The portion of the central processing unit (CPU) of a computer that retrieves instructions from memory, accepts calculations from the arithmetic logic unit (ALU), and executes the instructions. See also CPU. Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM Act) See CAN-SPAM Act.
(2) Within the CPU, the circuit that locates, analyzes and executes each program instruction residing in memory. See ALU.
(3) Within the computer, the hardware that performs the transfer of data to and from a peripheral device, such as a hard disk or screen. See controller.