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3: Computer Architecture

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    88880
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    • 3.1: The CPU
      To greatly simplify, a computer consists of a central processing unit (CPU) attached to memory. The CPU The CPU executes instructions read from memory.
    • 3.2: Memory
      The CPU can only directly fetch instructions and data from cache memory, located directly on the processor chip. Cache memory must be loaded in from the main system memory (the Random Access Memory, or RAM). RAM however, only retains its contents when the power is on, so needs to be stored on more permanent storage.
    • 3.3: Peripherals and buses
      Peripherals are any of the many external devices that connect to your computer. Obviously, the processor must have some way of talking to the peripherals to make them useful.
    • 3.4: Small to big systems
      As Moore's law has predicted, computing power has been growing at a furious pace and shows no signs of slowing down. It is relatively uncommon for any high end servers to contain only a single CPU. This is achieved in a number of different fashions.


    This page titled 3: Computer Architecture is shared under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Ian Wienand via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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