TECH 101: ALU (Arithmetic-Logic Unit)
An arithmetic-logic unit (ALU) is the part of a computer processor (CPU) that carries out arithmetic and logic operations on the operands in computer instruction words. In some processors, the ALU is divided into two units, an arithmetic unit (AU) and a logic unit (LU). Some processors contain more than one AU - for example, one for fixed-point operations and another for floating-point operations. (In personal computers floating point operations are sometimes done by a floating point unit on a separate chip called a numeric coprocessor). In general, the ALU includes storage places for input operands, operands that are being added, the accumulated result (stored in an accumulator), and shifted results.