Sam Dickman
Mind Map by Sam Dickman, updated more than 1 year ago
Sam Dickman
Created by Sam Dickman about 5 years ago


Mind Map on CPU STUFF, created by Sam Dickman on 04/14/2015.

Resource summary

1 The purpose of the CPU is processing data. The CPU is the core of every computer system and has two main components: The control unit uses electrical signals to direct the system to execute the instructions in stored programs. The ALU – Arithmetic and Logic Unit – carries out all of the arithmetic and logical operations, including: Addition; Subtraction; Comparisons (for example, equal to, less than, greater than).
2 The fetch–execute cycle: When the computer is switched on it starts to run an endless fetch–execute cycle: The programs the CPU needs to process are stored in the main memory. The CPU fetches the next instruction, decodes it and executes it before repeating the process.
3 The boot program Immediately after being switched on, the CPU looks in a specific location in read only memory (ROM) for the first program to load and execute. This is the boot sequence. The boot process gets the computer up and running and the operating system started. After this initial boot process is complete, control is handed to the operating system to provide the programs for the CPU to run.
4 What characteristics affect the performance of the CPU? The clock speed – how quickly the CPU processes instructions: The clock chip uses a vibrating crystal that maintains a constant rate and all processes are synchronised to this clock signal. The clock speed is measured in Hertz(Hz) or cycles per second. A clock speed of 600 Hz would be 600 cycles per second. GHz means billions of cycles per second, so a typical clock speed of 3 GHz would mean 3 billion cycles per second.
5 The number of cores – how many instructions it can process at a time: A multiple core processor has more than one CPU In a dual core CPU, two CPUs work together Since these can fetch, decode and execute instructions at the same time, the computer is able to process more instructions.
6 Data is moved around the computer on buses. Bus speed affects how quickly the computer can move data, and therefore has an effect on the speed of the computer. A bus is simply a circuit that connects one part of the motherboard to another. The speed of the bus, measured in MHz (millions of cycles per second), refers to how much data can move across the bus at the same time.
7 Cache memory is very fast memory that can work at speed similar to the CPU, but it is very expensive and only used to store data waiting to be processed by the CPU. Cache memory is usually provided in much smaller sizes than the main memory, megabytes, MB as opposed to gigabytes, GB (1GB = 1024 MB) Cache memory is located very close to the CPU to minimise access times. A mid-range laptop might have 8GB of RAM but only 2 or 3 MB of cache memory.
7.1 Zoom in on image
8 A typical Intel CORE i5 processor Intel i5-3210M 2.5 GHz clock speed (2.5 billion operations per second) 2 cores 5MB cache memory
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