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What Is Inside The Central Processing Unit?

Aug 17, 2007
It is common knowledge that a computer is composed of a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, and the CPU. Compared to the human body, the Central Processing Unit (CPU) is like the central nervous system and the other peripherals are the sensory organs. The CPU processes all the data input thru sub-processors that passes on the logic processing thru the main processor.

The components inside the CPU are as follows:

Main Processor-Central Processing Unit

The main processor is the brain of the computer. This is where algorithms are processed and interpreted with logical and mathematical computations. Nowadays computers are equipped with dual and quad core processors in which data processing is distributed to two or four processing compartments for a faster data processing.


The motherboard distributes the data to the processors from the peripherals which can be an input or output data. This can be compared to the spinal column in the human body. Internal components of the computers such as memories, IDE controllers and power supply run through here.


The memory is like a sub storage space in which it has cabinets where data is stored temporarily.

Types of Memory

Read Only Memory (ROM) - This is where permanent data is being stored. Even when the user shuts down the CPU the data can still be there. ROMs are usually powered by an independent source which can be in a form of a battery.

Random Access Memory (RAM) - This is where chucks of temporary files are stored while the main processor is currently processing other data. RAMs are a volatile type of memory that once the computer shuts down all the data will be lost.

Virtual Memory - The virtual memory serves as an extension RAM which is hard disk based. This component uses the free hard disk space as an array of compartments on where large lumps of data is stored while it is processed. The size of each virtual memory can be adjusted depending on the user preference or the availability of the unused hard disk space.

Caching - Is another type of RAM where commonly used files or data is stored for a faster extraction for the main processor to do the processing.

Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) - This type of memory is another classification of ROM where the peripheral ID and other hardware specifications are stored. This data is used for the pairing and in-between hardware communication is stored for compatible data processing.

Hard Disk Drive

This is a type of non-volatile read and write memory. This is where large lumps of data are being stored. The main processor gets and dumps data from this component then stores it to the memory before it is processed.

Integrated Drive Electronic Controllers

This is a PCI based peripheral that controls all the drives for proper coordination during the processing sequence. This is the sub controller for the hard disk drives, CD/DVD Rom drives and the floppy drives.

Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) Bus

This is a type of hardware connection to the motherboard when adding a new internal hardware such as an internal modem, graphics accelerator card, sound card and etc.

Universal Serial Bus

This is commonly a built in port that connects to any external peripheral. Data processing using this type of bus is a bit slower than using a PCI Bus but connecting a USB port is convenient and easy. This type of connection is used in pairing with all computer electronic gadgets such as digital cameras, portable music and video players, removable flash disk, portable digital assistants and etc.

Power Supply

This is the component that converts house hold AC power to a DC power which is what computer components use.
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