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register
Last modified: Tuesday, October 30, 2001 

(n) A, special, high-speed storage area within the CPU. All data must be represented in a register before it can be processed. For example, if two numbers are to be multiplied, both numbers must be in registers, and the result is also placed in a register. (The register can contain the address of a memory location where data is stored rather than the actual data itself.)

The number of registers that a CPU has and the size of each (number of bits) help determine the power and speed of a CPU. For example a 32-bit CPU is one in which each register is 32 bits wide. Therefore, each CPU instruction can manipulate 32 bits of data.

Usually, the movement of data in and out of registers is completely transparent to users, and even to programmers. Only assembly language programs can manipulate registers. In high-level languages, the compiler is responsible for translating high-level operations into low-level operations that access registers.

(v) To notify a manufacturer that you have purchased its product. Registering a product is often a prerequisite to receiving customer support, and it is one of the ways that software producers control software piracy.

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related categories

Microprocessors

related terms

32-bit

compiler

CPU

fetch

load

microprocessor

software piracy

storage


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