fetch-execute cycle

Computing Dictionary

fetch-execute cycle definition

architecture, processor
The sequence of actions that a central processing unit performs to execute each machine code instruction in a program.
At the beginning of each cycle the CPU presents the value of the program counter on the address bus. The CPU then fetches the instruction from main memory (possibly via a cache and/or a pipeline) via the data bus into the instruction register.
From the instruction register, the data forming the instruction is decoded and passed to the control unit which sends a sequence of control signals to the relevant function units of the CPU to perform the actions required by the instruction such as reading values from registers, passing them to the ALU to add them together and writing the result back to a register.
The program counter is then incremented to address the next instruction and the cycle is repeated.
The fetch-execute cycle was first proposed by John von Neumann.
(1998-06-25)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: fetch up
Next Definition: fetch-me-down
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for fetch-execute cycle
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing fetch-execute cycle
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;