What is a CPU Core?
A central processing unit core is an electronic component within a CPU which is an independent processing unit with an arithmetic logic unit (ALU), control unit (CU), processor register, and other circuits such as cache, memory management, and input/output (I/O) ports of its own. A CPU core reads and executes instructions obtained from the operating system. The instructions are gathered from memory and performed inside the core with steps of fetch, decode and execute, known as the instruction cycle.
The CPU core is characterized by its speed or rate – how fast it can execute instructions. Its speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz). Modern CPU’s are basically ‘integrated chips’ where several CPU Cores are integrated into a single piece of silicon. Hence the terms dual-core CPU, quad-core CPU, etc.
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