Computer education

HOW A CPU WORKS
INTRODUCTION
Function
Branching Instructions
Clock Pulses
Fixed-Point and Floating-Point Numbers

Central Processing Unit Function
Clock Pulses


The CPU is driven by one or more repetitive clock circuits that send a constant stream of pulses throughout the CPU’s circuitry. The CPU uses these clock pulses to synchronize its operations. The smallest increments of CPU work are completed between sequential clock pulses. More complex tasks take several clock periods to complete. Clock pulses are measured in Hertz, or number of pulses per second. For instance, a 2-gigahertz (2-GHz) processor has 2 billion clock pulses passing through it per second. Clock pulses are a measure of the speed of a processor.

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