Computing- Systems Architecture

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What is the purpose of the Central Processing Unit?
To manage basic operations of the computer, seen as the 'brain' of the computer.
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What are the four most basic elements of a computer system?
Input, Output, Secondary storage, CPU.
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What are the two main components of the CPU?
Control unit & Arithmetic logic unit (ALU).
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What is the name of the architecture found in most computers today?
The Von Neumann architecture.
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What cycle does the CPU carry out continuously to process instructions?
The fetch-decode-execute cycle.
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What is the purpose of a register in the CPU?
It is a place to temporarily hold data and instructions as they are being processed by the CPU.
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What is the name of the register which keeps the address of the next instruction to be processed?
Memory Address Register (MAR)
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Which register is used to store data that is fetched from main memory?
Memory Data Register (MDR)
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Which register tells the CPU where to find data that has been fetched from main memory?
Program Counter (PC)
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Which register temporarily stores the results of logic operations and calculations?
Accumulator (ACC)
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What is the stored program concept?
Storing the instructions to be executed alongside the data in memory as binary values.
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What does the system clock do?
It provides timing signals, to synchronise circuits.
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What are two functions of the control unit?
Decoding instructions, sending signals to control the flow of data and instructions.
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What is cache memory?
A small section of extremely fast memory which stores frequently used instructions and data. The CPU has direct access to the cache.
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What is the function of the ALU?
It carries out mathematical, logical and shift operations.
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Which part of the CPU translates instructions into a set of operations?
Control Unit.
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What is clock speed?
How many instructions go through the fetch-decode-execute cycle per second, measured in Hertz or GigaHertz
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Why does increasing cache size improve performance?
Because the CPU has more immediate access to the data instead of having to fetch the data from RAM.
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Typically, how large is cache memory?
2-64 kB.
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Does doubling the number of cores double the performance?
No. Some tasks must be performed sequentially, so there may be some bottleneck while one core waits for others to catch up.
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What is an embedded system?
A computer system with a dedicated function that forms part of an electronic device.
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Give examples of embedded systems:
Fridge, aeroplane cockpit, microwave, digital clock.
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Why may manufacturers use embedded systems in their products instead of general-purpose computers?
Embedded systems are cheaper and can be smaller.
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What is the difference between an embedded system and a general-purpose computer?
Embedded systems usually one perform a single task and don't have an operating system, whereas general-purpose can perform many tasks and do have an operating system.
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Card 2

Front

What are the four most basic elements of a computer system?

Back

Input, Output, Secondary storage, CPU.

Card 3

Front

What are the two main components of the CPU?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is the name of the architecture found in most computers today?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What cycle does the CPU carry out continuously to process instructions?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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