CPU (Central Processing Unit or Core Processing Unit)

What is a CPU?

CPU stands for Central Processing Unit or Core Processing Unit, and it’s the ‘brains’ of your device - it’s one of several processors your device has, but it’s the most essential.

What do CPUs do?

The CPU is the main chip in your device, and it tells all the other device components what to do, according to the instructions given by your device’s software.

CPUs exist in several types of devices, from laptops and phones to smartwatches and TVs. In smartphones, the CPU may sit on the same physical chip as other components. Most modern computer CPUs share a chip with a computer’s graphics electronics.

How do CPUs work?

CPUs are sophisticated pieces of technology which still rely on interpreting binary signals.

In the past, computer CPUs read punch cards or processing instructions with sets of vacuum tubes. Modern CPUs use tiny transistors for faster, lag-free responses.

How have CPUs improved computer performance?

As CPUs have improved, device capability has leaped forward. We used to just be able to display images on computer screens and now we can stream, game and browse at high speeds across our devices, thanks to updated CPUs.  

Similar terms

GPU | LTE | One UI