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Unformatted text preview: executing the program. Physically, main memory consists of a collection of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) chips. Logically, memory is organized as a linear array of bytes, each with its own unique address (array index) starting at zero. In general, each of the machine instructions that constitute a program can consist of a variable number of bytes. The sizes of data items that correspond to C program variables vary according to type. For example, on an Intel machine running Linux, data of type short requires two bytes, types int, float, and long four bytes, and type double eight bytes. Chapter 6 has more to say about how memory technologies such as DRAM chips work, and how they are combined to form main memory. Processor
The central processing unit (CPU), or simply processor, is the engine that interprets (or executes) instructions stored in main memory. At its core is a word-sized storage device (or register) called the program counter (PC). At any point in time, the PC points at (contains the address of) some machine-language instruction in main memory. 1 From the time that power is applied to the system, until the time that the power is shut off, the processor blindly and repeatedly performs the same bas...
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