What is accumulator?

  • In a computer's central processing unit (CPU), an accumulator is a register in which intermediate arithmetic and logic results are stored. 
  • A register in a central processing unit, in which intermediate results are stored. The accumulator means that the results of calculations do not need to be written to main memory and then read back, which would be much slower.
  • Without a register like an accumulator, it would be necessary to write the result of each calculation (addition, multiplication, shift, etc.) to main memory, perhaps only to be read right back again for use in the next operation. Access to main memory is slower than access to a register like the accumulator because the technology used for the large main memory is slower (but cheaper) than that used for a register.

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