Computer Architecture Definitions

Definitions from chapters 7.2

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

Memory Location

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A seperately addressable area of main memory

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

RAM

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Random Access Memory; volatile main memory on which the locations can be accessed directly in any order with the same access time for all writing and reading operations.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

ROM

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

Read-Only Memory; non-volatile main memory that cannot be written to once it is set up.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

EEPROM

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Electrically Erasable Programmable read-only memory; its contents may be altered but writing is 100 times slower than reading.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

Computer Bus

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A set of parallel wires connecting independent components of a computer system.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

System Bus / External Bus

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The main highway connecting the processor, main memory and I/O controllers; it is made up of a data bus, an address bus and a control bus.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

I/O

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Allows the CPU to communicate with the peripherals.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

Peripheral

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A computer device that is not part of the CPU. It can be external (eg. mouse, keyboard, printer etc.) or internal, such as a CD-ROM drive.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

I/O Device

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A hardware unit that sends or recieves data or stores data by communicating with the processor and main memory through an I/O controller.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

Secondary Storage

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Permanent storage memory not directly connected to the processor; also called backing store.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

Main Memory Address

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A unique numeric code corresponding to a location in memory.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

Stored program concept

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A program must be resident in memory to be executed; it is processed by by fetching machine code intructions in sequence from main memory and executing them, one at a time, in the processor.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

Register

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A very fast memory location inside the processor or I/O controller.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

General Purpose Register

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A register not assigned a specific role by the processor designer. Programmers may use these.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

Dedicated Register

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A register assigned a specific role by the processor designer. Programmers may use some but not all dedicated registers.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

Clock speed

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Of a processor; the frequency or megahertz/gigahertz at which the processor executes instructions.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

Word Length

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The number of digits in a binary word.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

Bus Width

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The number of signal wires or lines allocated to the bus.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

Hardware

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Electrical circuits that a computer is assembled form. The platform on which the software executes.

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Computer Architecture (7.2)

Main Memory

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Memory that is directly addressable by the processor.

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Comments

rhfghdf

Useful definitions of key words.

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