A+ Guide to Hardware Ch. 1 Flashcards

system bus
Terms Definitions
address bus
Lines on the system bus used by the CPU to communicate memory addresses and I/O addresses to the memory controller and I/O devices.
ASCII
American Standard Code for Information Interchange. A popular standard for writing letters and other characters in binary code. Originally, ASCII characters were 7 bits, so there were 127 possible values. ASCII has been expanded to an 8-bit version, allowing 128 additional values.
back side bus
The bus between the CPU and the L2 cache inside the CPU housing.
binary number system
The number system used by computers; it has only two numbers, 0 and 1, called binary digits, or bits.
BIOS
basic input/output system. Firmware that can control much of a computer's input/output functions, such as communication with the floppy drive and the monitor. Also called ROM BIOS.
bit
BInary digiT. A 0 or 1 used by the binary number system.
bus
The paths, or lines, on the motherboard on which data, instructions, and electrical power move from component to component.
cards
Adapter boards or interface cards placed into expansion slots to expand the functions of a computer, allowing it to communicate with external devices such as monitors or speakers.
CPU
Central Processing Unit. Also called a microprocessor or processor. The heart and brain of the computer, which receives data input, processes information, and executes instructions.
chip set
A group of chips on the motherboard that controls the timing and flow of data and instructions to and from the CPU.
circuit board
A computer component, such as the main motherboard or an adapter board, that has electronic circuits and chips.
CMOS
complementary metal-oxide semiconductor. One of two types of technologies used to manufacture microchips (the other type is TTL, or transistor-transistor logic chips). CMOS chips require less electricity, hold data longer after the electricity is turned off, are slower, and produce less heat than TTL chips. The configuration, or setup, chip is a CMOS chip.
CMOS configuration chip
A chip on the motherboard that contains a very small amount of memory, or RAM--enough to hold configuration, or setup, information about the computer.
control bus
The lines on the system bus used to send control signals to manage communication on the motherboard.
data bus
The lines on the system bus that the CPU uses to send and receive data.
data path size
The number of lines on a bus that can hold data, for example, 8, 16, 32, and 64 lines, which can accommodate 8, 16, 32, and 64 bits at a time.
DIMM
dual inline memory module. A miniature circuit board used in newer computers to hold memory. DIMMs can hold 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, or 512 MB or 1 GB of RAM on a single module.
DIP
dual inline package switch. A switch on a circuit board or other device that can be set on or off to hold configuration or setup information.
expansion card
A circuit board inserted into a slot on the motherboard to enhance the capability of the computer.
expansion slot
A narrow slot on the motherboard where an expansion card can be inserted. These connect to a bus on the motherboard.
external bus
see system bus.
firmware
Software that is permanently stored in a chip.
flash ROM
ROM that can be reprogrammed or changed without replacing chips.
front side bus
The bus between the CPU and the memory outside the CPU housing. Also called the system bus.
gigahertz (GHz)
One thousand MHz, or one billion cycles per second.
hard drive
The main secondary storage device of a PC, a small case that contains magnetic coated platters that rotate at high speed.
hertz (Hz)
Unit of measurement for frequency, calculated in terms of vibrations, or cycles per second. For example, for 16-bit stereo sound, a frequency of 44,000 Hz is used.
hexadecimal notation
A numbering system that uses sixteen digits, the numerals 0-9 and the letter A-F. Hexadecimal notation is often used to display memory addresses.
host bus
See memory bus or system bus.
internal bus
The bus inside the CPU that is used for communication between the CPU's internal components.
jumper
Two wires that stick up side by side on the motherboard that are used to hold configuration information. The jumper is considered closed if a cover is over the wires, and open if the cover is missing.
main board
See motherboard.
Megahertz (MHz)
One million Hz, or one million cycles per second.
memory
Physical microchips that can hold data and programming, located on the motherboard or expansion cards.
memory address
A number assigned to each byte in memory. The CPU can use memory addresses to track where information is stored in RAM. Memory addresses are usually displayed as hexadecimal numbers in segment/offset form.
memory bus
See system bus.
microprocessor
See central processing unit (CPU).
motherboard
The main board in the computer, also called the system board. The CPU, ROM chips, SIMMs, DIMMs, RIMMs, and interface cards are plugged into the motherboard.
nonvolatile
Refers to a kind of RAM that is stable and can hold data as long as electricity is powering the memory.
parallel port
A female 25-pin port on a computer that can transmit data in parallel, 8 bits at a time, and is usually used with a printer. The names for parallel ports are LPT1 and LPT2.
port
A physical connector, usually at the back of a computer, that allows a cable from a peripheral device, such as a printer, mouse, or modem, to be attached.
power supply
A box inside the computer case that supplies power to the motherboard and other installed devices. Power supplies provide 3.3, 5, and 12 volts DC.
primary storage
Temporary storage or memory on the motherboard, used by the CPU to process data and instructions.
processor
See central processing unit (CPU)
program
A set of step-by-step instructions to a computer. Some are burned directly into chips, while others are stored as program files. Programs are written in languages such as BASIC and C++.
protocol
A set of rules and standards that two entities use for communication.
random access memory (RAM)
Temporary memory stored on chips, such as SIMMs, inside the computer. Information in RAM disappears when the computer's power is turned off.
RIMM
A type of memory module used on newer motherboards, produced by Rambus, Inc.
ROM
read-only memory. Chips that contain programming code and cannot be erased.
secondary storage
Storage that is remote to the CPU and permanently holds data, even when the PC is turned off.
serial port
Male 9-pin or 25-pin ports on the computer used for transmitting data serially, one bit at a time. They are called COM1, COM2, COM3, and COM4.
SIMM
single inline memory module. A miniature circuit board used in a computer to hold RAM. SIMMs hold 8, 16, 32, or 64 MB on a single module.
software
Computer programs, or instructions to perform a specific task. Software may be BIOS, OSs, or applications software such as a word-processing or spreadsheet program.
system board
See motherboard.
system bus
The bus between the CPU and memory on the motherboard. Also called memory bus, motherboard bus, host bus, external bus, or front side bus.
system clock
A line on a bus that is dedicated to timing the activities of components connected to it. It provides a continuous pulse that other devices use to time themselves.
trace
A wire on a circuit board that connects two components or devices.
TTL
Transistor-transistor logic. One of two types of technologies used to manufacture microchips (the other type is CMOS). TTL chips require more electricity than CMOS chips and don't hold their data for as long. TTL technology is not as popular as CMOS.
USB port
Universal Serial Bus port. A type of port designed to make installation and configuration of I/O devices easy, providing room for as many as 127 devices daisy-chained together.
video card
An interface card installed in the computer to control visual output on a monitor. Also called display adapter.
volatile
Refers to a kind of RAM that is temporary, cannot hold data very long, and must be frequently refreshed.
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