TEXT A. CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT

 

1. The central processing unit (CPU) or central processor is the nerve centre of any digital computer system, since it coordinates and controls the activities of all the other units and performs all the arithmetic and logic processes to be applied to data. All program instructions to be executed must be held within the CPU, and all the data to be processed must be loaded first into this unit. It is convenient to consider the central processor to have three separate hardware sections: an internal or main memory, an arithmetic and logic unit, and a control unit. The role of the internal memory was discussed more detailed in the previous lesson.

Now let us discuss the latter two sections.

2. The CPU has two functions: it must (1) obtain instructions from the memory and interpret them, as well as (2) perform the actual operations. The first function is executed by the control unit. This unit in its turn must perform two functions: it must interpret the instruction; then, on the basis of this interpretation (2) tell the arithmetic and logic unit what to do next. The latter function is accomplished through the use of electronic signals. According to these two functions we can separate the part of the control unit that interprets or decodes the instruction called the instruction decoder from the part that generates the control signals called the control generator.

3. An instruction having been transmitted to the instruction decoder, where it is interpreted, the control generator senses this interpretation and then produces signals that tell the arithmetic unit which operation to perform. It also generates signals that choose the proper numbers from the memory and sends them to the arithmetic and logic unit at the proper time; and when operation has been performed, other control signals take the result from the arithmetic and logic unit back to the internal memory. After an instruction has been executed, the control generator produces signals that cause the next instruction to go from the memory to the instruction decoder.
In this way the instructions arc performed sequentially.

4. The second function of the CPU is performed by the arithmetic and logic unit which does the actual operations. This unit is capable of performing automatically addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, comparing, selecting, and other mathematical and logical operations. Consider now what happens in the arithmetic and logic unit while an instruction is being executed. In most computers only one word at a time can be transferred between the arithmetic/logic unit and the memory. Hence, to perform an operation involving two arguments, the first argument must be transferred from the memory to the arithmetic/logic unit and stored there temporarily while the second argument is being transferred. The special memory cell in the arithmetic/logic unit /or this purpose is called the accumulator. The operation being performed, the result is formed in the accumulator before it is transmitted back to memory.

5. Next consider the instruction decoder that interprets instruction. In order that the instruction decoder perform its function, it must constantly refer to the instruction being interpreted during the time control signals are being set up. To facilitate this, while an instruction being executed it is stored in a special memory cell called the instruction register, located in the instruction decoder.

6. There is another memory cell located in the instruction decoder called the current-address register. The contents of this register is always the memory address from which the instruction being executed came. The reason for this is related to the fact that the address of the present instruction was given as part of the previous instruction.

For the computer designer to understand the work of the CPU is quite necessary.

 

Notes

1. during the time control signals are being set up - во время формирования сигналов управления

2. The reason for this is related to the fact - Причина этого заключена в том

 








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