Systems Architecture

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  • Systems Architecture
    • CPU - Central Processing Unit
      • "Brain of the computer"
        • Actually performs programs and makes the computer work
      • Components
        • ALU - Arithmetic Logic Unit
          • Actually performs instructions, either arithmetic or logical
        • Control Unit
          • Controls the flow of data around the CPU. It's circuits coordinate the activities of the CPU
        • Registers
          • Very small volatile memory with very fast access time, used to store data/programs currently being used by the CPU.
      • Fetch-Decode-Execute Cycle.
        • The way in which the CPU functions it means:
          • Fetch
            • The CPU fetches an instruction from main memory (RAM, ROM or cache)
          • Decode
            • The CPU translates the instruction into a decomposed format, so the CPU actually knows hat to do
          • Execute
            • The CPU, specifically the ALU, actually performs the given instruction, and the cycle restarts
    • Von Neumann Architecture/ Stored program computer
      • The concept made by Von Neumann which outlined computers which could change their program, without having to be rewired
        • Basically looks like this:
          • Input
            • CPU: Control Unit/ Arithmetic Logic Unit
              • Memory Unit
              • Output
        • Data and instructions are stored together as binary in the main memory, which can cause a Von Neumann bottleneck if the buses are slow.
      • Harvard Architecture
        • Not popularized concept of stored program computer, in which programs and data are stored separately
        • Too expensive to be practical
    • Computers also have a quartz clock which is there to regulate and synchronize computer components, such as the CPU. This clock gives us clock speed


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