Skip Navigation

Tech 101: What is the CPU? - Sears

Tech 101: What is the CPU?

Whether you call it a central processing unit, CPU or simply processor, it all means the same thing. This little chip is the brain of your desktop computer, smartphone, laptop, tablet and any other computing device. It may be small but it carries out commands that programs and apps deliver to the computer. The processor interprets inputs from hardware like the mouse or keyboard, and helps manage multitasking.

Modern CPUs are multi-core, which means they combine two or more separate CPUs in a single processor so a PC has increased flexibility to manage demanding software. You can easily find dual- and quad-core processors.

what is a cpu

Uses of a multi-core CPU in your computer

  • They prioritize tasks so you can run multiple programs without slowing down.
  • Using more demanding programs like media editing or new games.
  • Improving tablet and smartphone technology means these devices increasingly feature processors comparable to PCs.