A processor, also called microprocessor or Central Processing Unit (CPU), can be described as the "engine" or "brain" of the computer. A processor is a logic circuitry that responds to and processes the basic instructions that drive a computer. Two typical components of a CPU are:
Dual-core and Multi-core Processors: A dual core processor is a CPU with two separate cores on the same die, each with its own cache. It's the equivalent of getting two microprocessors in one. To utilize a dual core processor, the operating system must be able to recognize multi-threading and the software must have simultaneity.
Multi-core is expansion to dual-core technology and allows for more than two separate processors on the same die. While a dual core system is faster than a single-core system, a multi-processor system is faster than a system withdual core processor,everything else remaining equal.
The Speed of a processor is specified in Megahertz which determines how many instructions per second the processor can execute.
A processor generates lot of heat when computer is on. Therefore, a heat sink with fan is installed over it to absorb the heat generated by the processor and protect it from burning out.
Intel and AMD are the two main manufacturers of computer processors.