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instruction cycle[in′strək·shən ‚sī·kəl]
The steps involved in carrying out an instruction.
instruction cycleThe fundamental sequence of steps that a CPU performs. Also known as the "fetch-execute cycle," it is the process whereby a single instruction is executed. The first half of the cycle transfers the instruction from RAM to the instruction register (fetch) and decodes it. The second half executes the instruction. See machine language.