Hidalgo, Louella C.

N2-1 Central Processing Unit (CPU) The central processor (CPU) is the chip which acts as a control centre for all operations. It executes instructions (a program) which are contained in the memory section. Basic operations involve :
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the transfer of data between itself and the memory section manipulation of data in the memory section or stored internally the transfer of data between itself and input/output devices

The CPU is said to be the brains of any computer system. It provides all the timing and control signals necessary to transfer data from one point to another in the system. Computer Memory Computer Memory are internal storage areas in the computer used to either temporarily or permanently store data or instructions to be processed. There are four basic types of computer memory: Cache Memory, RAM, Virtual Memory and Hard Drives. With modern CPU¶s running at speeds of 1 gigahertz or higher, it is hard for computer memory to keep up with the extreme amount of data being processed. Types of Computer Memory 1. Computer RAM: - Computer RAM is the best known form of memory your computer uses. Every file or application opened is placed in RAM. Any information the computer needs or uses becomes part of a continuous cycle where the CPU requests data from RAM, processes it and then writes new data back to RAM. This can happen millions of times a second. However, this is usually just for temporary file storage, so unless the data is saved somewhere, it is deleted when the files or applications are closed. 2. Hard Drive: -A Hard Drive is a form of computer memory that allows you to permanently store data. This is where all of your permanent files and programs are stored. On computers running with Microsoft windows the Hard Drive is often called C-Drive. The size of a Hard Drive is typically measured in gigabytes. 3. Virtual Memory: -Virtual memory typically comes into place when applications are too large for the RAM to handle. The operating System uses the hard drive to temporarily store information and take it back when needed. This is normally a lot slower than actual RAM and can possibly degrade performance if used to heavily. 4. Cache Memory: -Cache Memory is used in-between the CPU and the RAM and holds the most frequently used data or instructions to be processed. There are three different grades of Cache. Some systems will only have level 1 and level 2. More advanced systems will include the level 3. y y Level 1 (L1) - Is the primary and is on or very close to the processor. This is used for the most frequently used data and instructions. Level 2 (L2) - Is second closest to the CPU and is more common to be on the motherboard. Depending on your motherboard it might be able to be updated. This is used for the most frequently used data and instructions. Level 3 (L3) - This is the most advanced cache and will speed up the memory even further. This is used for the most frequently used data and instructions.


This means that the user selects a command from the computer's screen display by moving a pointer and clicking an icon. Backspace. such as Tab. Mouse Computers are usually operated through a graphical user interface. Keyboards usually have the following: y Keys for the letters of the alphabet. Insert. such as moving a cursor or drawing a line. y A mouse is used by moving it across a mouse mat or other flat surface. For this reason. It has buttons. the function of which depend upon the software being used. y Because a touch pad is flat and does not require the user to push down a specific key (as with a keyboard) or grasp it (as with a mouse). y Function keys numbered from F1 to F12. y Keys which change the function of other keys. Joystick y A joystick consists of a base and a stick perpendicular to the base. This enables the user to create an image on the computer by drawing on the pad with a specially designed pen. y Light pens are not widely used because they require a lot of arm movement. The stick can be moved in any direction. it is often used as an input device for people with particular disabilities. Graphics tablets are used by graphic design artists and for children's drawing software. such as Shift. y Numbered keys or a numeric keypad (or both). y Hand-held scanners are dragged across the paper to scan it.Input Devices An input device is any device that is used to supply information to a computer. Enter. Software interprets this signal and performs an operation. Scanner Scanners are input devices used to detect a pattern on paper (pictures or text) and then translate the pattern into computer data. Delete. y Possible uses include engineering production lines and science laboratories where dirt or other environmental factors make the use of a keyboard or mouse impractical. Touch pads are also used on laptops and palmtop computers. trackballs are sometimes included on laptop computers. Alt. like a mouse. The movement of the ball sends a signal to the computer. enabling the user to move an object around the computer screen. Keyboard The most common input device is the keyboard. A joystick can perform a similar function to a mouse or trackball. One advantage is that it does not need a flat area to use it. The function of these keys is set by whichever program is running. y Some people find a trackball easier to use than a mouse. making them tiring and uncomfortable to use. y Keys to move the typing cursor and other text controls. but is only commonly used for playing games. but the pointer is moved using a rotating ball set into the top of the device (basically an upsidedown mouse). . A few examples of input devices are given below. A mouse is the device usually used to control the movement of the pointer on the screen. This moves a ball on the bottom of the mouse. The user is able to send information to the computer by touching the pen onto certain areas of a specially designed screen. y A mouse has two or more buttons on top of it. Trackball y A trackball can be used as an alternative to a mouse. Light Pen y A light pen is a hand-held device (very similar to a standard ballpoint pen) that has a device at the tip. and Ctrl. and so on. y Another form of touch pad is the graphics tablet. which is used both for text-based data input and for selecting commands. Caps Lock. y Keys for punctuation symbols. which either emits light or is light sensitive. you use your finger or a pen-like instrument (or stylus) on a sensitive pad to move the screen pointer. Touch Pad y A touch pad is another device for moving the pointer. In this case.

A layer of magnetized material is placed within . Floppy disc is a magnetic storage device. Visual Display Units (VDU) or monitors y Visual Display Units (VDU) or monitors are used to visually interface with the computer and are similar in appearance to a television. The card translates the data into audio signals.  Non-impact printers are much quieter than impact printers as their printing heads do not strike the paper. y Visual Display Units display images and text which are made up of small blocks of coloured light called pixels. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software can be used to convert the scanned image into text data that can be edited using word processing software. CD/DVD/Floppy Disc y CD. DVDs feature a dual coating system that allows audio and visual data to be written at the same time by using a laser. or CD. or DVD. The image is saved to a flash memory card (CompactFlash for example). Digital Cameras y Digital cameras work in much the same way as normal cameras.Flatbed scanners have the paper placed on top of them.  Impact Printers use a print head containing a number of metal pins which strike an inked ribbon placed between the print head and the paper. but are still quite expensive. and includes sound. where it is embedded and can be later retrieved. y The two main types of printer are impact and non-impact. Some filmmakers are starting to record motion pictures entirely on digital video. There are different kinds of printers which vary in their speed and print quality. which are sent to the audio output device. Images can often be printed directly to a printer or displayed on a television or can be transferred to a computer (either by connecting the camera to a suitable port (such as a USB port) or by inserting the memory card into a card reader. y If a scanner is used to scan a page of text. Most non-impact printers produce dot-matrix patterns. Data is placed on the disc. Digital Versatile Disc. Web Cams can record low resolution video images. using a laser writer that embeds the data into the disc's coating. Compact disc. Special scanners are available to prepare and read microfilm using a computer. except that the exposure from the subject is recorded onto light sensitive diodes not photographic film. in a similar way to a photocopier. By printing you create what is known as a 'hard copy'. Most monitors have a 4:3 width to height ratio. Speakers/Headphones y Computers produce audio data that require output devices such as speakers and headphones to deliver the sound to the user. images. The resolution of the screen improves as the number of pixels is increased. and even tactile experiences. Output devices can usually only be used to send data from the computer. miniaturised onto 35mm film. DVD and floppy disc are output devices that can also be used as storage and input devices. is an optical device that stores visual data in a media format. High resolution digital video cameras are available. is an optical device that stores audio and visual data in a digital format. These are more expensive than hand-held scanners but they are usually able to produce higher resolution images. Audio data is created by the computer and then sent to the audio card. Printer y You can print out information that is in the computer onto paper. Several different technologies have been used to provide a variety of printers. y Companies needing to store paper records can transfer them to microfilm. y There are also devices to capture moving images. The computer sends data to the disc. which is located in an expansion slot. A microfilm is a series of page images. This information can be in any form. y Output Devices Output devices are pieces of computer hardware that allow a computer system to communicate information to a user or another system.

like 8 inches. When the computer is switched off. hard disks were like removable mass storage devices. Different types of devices are used to store data. however. However. the hard drive types. using a writing head. now there are external hard drives available as well. They are typically used for presentations or for viewing videos. plotters basically draw an image using a series of straight lines. with the advancements they got over shadowed by the other computer storage devices. While the amount of data stored on the primary is less and is volatile in nature. The classification of computer storage devices is made based on the task performed by the device. 5 ¼ inches and 3 ½ inches. However. even if the computer has been switched off. One of the most important tasks performed by computers is storing data. while the secondary storage device have better storage space and also is non volatile in nature. Generally used with engineering applications. namely primary data storage.a proactive plastic casing. There are three types of data storage. Random Access Memory The Random Access Memory is used for storing information temporarily. Storage devices A storage device is necessary for recording data. . Like the ROM. which is set in square plastic shell. so that the storage capacity of the computer can be increased. the secondary computer storage are also non volatile. Hard Drives The hard drives are one of the most important of the secondary types of computer data storage devices. Secondary Computer Storage Devices Most of the storage devices we are acquainted with come under this category. with time they started coming as a part of the central processing unit of the computer. Plotter y Plotters create a hard copy rendition of a digitally rendered design. The primary storage device is commonly called random access memory. The access rate necessary to get to the memory is much lesser as compared to the access rate of the RAM. either when the computer is been manufactured or by the computer user. Read Only Memory It is used to permanently store data. The information stored on the these devices is retained. Data can be stored on ROM. ROM¶s are not expensive. In the initial days floppy discs were very popular. They are more expensive than the other types of primary storage devices. Unlike the RAM¶s. Data is stored on the hard drives in the digital format on the hard drives. the disadvantage of this type of memory is that the data stored on ROM cannot be changed. In the initial days of the computers. Floppy Discs This is a magnetic storage device. while the secondary storage device is the hard disk. PRIMARY COMPUTER STORAGE DEVICES The primary storage devices for computers are actually a part of the computer's memory. and creates the design using a pen. Projector y Projectors are display devices that project a computer created image. They are the Random Access Memory (RAM) and Read Only Memory (ROM). The computer sends the image data to the video card which then sends the video image to the projector. They are available in different sizes. The tertiary storage devices are removable mass storage devices. We have previously used the terms like RAM and ROM. However. The computer embeds the data into the magnetized material. People make use of these devices. but may not have know what they are exactly. The design is sent to the plotter via a graphics card. They are not a part of the processor. secondary storage devices and tertiary storage devices. The access rate of RAM is much higher. the information on the RAM is wiped off. The data stored is stores in digital forms.

Memory Cards The next of the computer storage devices examples are the memory cards. Like the CD¶s.ziplink. There is six times more storage space in the DVD¶s as compared to the CD¶s. mobile phones. Backup can be stored on the CDs. The data is stored on the CDs in optical format.britannica.ehow. These discs can store data for long time. Flash Memory With a lot of research came the flash memory. There are some of the USB drives.ac. However. On the other hand. It has an integrated Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface. are used for high definition video storage. This storage devices for a computer is similar to the read only memory. The difference lies in the storage capacity.be/cit_courseware/HF100/hf100m4. etc. Blu-ray discs are similar to the CD¶s and DVD¶s in their looks. DVD¶s are also used as backup device. They can be used in various electronic devices from hand held computers.htm http://www.html http://uva.Compact Discs Previously compact discs (abbreviated as CD) were used only for recording and storing audio files. DVD¶s and BD¶s. They are very small in size.htm http://www. They are non-volatile and data can be rewritten on them.com/computercomponents/types_computer_memory. but have very large memory space. It is often used by gamers.html#ixzz1J0fN93F8 http://www. Digital Versatile Disc The format of storing data in the digital versatile discs (DVD) is similar to that of a compact disc.computerknowledgeforyou.uk/input-devices. They are also rewritable.net/users/teachcte/comp-rel/misc/in-out1. Blu-ray Discs Blu-rays discs are abbreviated as BD.ulb.com/about_5300348_examples-output-devices-computer. Blu-ray disc is an optical storage device. Although they are small in size.com/about_5300348_examples-output-devices-computer.com/EBchecked/topic/288883/inputoutput-device .com/books/pcarchitecture/chapter14. Data from the flash memory can be erased in a matter of few seconds from the flash drives. some of them are known to retain data for as long as 10 years. cameras. they can store a high amount of data.htm http://www. which is not the case with the ROM¶s. REFERENCE: http://www.ehow.htm http://www. Subsequently along with audio. where 1 million erase and write cycles can be carried out. Data is stored in digital format on the memory cards. video and other data is also stored on them. the data can be changed as per the requirement.html http://tutorials. At the same time.karbosguide.beginners. USB Flash Drive The USB flash drives consist of a NAND type flash memory. It is the memory space which makes all the difference between the CD¶s. there is a big difference between the flash memory and the ROM.co.