Computer Architecture – What is Computer Architecture?
A computer is basically a machine which is able to execute sets of mathematical or logical operations automatically without the need of human intervention. Modern computers are able to do almost all kinds of operations automatically, such as database management, word processing, scientific computation and web search. Such computers are called computer systems. These computer systems can also be used to control hardware such as printers, keyboards, disk drives, etc. In addition, these machines are increasingly used to operate the most mundane of devices, such as mobile phones and compact disc players.
The CPU, as mentioned earlier, is the central processing unit of a computer system. It controls the operations of the other hardware. The CPU performs instructions such as shift/click, control/perform, random access memory (RAM), I/O pins, hard disk, CD/DVD drive, and video output/output system through various hardware and software modules. A CPU chip is usually manufactured using an Intel processor or an AMD CPU. The AMD Athlon processors are quite popular because they are faster than their Intel counterparts.
The Central processing unit of a computer system controls the processing speed of the CPU and decides the speed at which the computer system will respond to input or output devices such as a keyboard or mouse. In most cases, the CPU performs the operations of the operating system. The CPU performs calculations such as division by zero, log equation, bitwise or mixed multiply, divide by odd numbers, and bitwise or floating division. The CPU also determines the speed with which it will convert from one instruction to another, convert from one data storage format to another, and run various programs which require constant access to stored data.
The operating system, on the other hand, is the software part of a computer system that actually creates and implements the computer’s hardware. The operating system controls the software of the CPU and operates on the instructions given by the CPU. It controls the actions of the computer system and data that are stored in the CPU’s main memory. The operating system is sometimes referred to as the brain of the computer system.
The peripheral device refers to any add-on hardware that is built into a CPU and any peripheral devices that is connected to a CPU. Peripheral devices include printers, keyboards, scanners, USB drives, and any other types of hardware that are not built into the computer system unit but may be used with the computer system. Some of these peripheral devices are designed for specific purposes and some of them are designed to enhance the operation of other installed hardware. In terms of the mouse and keyboard, a mouse is a component of the mouse unit whereas a keyboard is a peripheral device designed to operate with the keyboard unit.
One type of computer is called a central processing unit or CPU. It is generally seen that in most computers that are in a public domain or at least in a corporate setting, the CPU is part of a mainframe computer system that is located outside of the company. A CPU performs the tasks of all the computers in the system and is one of the more complex pieces of hardware in today’s computers. One example of a CPU is the Sun-PC. Other examples of typical personal computers are desktop systems that use a graphical user interface (GUI) to control programs and interactive media.