When a computer receives data from an input device (e.g., keyboard or mouse) the data must go through an intermediate stage before it can be sent to an output device (e.g., monitor or printer). A processing device is any device in a computer that handles this intermediate stage. For example, in the diagram below, the CPU is the processing device.
Processing device examples
Some of the most common processing devices in a computer include the following:
- Central processing unit (CPU)
- Graphics processing unit (GPU)
- Network card
- Sound card
- Video card