Example image: CPU (AMD Athlon 64 FX)
Example image: CPU (Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700)
A Central Processing Unit (CPU), or sometimes just called processor, is a description of a class of logic machines that can execute computer programs. This broad definition can easily be applied to many early computers that existed long before the term "CPU" ever came into widespread usage. However, the term itself and its initialism have been in use in the computer industry at least since the early 1960s (Weik 1961). The form, design and implementation of CPUs have changed dramatically since the earliest examples, but their fundamental operation has remained much the same.
Processor on motherboard