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central processing unit (CPU or processor): The chip on the motherboard of a computer that performs the processing for a computer.

multi-core CPU: A CPU that contains the processing components or cores of multiple independent processors in a single CPU.

clock speed: A measurement of the number of instructions that a CPU can process per second.

word: The amount of data *(measured in bits or bytes) that a CPU can manipulate at one time.

cache memory: A group of very fast memory circuity located on or close to the CPU to speed up processing.

memory: Chips located inside the system unit used to store data and instructions while it is working with them.

RAM (random access memory): Memory used to store data and instructions while the computer is running.

register: High-speed memory built into the CPU.

ROM ( read-only memory): Nonvolatile chips on the motherboard that permanently store data or programs.

flash memory: Nonvolatile memory chips that can be used for storage by the computer or the user.

BIOS (basic input/output system): The sequence of instructions the computer follows during the boot process.

expansion slot: A location on the motherboard into which an expansion card is inserted to connect it to the motherboard.

expansion card ( interface card): A circuit board used to give desktop computers additional capabilities.

bus: An electronic path over which data travels.

throughput (bandwidth): The amount of data that can be transferred via the bus in given time period.

expansion bus: A bus on the motherboard used to connect peripheral devices.

Universal Serial Bus (USB): A versatile bus architecture widely used for connecting peripherals.

FireWire (IEEE 1394): a high-speed bus standard used to connect devices-particularly multimedia devices like digital video cameras - to a computer.

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Definitions from Wiktionary under the GNU FDL.
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