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Monday, October 26, 2009

Fetch, Decode and Execute

Whether you're playing a game, writing a report, or surfing the Web, the microprocessor in a computer processes your data using the same three steps over and over again. It does these three steps at incredible speed—millions of times a second. Here are the three steps and a short explanation of each:

  1. Fetch—Microprocessor gets a software instruction from memory telling it what to do with the data.
  2. Decode—Microprocessor determines what the instruction means.
  3. Execute—Microprocessor performs the instruction.

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