When a computer receives data from an input device (e.g., keyboard), the data goes through an intermediate stage before it's sent to an output device (e.g., monitor). A processing device is any device inside a computer that interprets and manipulates incoming data during this stage. For example, in the diagram below, the CPU is the processing device.
Processing device examples
Some of the most common processing devices inside of a computer include the following:
- Central processing unit (CPU)
- Graphics processing unit (GPU)
- Network card
- Sound card
- Video card