What Is the Function of the ALU?

The purpose of the ALU is to perform mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Additionally, the ALU processes basic logical operations like AND/OR calculations. Also known as the arithmetic logic unit, it serves as the computational hub of the Central Processing Unit (CPU) for a computer system.

An ALU can be programmed to perform any series of complicated arithmetic or logical calculations. It is the computational capacity of the ALU that determines the power of a computer system’s CPU. In more complex systems, the ALU is divided into two units: the arithmetic unit (AU) and the logic unit (LU).