The ALU is designed to perform mathematical operations including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. In addition, the ALU performs elementary logical operations such as AND/OR calculations. Also known as the arithmetic logic unit, it is the computational core of a computer system’s Central Processing Unit (CPU).
An ALU can be designed to do any complex series of arithmetic or logical calculations. The computational capability of the ALU determines the processing speed of a computer’s CPU. In more complicated systems, the ALU is separated into the arithmetic unit (AU) and the logic unit (LU) (LU).