Central Processing Units
Once data have been captured, they usually must be processed to be valuable to decision makers and these processing tasks are performed by the central processing unit (CPU) of a computer system. A central processing unit (CPU), also referred to as a central processor unit, is the hardware within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetical, logical, and input/output operations of the system. In the computer industry, the terms computer and CPU are often used interchangeably.
Computing power starts with the most limited microcomputers which are laptop computers, netbook computers, PDAs and cell phones and increases in capabilities such as speed, multiuser support and peripheral equipment with minicomputers, mainframe computers and supercomputers.
The accounting systems of small businesses can often be implemented entirely on a desktop microcomputer whereas, the inventory control systems of large companies require multiuser systems that may employ several centralized mainframes working in tandem. Organizations usually get the most processing power and the cheapest software with microcomputer that’s why modern organizations buy so many of them. Reasons to retain mainframe systems include (1) the need to support multiuser processing capabilities that work best on such systems; (2) the advantages of centralized processing and (3) the huge costs that organizations typically incur when replacing these legacy systems. RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY
(Contains the computer’s operating system instructions, application program instructions and user data) CACHE
(High-speed buffer memory)
ARITHMETIC-LOGIC UNIT (ALU)
(performs arithmetic and logic functions)
(interprets program instructions and supervises the activities of primary memory and the ALU) Flow of data and instructions
Flow of data and instructions
RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY
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