central processing unit

noun Computers.
Also called central processor.


Origin:
1965–70

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
central processing unit
 
n
CPU the part of a computer that performs logical and arithmetical operations on the data as specified in the instructions

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

central processing unit
attested from 1961.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
central processing unit  
The part of a computer that interprets and carries out instructions provided by the software. It tests and manipulates data, and transfers information to and from other components, such as the working memory, disk drive, monitor, and keyboard. The central processing units of personal computers are generally implemented on a single chip, called a microprocessor.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

central processing unit definition

architecture, processor
(CPU, processor) The part of a computer which controls all the other parts. Designs vary widely but the CPU generally consists of the control unit, the arithmetic and logic unit (ALU), registers, temporary buffers and various other logic.
The control unit fetches instructions from memory and decodes them to produce signals which control the other parts of the computer. These signals cause it to transfer data between memory and ALU or to activate peripherals to perform input or output.
Various types of memory, including cache, RAM and ROM, are often considered to be part of the CPU, particularly in modern microprocessors where a single integrated circuit may contain one or more processors as well as any or all of the above types of memory. The CPU, and any of these components that are in separate chips, are usually all located on the same printed circuit board, known as the motherboard. This in turn is located in the system unit (sometimes incorrectly referred to as the "CPU").
A parallel computer has several CPUs which may share other resources such as memory and peripherals.
The term "processor" has to some extent replaced "CPU", though RAM and ROM are not logically part of the processor.
List of processors (http://lldn.timesys.com/complete_list_of_processors).
(2007-04-02)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Digital codes can be output to identify the type of vehicle detected or report detection faults to a central processing unit.
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