The performance of the CPU that’s at the core of the chipset is vital for the daily user experience and the general computing performance of the smartphone.
The clock rate is one of the main characteristics of the CPU when performance is concerned. It effectively denotes how many instructions a CPU can handle per second, but that’s not the whole picture when it comes to performance. Clock speed mostly comes into play when comparing CPUs from the same product family or generation. Clock rate is the fundamental rate in cycles per second (measured in hertz, kilohertz, megahertz or gigahertz) for the frequency of the clock in any synchronous circuit.