Expanded Word Definition of Central Processing Unit (CPU)

TO: Prof. Ellis
FROM: Brandon Sosa  
DATE: October 27th, 2021
SUBJECT: Expanded Word Definition of Central Processing Unit (CPU)


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†The purpose of this document is to expand on the definition of ‚ÄúCentral Processing Unit‚ÄĚ. This word is mentioned multiple times throughout the CST (Computer Information Systems) department and is mentioned in the first introductory classes. I will be discussing the origin of the word and when the word was first introduced and who coined it. I will also be looking and researching through the dictionary and the references to find interesting information about the word. After, I will organize the information into each perspective category detailing its Context, Definition, and Working Definition. Then include my references at the end.¬†


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†There are various but similar definitions of ‚ÄúCentral Processing Unit‚ÄĚ. As a student who is in the field of Technology, I say that my own definition of what the Central processing unit is is that it controls all functions inside the phone, tablet, and computer. It controls the input and outputs of all the daily tasks the user is recommending. The Oxford English Dictionary, it states¬†‚ÄúComputing¬†a component of a computer system that runs programs, performs processing, and controls and coordinates the activity of other components‚ÄĚ.[1]¬†This definition gives a vague but helpful description of what a central processing unit is. Some people researching the definition might need a more in-depth definition of what the word is. In the Oxford Reference text, I was able to find a definition of the word but in more detail. It said, ‚ÄúA CPU usually consists of two¬†units:¬†the¬†control unit¬†organizes the data and program storage in the¬†memory and transfers data and other information between the various parts of the system; the¬†arithmetic logic¬†unit¬†(ALU)¬†executes the arithmetic and logic operations, such as addition, multiplication, and comparison.‚Ä̬†[2]¬†This definition in comparison to the first definition is a lot more detailed and it specifies what the CPU is doing inside the selected device.¬†


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†When comparing both definitions of the Central Processing Unit, it provides details about what it is and how it performs, on the other hand, the first definition is short and gives good but vague detailing about what it does for the computer/phone or tablet. The 2nd¬†definition highlights and gives details on what the central processing unit is, how it works, the components that are inside of it to help run programs and execute tasks. What really stands out between both definitions are the keywords that there use. Both definitions have similar keywords, but the one definition uses keywords such as ‚ÄúALU‚ÄĚ when the other definition didn‚Äôt use it. In a textbook, when talking about the CPU the author goes in-depth about what the CPU is and what the main functions it is. His definition of the CPU is different from the 1st¬†and 2nd¬†definitions¬†because the author is adding more context to it. The author stated ‚ÄúThe¬†CPU is responsible for manipulating data and coordinating the activities of the computer’s other physical components, including memory and peripherals. Instructions gathered¬†from input interfaces are executed at the CPU, and the results are delivered to output interfaces. The CPU, therefore, functions as the heart of the computer, facilitating all data¬†processing¬†activity.‚Ä̬†[3] This definition gives an accurate detailed description of what and how the CPU functions. It also makes the comparison of how it is ‚Äúthe heart‚ÄĚ of the computer and that it controls all the task and programs that the user requests.

[Working Definition]

            In the CST department, when learning about the internal components of the computer, phone, or tablet the Central Processing Unit is always mentioned. In my own definition, I would say the Central Processing Unit is the heart of the computer. It controls all tasks and programs that come in by the user and it executes the task/programs all accordingly. The central processing unit is the brains of the entire operation and every commend must go through it so that it is executing functions at a timely matter. Throughout all the years, the Central Processing Unit will always be updated, it will never stay the same. There’s a saying that just because it’s not broken, doesn’t mean that it cannot be improved. 


[1]        ‚ÄúCentral Processing Unit,‚ÄĚ in Oxford English Dictionary. 3rd ed. Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press, Mar. 2013, def. 2. [Online]. Available:https://www-oed-com.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/view/Entry/29680?redirectedFrom=central+processing+unit#eid9942421

[2]        Butterfield, A., & Szymanski, J. (2018). memory. In A Dictionary of Electronics and Electrical Engineering. : Oxford University Press. Retrieved 12 Oct. 2021, from https://www-oxfordreference-com.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/view/10.1093/acref/9780198725725.001.0001/acref-9780198725725-e-2926.

[3]     Lerner, K. L., & Lerner, B. W. (2013). Computer Sciences. Macmillan Reference USA, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. 

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