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in a specified sequence) and which can process the data according to set of instruction that are fed into it & supply the results of the processing in a specified format. As information, which in turn assists computer user in decision-making, or as signals to control automatically further machine or process. Or store the result in a primary /secondary storage for safekeeping or later reuse. In simplest terms a computer is an electronic machine for accepting & processing of data & help in retrieving information when needed. Uses of Computer: Computer Classification: On the basis of the usage of data computers can be classified as: 1. Analog Computers. 2. Digital Computers. 3. Hybrid Computers. Analog Computers: are in which numerical magnitudes are represented by physical quantities, such as electric current, voltage or resistance, mechanical movements etc. Analog computers accept data & then process it to produce analog data. Digital Computers: A digital computer on data in the form of digits , rather than the physical quantities used in analog computers. That is , it’s input must be discrete rather than continuous & may consist of combination of numbers , characters & special symbols , written in appropriate programming language. Classification of digital computers: 1. General-purpose digital computer. 2. Special purpose digital computer. General-purpose digital computer: This is also called all-purpose digital computer. It can be used for any type of application e.g.: Computers that are used for payroll, graphics, analysis etc. Special purpose digital computer: These computers designed to solve problems of a restricted type i.e. designed to be especially efficient in a certain class of applications. Ex: Computer installed in washing machine. Hybrid Computers: Hybrid computer is the outcome of the integration of analog computer components & digital components. This integration is obtained by digital –to-analog converter and analog –to-digital converter. A hybrid computer may use or produce analog data or digital data. It accepts a continuously varying input which is then converted into a set of discrete values for digital processing. Hybrid Machines are generally used in scientific applications or in controlling industrial processes. Characteristics of Computers:
Speed: A computer speed is generally expressed in Megahertz (MHz), millions of machine cycles per second. Thus a PC listed at100MHz has a processor capable of handling 100 million machine cycles per second. Another measure of computer speed is MIPS (One million per second). A third measure of speed is the mega flops (MFLOPS), Which stands for one million floating point operations per second. It measures the ability of the computer to perform complex mathematical operations. Reliability: Computers are extremely reliable, Where reliability is the measurements of the performance of a computer, measured against some predetermined standard against for operation against some predetermined standard for operation without the failure of it. Serviceable Time Reliability of computer Down Time = --------------------------------------------------Serviceable Time +
Where serviceable time is the total time during which a computer is in a state where it can operate normally, including time when the computer is idle, but not the time it is unattended. Down time is the time when a computer is inoperable due to a machine fault. Accuracy: The accuracy of the results obtained from computer mainly depends on the method of programming & the ways the result are interpreted. Storage Capability: Computer systems can store data tremendous amount of data , which can be located & retrieved efficiently. Mainly Computer system consist of 3parts 1. Hardware 2. Software 3. User Computer Hardware consists of different parts like Central Processing Unit, Input hardware, output hardware, secondary storage and optical storage. Central Processing Unit (C P U) : At the heart of the digital computer exists the central processing unit [CPU],Where all sorts of processing are initiated, carried out & completed. It is a CPU of a computer, which determines the class &the quality of the computer. The CPU of a present day computer is a single digital circuit, known as microprocessor. Examples of microprocessor designers :Intel, Motorola, Apple, and Sun etc. Intel designed the first microprocessor in the year 1971. CPU consists of three major parts. 1. Internal Memory (primary memory) 2. Arithmetic & Logic Unit 3. Control Unit Internal Memory: It holds the data after it is fed into the system & before it is processed; & it holds the data after has been processed but before it has been released to the output device & it holds the programs (Computer instruction) needed by the CPU.
Registers: Registers are temporary storage areas for instruction or data. These are used for special additional storage locations that offer the advantages of speed. Accumulator: An accumulator, which collects the results of computations. Address Register: An address register, which keeps tracks of where a given instruction or piece of data is stored in memory. Store Register: A storage register holds data temporarily, which has been restricted or is about to be sending to memory. General-Purpose Register: A general-purpose register is used for several functions i.e. arithmetic operations. Arithmetic-Logic Unit (A L U) : The ALU contains the electronic circuitry that executes all arithmetic & logical operations. Arithmetic operations Ex: +, -, *, % Logical operations Ex: Compare, True, False, =, >, < etc. Control Unit: The control unit contains electronic circuit that uses electrical signals to direct the entire computer system to carry out, or execute, stored program instructions; rather it directs other parts of the system to do so. It should communicate both the ALU & Memory. MEMORY There are two types of built-in memory. Non-Volatile Memory & Volatile Memory The CPU contains the logic& circuitry to run the computer. The CPU does contain registers for data & instructions, but these are small areas that can hold only a few bytes at a time. Also the storage in registers are temporary in nature. In addition to the registers, the CPU needs to have millions of bytes space where it can store whole programs. The memory we are talking have consist of some chips either on motherboard or on a small circuit board attached to the motherboard. This built in memory allows the CPU to store & retrieve data very quickly. This built in memory is called as main memory(also Primary Memory). Primary storage media such as semiconductor storage chips are called Direct access or Random access memories (RAM).It means that an element of data or instruction can be directly stored & retrieved by selecting & using any of the locations on the storage media. The Primary storage of memory modern computers consists of microelectronics semiconductor storage circuits. Millions of semiconductor storage circuits can be etched on LSI circuit chips. Memory chips with capacities of 8MB to 512MB are used in current computers. One major disadvantage of semiconductor memory is its nature of volatile i.e. it tends to lose the contents stored when the computer’s power is shut off. Non-Volatile Memory: In it the memory chip always retain the data they hold even when the computer is turned off. Ex: ROM ROM Read only memory, as the name specifies there is no way of changing it. Putting data permanently into this kind of memory is called “burning in the data”. One of the main reasons that a computer needs, ROM is that it helps in knowing what to do when power is first turned on. It contains a set of startup instruction that checks properly &look for an operating system & hardware device. So, the ROM is used to store the system’s startup programs (the BIOS, Basic I/O system programs). There are other types of ROM like, PROM, EPROM, and EEPROM, which can be programmed after manufacture.
Programmable ROM (PROM): Chips memory cell contains a 1. In order to store data or software on it, the contents of selected cells are changed to 0. For PROM chips this process is irreversible. Erasable ROM (EPROM) : It is a user programmed semiconductor memory. Here the stored data can then be reprogrammed i .e selected memory cells can be set to zero value. Electrical Erasable PROM (EEPROM): Here individual cells can be reprogrammed by reversing the voltage used to create a 0. EEPROM are used where the application requires stable storage without power, but where the chip may have to be reprogrammed. An important application of ROM is for storing tables, which do not change. Ex : tables of trigonometric functions. Another application of ROM is to store short programs for special Volatile Memory: Here the memory chips losses the contents. When the computer’s power is shut off. RAM Memory that can be changed is called RAM. The purpose of RAM is to hold the programs and data. Information can be read off a RAM chip and written to it. When a computer is switched off, any information stored in RAM is lost i.e.; memory is volatile. Most of today’s computers use CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) technology for RAM. But there is a major problem with semiconductor storage. When the electrical current is turned off or interrupted, the data are lost. Bubble Memory: If the surface of a non-magnetic material is coated with a thin layer of magnetic material which is magnetized in a small magnetic field towards the surface, small regions in the materials, called magnetic bubbles are magnetized in the opposite direction away from the surface. These bubbles can be moved around and used to represent the binary digits. Bubble memories cannot replace the main memory (CMOS) because they are too slow. Flash Memory: It is a high-density non-volatile technology. These memory chips are non-volatile and are therefore a true replacement for disk storage. The computer can alter the contents of the flash memory, and the data can still be retained when the power is turned off. Access to data in flash memory is not as fast as a RAM. The first common application of flash memory will probably be replacing Flash chips are currently being used in cellular phones and cockpit flight recorders. Holographic Memory: Engineers are currently developing a new storage medium called holographic memory. Holographic memory will be a 3-D optical medium capable of storing up to 6.5terabytes of data in a cube the size of a sugar cube. Charged-coupled Memory: Charged-coupled Memory store data as electronic charges within a chip. It uses a large number of charged-coupled devices for data storage & retrieval; whereas charge-coupled devices are semiconductor devices arrayed so that the electric charge at the output of one provides the input stimulus to the next. Capacity of RAM: The capacity of RAM is started in terms of the number of bytes it can store. Memory capacity is usually stated in terms of Kilobytes (KB), which is equivalent to 1024bytes of storage, and in terms of megabytes (MB) which is 1,048,576 bytes.1 KB is about 1000 & 1MB is about 1000,000. There are several types of memory. Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) is the most common low-cost & flexible RAM .Another type of memory is Static Random Access Memory (SRAM). It is much faster than DRAM, but also much more expensive. hard disk in laptops & notebook computers. applications.
Static memory is made up of flip-flop and it stores a bit as a voltage. Dynamic memory is made up of MOS transistor gates and it stores a bit as a charge. The advantage of dynamic memory is that a large number of transistor gates can be placed on a memory chips; thus it has density and is faster than static memory. The disadvantage is that bit information stored gets leaked, so the information needs to be read and written again after every few microsecond. This is called refreshing the memory. Function of RAM: RAM provides the processor with temporary storage for programs and data. All programs and data must be transferred to RAM from an input device or from secondary storage before programs can be executed or data can be processed. RAM space is always at a premium; therefore, after a program has been executed, the storage space it occupied is relocated to another program awaiting execution. The input instruction is interpreted and the processor initiates action to retrieve the appropriate program and data from secondary storage. This is a nondestructive read process, i.e.: the program and data from secondary storage. This is a nondestructive read process, i.e.; the program and data that are read, reside in the both RAM (temporarily) and secondary storage (permanently). The data are manipulated according to program instructions and information is received at output. A program instruction or a piece of data is stored in a specific RAM location called as address. Address permits program instruction s and data to be located, access and processed. (Arrangement of the major components) Factors Affecting Processing Speed: How the Registers Affect Speed: The size of the register (16-bit register or 32-bit register), which is also called the word size, indicates the amount of data with the computer can work. The bigger the size of register, the faster the computer can process a set of data. Registers retain information on a temporary basis. They are not considered part of main memory. Registers have the ability to receive information, hold it temporarily & then pass it as directed by supervisory control unit. There are several types of registers: Instruction register: It holds the instruction which is being executed. Address register: It holds the storage location address. Accumulator: It collects results.
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