Intro to Information Technology
February 2, 2014
Computer Architecture John von Neumann published the Von Neumann architecture on June 30, 1945. The central processing unit (CPU), the memory, and the input/output devices (I/O) are the main three building blocks of the Von Neumann computer systems connected using the system bus. The components of the model are composed of memory, arithmetic logic unit (ALU), input/output, and the control unit. The memory is where all the data information is stored, in present computers it is call the RAM. The ALU is where the calculation and processing of information take place. The input gets information into the computer like the keyboard, and the mouse. The output gets information out of the computer like the monitor and the printer. The control unit makes sure that all other parts are doing their job correctly and on time. Modern computers still follow the idea of Von Neumann architecture. The CPU chip holds the control unit and the ALU and the memory in the form of RAM located on the motherboard.
Von Neumann architecture is important in the present day. All modern computers are based on the same basic design. The central processing unit does the calculations, a memory to hold the data, and an interface that allows the input/output to change the information in memory. The architecture is simple and can be easily reduced to a smaller size and capacity needed. Back in 2012 at the University of California at Santa Barbara, the first general-purpose programmable quantum computer was created. “Their quantum computer uses superconducting circuits to form quantum computer equivalent of a Von Neumann architecture” (Dodson, 2012). The ability of this quantum computer to solve problems and to have more active information is a result by applying the Von Neumann architecture. There have been a lot of improvements to computer architecture over the years, but they still follow the same design. Without Neumann’s design, the world of computer architecture would not be the same today as we see it.
A system bus connects the central processing unit to the main memory. It is an electronic pathway that the CPU uses to connect with the input and output of a computer system. The bus system is divided into three groups: control, address, and data. The control bus manages the flow of the address and data information and how the data needs to be transmitted through the computer system. The address bus shows where the data is located and where it should go during a particular operation. The data bus is the information that needs to be the transfer. The system bus is like the transportation system of the computer. Let's say you have a movie file on the hard drive; the movie file is the data. The data needs to be transfer to the video and the sound card so we can watch it on the monitor and listen to it on the speakers. The address is the location of the movie file and the location of the video and sound card. The control bus will manage the transfer of the file through certain components. The CPU manages all of this but the system bus is the one making the transfers happen. The bus speed plays an important part of the performance; one factor to determine the speed is the length of the wire; the longer the wire, the slower the bus is. The computer’s operation is determined by how fast the system bus is. A slow bus will slow down the operations. Improvements have been made to add speed to the computer called cache memory. The bus that connects the processor to the cache memory is called backside bus, and the bus that connects the CPU to the main memory and the I/O is called the front side bus (FSB). The speed of the front side bus is very important part of the performance of the computer. A fast CPU with lots of main memory does not make a fast computer unless the front side bus is fast also. You can find out the speed of the FSB by looking at the…