Midterm 2 Summary - Technology Guide 1: Computer Hardware...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Computer Hardware Decisions about hardware focus on three interrelated factors: Capability (power and appropriateness for the task), Speed , and Cost . Hardware refers to the physical equipment used for the input, processing, output and storage activities of a computer system. It consists of the following: o Central processing unit (CPU) manipulates the data and controls the tasks performed by the other components. o Primary storage internal to the CPU; temporarily stores data and program instructions during processing. o Secondary storage external to the CPU; stores data and programs for future use. o Input technologies accept data and instructions and convert them to a form that the computer can understand. o Output technologies present data and information in a form people can understand. o Communication technologies provide for the flow of data from external computer networks (e.g. the Internet and intranets) to the CPU, and from the CPU to computer networks. Central Processing Unit (CPU) Central processing unit (CPU) performs the actual computation or “number crunching” inside any computer. The CPU is a Microprocessor (Intel Pentium 4 or Centrino) made up of millions of microscopic transistors embedded in a circuit on a silicon chip. Control unit sequentially accesses program instructions, decodes them and controls the flow of data to and from the ALU, the registers, the caches, primary storage, secondary storage and various output devices. Arithmetic-logic unit (ALU) performs the mathematic calculations and makes logical comparisons. Registers are high-speed storage areas that store very small amounts of data and instructions for short periods of time. The CPU can process only Binary form – data and instructions only consists of 0 and 1. Machine instruction cycle : The cycle of computer processing, whose speed is measured in terms of the number of instructions a chip processes per second. It occurs millions of times per second or more. Processing speed depends on the following four factors of chip design: Clock speed – the preset speed of the computer clock that times all chip activities, measured in megahertz (MHz, millions of cycles per second) and gigahertz (GHz, billions of cycles per second). The faster clock speed, the faster the chip or computer speed. Word length: The number of bits (0s and 1s) that can be processed by the CPU at any one time. It can be 32-bit or 64-bit word lengths, and the larger the word length, the faster the chip or computer speed. Bus width : The size of the physical paths down which the data and instructions travel as electrical impulses on a computer chip. The wider or bigger the bus, the more data can be transferred and the faster the processing. 1
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 02/08/2012 for the course ADMS ADMS 2511 taught by Professor Colen during the Spring '11 term at York University.

Page1 / 35

Midterm 2 Summary - Technology Guide 1: Computer Hardware...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online