Arithmetic and Logic Unit:
The Arithmetic and Logic Unit is that part of the CPU that actually performs arithmetic and logical operations on data. The CU, CPU registers and memory help in bringing the data into the ALU and then taking the results back. Figure 2.5 presents the ALU inputs and outputs.
Data are presented to ALU in registers and the results are also stored in registers. Accumulator is one such register which is very frequently used during the ALU operation. ALU has many other registers such as flags and status register, which indicate information about the operation and its result. ALU has logic implemented to perform operations like addition, multiplication, division, shifting, complement etc. The operations are performed on represented numbers, both integer and floating point numbers. Modern processors nowadays have two identifiable trends which improve their performance to a much higher level. These are use of on chip Cache memory and having more than one processor core on the same IC chip. Cache memory is a fast semiconductor memory which can be used to temporarily store instructions and data that are frequently referred by the processor. By having frequently referred instructions and data available in the processor, the wait cycles introduced due to memory references are minimized and hence the processor performance improves a lot. Another modern technique of having more than one processor core on the same IC chip tries to perform the execution of instructions in parallel and hence the performance of the processor improves a lot.