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Computer Structures

For Rico's Class
by

Derek Marlett

on 20 May 2011

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Transcript of Computer Structures

COMPUTER Motherboard In personal computers, a motherboard is the central printed circuit board (PCB) in many modern computers and holds many of the crucial components of the system, providing connectors for other peripherals. The motherboard is sometimes alternatively known as the mainboard, system board, or, on Apple computers, the logic board. It is also sometimes casually shortened to mobo. The motherboard provides connections to literally everypiece of the computer, including: Central Processing Unit, Power Supply, Hard Disk Drive, Random Access Memory, CD-R Drive, Expansion Cards, DVD-R Drive, etc. The motherboard contains many different important components, like an integrated chip set, to run all necessary components, or integrated memory, used to store the BIOS information. The motherboard contains many different sockets and slots as well, to allow different pieces of a computer to be connected. Motherboards require a lot of temperature regulation in order to function properly. This is why almost every motherboard is equipped iwth some sort of heat sync, fan, or other mode of temperature stabilization. Motherboards truly came into use in the late 1980's, when it became more economical to mash together all components on to a smaller and more compact 'motherboard' in comparison to the backplanes that were used in that way at one time. CPU central processing unit The central processing unit is the primary piece of the computer. It carries at the instructions of the programs and functions given to it. STRUCTURES CPUs weren't always microprocessors, in fact, CPUs used to be quite large. A video card, video adapter, graphics accelerator card, display adapter, or graphics card is an expansion card whose function is to generate output images to a display. The CPU is also in charge of running a clock, and syncronizing all different parts of the computer. The CPU uses this clock to arange, and schedule different program instances. The millions of pixels displayed on you monitor are managed by a graphics card. Without a graphics card there would be no interpreter deciding what to do with all that information. The actual name CPU wasn't truly considered accurate until the advent of a stored-program computer, meaning, until the CPU's singular purpose was to run pre-stored programs from a Hard Disk Drive. The graphics card has several different components: the graphics processing unit (GPU), Video BIOS, Video Memory, RAMDAC, outputs, video graphics array (VGA), digital visual interface (DVI), HDMI, and display port, motherboard interfaces, cooling devices, and power demand. There are four steps that nearly all CPUs use in their operation: fetch, decode, execute, and writeback. In the Fetch stage, the CPU seeks out the program, then Decodes it, Executes the instructions, and finally sends back the info requested from the program. The graphics processing unit (GPU) is a processor dedicated and specifically designed for accelerating graphics. Hard Disk Drive The hard drive of a computer has the primary task of storing information to then be used at a later date. This is probably the easiest piece for most people to understand However, what most people probably don't know, is that Hard Drives used to be rare, expensive, and were only used in high end computer models in 1956. Or that Hard Drives were 87.9 cubic feet, and now they are a meer 0.002 cubic feet. That means that a modern hard drive is 43,950% smaller. The CPU, working in conjunction with software applications, sends information about the image to the graphics card. The graphics card decides how to use the pixels on the screen to create the image. It then sends that information to the monitor where it is displayed. Hard Drives are imporved upon vastly every two to four years. With Acces time decreasing by 40-to-1, Memory room increasing 270-to-1, size decreasing by about 44,000-to-1, and cost effeciency improving by 150,000,000-to-1. In 1983 Intel made the iSBX 275 Video Graphics Controller Multimodule Board for industrial systems. This accelerated the drawing of lines, arcs, rectangles and character bitmaps, as well as framebiffer loading via DMA. The Commodore Amiga was the first PC to use a GPU. Prior to this. Graphics Card A power supply unit (PSU) supplies DC power to the all the other components in the computer. The power supply unit converts electric power from the mains to low voltage, direct current (DC) power for the internal components. Power Supply Power supplies are rated on their maximum power output. A normal power supply will give around 500 W to 300 W, whereas a very high-end gaming computer may demand 800-1400 W. The highest end PSUs provide 2,000 W and are typically used for servers. Power supplies use switcher technology to convert the AC input to lower DC voltages. The typical voltages supplied are 3.3, 5, and 12 volts. The 3.3 and 5 volts are used by circuits, while the 12 volt is used for the motors in disc drives and fans. An optical disc drive (ODD) is a disk drive that uses laser light or electromagnetic waves to read or write data to or from optical discs. Optical Disc Drive They are used in computers to read software and consumer media distributed in disc form, as well as store and archive information. The first optical disc was created in 1958 and soon replaced floppy disk drives and magnetic tape drives because of the low cost of optical media and the increeased storage capacity of optical discs. The drive reads the disc by shining a laser on the disc. As the disc spins, the laser shines off of the grooves in the disc (the grooves are called pits, which are pressed into the flat parts of the disc, called lands.) The drive then reads the light as it reflects back.

A recorder burns data onto a disc by selectively heating parts of an organic dye layer with a laser. This changes the reflectivity of the dye, thereby creating marks that can be read like the pits and lands on pressed discs. Random Access Memory RAM, or random-access memory is a form of temporary (mainly) storage. It takes the form of circuits that allow stored data to be accessed quickly and in any order. Thus RAM is not random access because the data is red in bursts, but the name has stuck. The static and dynamic integrated RAM circuits were developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Before this, computers used relays, delay line/delay memory, or various kinds of vacuum tube arrangements to implement "main" memory functions, some of which were random access, some not. In the most common form of computer memory, dynamic random access memory (DRAM), a capacitor and transistor form a memory cell which holds a single bit of data (0 or 1). The capacitor holds it while the transistor acts as a switch that allows the circuitry on the chip either read or change the data. In the 1960s when computers were still in the early phases of being developed, power supplies were seen more as power amplifiers than a power source. However, the power crisis in the 1970s allowed the power supply to re-surface in the electronic marketplace after being replaced in radios by built-in power supplies in 1929. By: Derek Marlett, and Ross Owen
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