In computer science, an opcode (operation code) is the portion of a machine language instruction that specifies the operation to be performed. Their specification and format are laid out in the instruction set architecture of the processor in question (which may be a general CPU or a more specialized processing unit). Apart from the opcode itself, an instruction normally also has one or more specifiers for operands (i.e. data) on which the operation should act, although some operations may have implicit operands, or none at all. There are instruction sets with nearly uniform fields for opcode and operand specifiers, as well as others (the x86 architecture for instance) with a more complicated, varied length structure.
Depending on architecture, the operands may be register values, values in the stack, other memory values, I/O ports, etc., specified and accessed using more or less complex addressing modes. The types of operations include arithmetics, data copying, logical operations, and program control, as well as special instructions (such as CPUID and others).