Introduction to Computer Architecture

Essay by basitCollege, Undergraduate May 2004

download word file, 7 pages 4.0

"This essay gives a brief introduction on Computer Architecture"


Address, Data, and Control Buses:

A computer system comprises of a processor, memory, and I/O devices. I/O is used for interfacing with the external world, while memory is the processor's internal world. Processor is the core in this picture and is responsible for performing operations. The operation of a computer can be fairly described with processor and memory only. I/O will be discussed in a later part of the course. Now the whole working of the computer is performing an operation by the processor on data, which resides in memory.

The scenario that the processor executes operations and the memory contains data elements requires a mechanism for the processor to read that data from the memory. "That data" in the previous sentence much be rigorously explained to the memory which is a dumb device. Just like a postman, who must be told the precise address on the letter, to inform him where the destination is located.

Another significant point is that if we only want to read the data and not write it, then there must be a mechanism to inform the memory that we are interested in reading data and not writing it. Key points in the above discussion are:

• There must be a mechanism to inform memory that we want to do the read operation

• There must be a mechanism to inform memory that we want to read precisely which element

• There must be a mechanism to transfer that data element from memory to processor

The group of bits that the processor uses to inform the memory about which element to read or write is collectively known as the address bus. Another important bus called the data bus is used to move...