4.2   CPU BASICS AND ORGANIZATION

We know from our studies in Chapter 2 (data representation) that a computer must manipulate binary-coded data. We also know from Chapter 3 that memory is used to store both data and program instructions (also in binary). Somehow, the program must be executed and the data must be processed correctly. The central processing unit (CPU) is responsible for fetching program instructions, decoding each instruction that is fetched, and performing the indicated sequence of operations on the correct data. To understand how computers work, you must first become familiar with their various components and the interaction among these components. To introduce the simple architecture in the next section, we first examine, ...

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