Register variables are a special case of automatic variables. Automatic variables are allocated storage in the memory of the computer; however, for most computers, accessing data in memory is considerably slower than processing in the CPU. These computers often have small amounts of storage within the CPU itself where data can be stored and accessed quickly. These storage cells are called registers.
Normally, the compiler determines what data is to be stored in the registers of the CPU at what times. However, the C language provides the storage class register so that the programmer can ``suggest'' to the compiler that particular automatic variables should be allocated to CPU registers, if possible. Thus, register variables provide a certain control over efficiency of program execution. Variables which are used repeatedly or whose access times are critical, may be declared to be of storage class register.