How Does a CPU Processor Work?


A CPU is also known as a “central processing unit” for a computer. It is the most critical component in the entire computer system. The central processing unit performs all the necessary operations on the SBC computers system. The processor must be good enough to perform operations at actual speeds. To understand how a Central Processing Unit functions, is to know about the parts involved first.

Control Unit

  • All components must be connected to the control unit so that control can be imposed in the system. 
  • The control unit connects all the components in the computer so that electrical impulses can be transmitted throughout as and when required. 
  • Without the right control unit, SBC computers cannot function well.


  • Electrical pulses are sent to the CPU via a timing device called a clock. 
  • The clock is also a very important component of the system.
  • The clock is supposed to run at rates between hundreds of thousands and thousands of cycles per second, depending on the processor.
  • The pulses activate the CPU, which keeps complicated processes in the computer synced since other circuits rely on the same clock.
  • It is a common phenomenon to hear overclocking. It means the ability of a processor to perform operations at a higher rate than it is intended to. 
  • If the processor is overclocked occasionally, it does yield better results.

Arithmetic And Logical Unit 

  • The arithmetic and logical unit, or ALU, performs all calculations involving arithmetic and logic. 
  • The ALU carries out the addition and subtraction operations. 
  • These operations are carried out by the logic block or logic gates that make up an ALU.
  • Most logic gates provide one output and accept two inputs.
  • The outcome consists of a data word that can be kept in memory or a register and status data that is normally kept in a dedicated internal CPU register.

Instruction Sets

  • Each CPU has a set of instructions that describe the tasks it may carry out, such as appending, comparing two sets of data, and loading data into the CPU. 
  • The software you use on your computer is made up of millions of extremely small processes called instructions, which the CPU performs in large quantities to carry out useful activities. 
  • Some CPU families, like those used in desktop Computers, share an instruction set, enabling them to execute the same programs. 
  • A CPU running an iPad may have different commands than one operating a Windows-based laptop because they are not part of the same product line.


Irrespective of the machine, the Central Processing Unit is of tremendous importance. The devices can be personal SBC computers, mobile devices, or a mainframe. The entire purpose of the processor is to act as the brain of the system. In a nutshell, as the brain sends and receives impulses from the various parts of the body, the CPU transmits these electrical impulses to instruct different components to behave in a certain way.

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