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Chapter 3 Hardware: Input, Processing, and Output Devices Computer System Special subsystem of an organization's overall information system Integrated assembly of physical devices, centered around at least one processing mechanism utilizing digital electronics

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Hardware input processing and output devices l.jpg

Chapter 3


Input, Processing, and Output Devices

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Computer System

  • Special subsystem of an organization's overall information system

  • Integrated assembly of physical devices, centered around at least one processing mechanism utilizing digital electronics

  • Used to input, process, store, and output data and information

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Computer System Components

[Figure 3.1]

Computer system hardware components include devices that perform the functions of input, processing, data storage, and output.

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Central Processing Unit (CPU)

  • Arithmetic/logic unit (ALU)

    • Performs mathematical calculations

    • Makes logical comparisons

  • Control unit

    • Sequentially accesses and decodes program instructions

    • Coordinates flow of data in and out of the ALU, registers, primary storage, secondary storage, output devices

  • Registers

    • High-speed storage areas

    • Temporarily hold small units of program instructions and data immediately before, during, and after execution by CPU

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Primary Storage

  • Holds program instructions and data immediately before or immediately after the registers

  • Also called memory or main memory

  • Closely associated with the CPU

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Execution of an Instruction

  • Instruction phase

    • Step 1: Fetch instruction

    • Step 2: Decode instruction

  • Instruction time (I-time): The time to complete the instruction phase

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Execution of an Instruction

  • Execution phase

    • Step 3: Execute instruction

    • Step 4: Store results

  • Execution time (E-time): The time to complete the execution phase

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CPU Characteristics

  • Machine cycle time

  • Clock speed

  • Wordlength and bus line width

  • Physical characteristics

  • Complex and reduced instruction set computing

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Machine Cycle Time

  • Measured in fractions of a second

    • Millisecond - one thousandth of one second

    • Microsecond - one millionth of one second

    • Nanosecond - one billionth of one second

    • Picosecond - one trillionth of one second

  • Or in terms of instructions per second

    • MIPS - millions of instructions per second

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Clock Speed

  • Predetermined rate at which the CPU produces a series of electronic pulses

  • Microcode

    • Predetermined internal instructions executed in accordance with clock speed

  • Often measured in megahertz (MHz) or millions of cycles per second; ranges from 20 MHz to over 200 MHz for PCs

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Wordlengthand Bus Line Width

  • Bit

    • A binary digit: 0 or 1

  • Wordlength

    • Number of bits the CPU can process at any one time

  • Bus lines

    • Physical wiring that connects computer system components

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Physical Characteristicsof the CPU

Moore’s Law: The hypothesis that transistor densities on a single chip will double every 18 months

[Figure 3.4]

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  • Complex instruction set computing (CISC)

    • Places as many microcode instructions into the central processor as possible

  • Reduced instruction set computing (RISC)

    • Reduces the number of microcode instructions built into a chip to an essential set of common instructions

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  • Storage capacity

    • Byte = eight bits

      • Kilo, Mega, Giga, Tera

  • Types of memory

    • Random access memory (RAM)

      • Temporary and volatile

    • Read-only memory (ROM)

      • Permanent and non-volatile

    • Cache memory

      • High-speed, quicker access than main memory

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  • Processing that occurs using more than one processing unit

  • Coprocessor

    • A processor that speeds processing by executing specific types of instructions while the CPU works on another processing activity

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Parallel Processing

Speeds processing by linking several processors to operate at the same time

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Parallel Processing

  • Shared memory processing (SMP)

    • Involves fewer processors and a common pool of main memory

    • An independent task runs on each processor

  • Massively parallel processing (MPP)

    • Involves hundreds or thousands of microprocessor chips assigned to do the computing for a single program

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Parallel Processing

[Figure 3.8]

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Secondary Storage

  • The portion of the computer that holds large amounts of data, instructions, and information more permanently than does main memory

  • Also called permanent storage

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Access Method Trade-Offs

  • Direct access

    • Process by which data and information are retrieved directly, without the need to pass by other data in sequence

  • Sequential access storage device (SASD)

    • Device used to sequentially access secondary storage media

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Access Method Trade-Offs

  • Direct access storage device (DASD)

    • Device used to directly access secondary storage media

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Secondary Storage Devices

  • Magnetic tape

    • Common secondary storage media

    • Mylar film coated with iron oxide

  • Magnetic disks

    • Steel platters (hard disks) or Mylar film (floppy disks) coatedwith iron oxide

Fig. 3.11

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Secondary Storage Devices

  • Redundant array of independent/ inexpensive disks (RAID)

    • Generates extra bits of data from existing data so the system can create a “reconstruction map” to rebuild lost data

  • Disk mirroring

    • Provides an exact copy of data on drive

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Secondary Storage Devices

  • Optical disks

    • A rigid disk of plastic onto which data is recorded by special lasers that physically burn pits into the disk

  • Compact disk read-only memory (CD-ROM)

    • A common form of optical disk on which data, once recorded, cannot be modified

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Secondary Storage Devices

  • CD-rewriteable (CD-R)

    • Allows PC users to replace their diskettes with high capacity CDs that can be written upon and edited over

  • Write-once, read-many (WORM)

    • Allows businesses to record customized data and information onto an optical disk

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Secondary Storage Devices

  • Magneto-optical disk

    • A hybrid between magnetic disks and optical disks

  • Digital video disk (DVD)

    • Looks like a CD-ROMdisk, but can store about 135 minutes of digital video

Fig. 3.12

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Secondary Storage Devices

  • Memory cards

    • Credit-card sized devices that can be installed in an adapter or slot in many personal computers

  • Flash memory

    • A silicon chip that is nonvolatile and keeps its memory when the power is shut off

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Secondary Storage Devices

  • Expandable storage

    • Storage devices that use removable disk cartridges

Fig. 3.13

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Secondary Storage Devices

  • Floptical disk

    • Experimental storage device that is the same size as a diskette, but is able to hold many more times the data

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Speed And Functionality

  • The nature of data

    • Human-readable data vs. machine-readable data

  • Data entry and input

    • Data entry: Human-readable data is converted into a machine-readable

    • Data input: Machine-readable data is transferred into the system


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Speed And Functionality

  • Source data automation

    • Automation of data entry and input where the data is created, thus ensuring accuracy and timeliness

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Personal computer input devices



Voice recognition devices

Digital computer cameras


Scanning devices

Optical data readers

Optical mark recognition readers

Optical character reader

Input Devices


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Magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) devices

Point-of-sale (POS) devices

Automatic teller machine (ATM) devices

Pen input devices

Light pens

Touch-sensitive screens

Bar code scanners

Input Devices

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Sample Input Device: Digital Computer Camera

Fig. 3.14

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Sample Input Device: MICR Device

Fig. 3.15

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Output Devices: Monitors

  • Display monitors

    • Monochrome

    • RGB (red, green, blue)

    • Color graphics adapter (CGA)

    • Enhanced graphics adapter (EGA)

    • Video graphics array (VGA)

    • Extended graphics array (XGA)

  • Liquid crystal display (LCDs)

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Output Devices: Printers, Plotters,and Microfilm

  • Impact printers

    • Letter-quality printers, dot-matrix printers, near-letter quality printers (NLQ)

  • Non-impact printers

    • Ink-jet printers and laser printers

  • Plotters

  • Computer output microfilm devices (COM)

  • Special-Purpose Devices: Multifunction device

    • A device that combines several input/output devices (e.g., printer, fax, scanner)

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Classifying Computers

  • Special-purpose computers

    • Used for limited applications

  • General-purpose computers

    • Most common type of computers

    • Used for a variety of applications

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Types of Computer Systems

  • Personal computers

  • Network computers

  • Workstations

  • Midrange computers

  • Mainframes

  • Supercomputers

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Types of Computer Systems

  • Personal computers

    • Relatively small and inexpensive

    • Also called microcomputers

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Computer System Types

  • Network Computers

    • Stripped-down personal computers

    • Primarily used with network system and the Internet

  • Workstations

    • Fit between high-end microcomputers and low-end midrange computers in terms of cost and processing power

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Computer System Types

  • Midrange computers

    • Systems that can accommodate several users at one time

    • Formerly known as minicomputers

  • Mainframes

    • Large powerful computers often shared by hundreds of concurrent users connected to the machine via terminals

  • Supercomputers

    • Most powerful computer systems with the fastest processing speeds

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Processor speed

1-5 MIPs

Amount of RAM

4-16 MB

Approximate cost


How used

Supports data entry

Connects to the Internet


Oracle Network computer

Network Computer

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Processor speed

5-20 MIPs

Amount of RAM

16-128 MB

Approximate cost


How used

Improves individual worker’s productivity


Compaq Pentium computer

Personal Computer

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Processor speed

50-100 MIPs

Amount of RAM

32-256 MB

Approximate cost

$4,000 to over $20,000

How used

Engineering CAD

Software development


Sun Microsystems computer


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Processor speed

25-100 MIPs

Amount of RAM

32-512 MB

Approximate cost

$20,00 to over $100,000

How used

Meets computing needs for a department or small company


Hewlett-Packard HP-9000

Midrange Computer

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Processor speed

40-4,550 MIPs

Amount of RAM

256-1,024 MB

Approximate cost

$250,000 to over $2 million

How used

Meets computing needs for a company


IBM ES/9000

Mainframe Computer

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Processor speed

60 billion-3 trillion instructions per sec

Amount of RAM


Approximate cost

$2.5 million-$3.5 million

How used

Scientific applications


Customer support

Product development


Cray C90


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Multimedia Computers

  • Involves the marriage of sound, animation, and digitized video

  • Multimedia standards

    • Enable software and hardware vendors to build products that will work together to meet the needs of their customers

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Multimedia Support

  • Microsoft multimedia extension for Windows

  • Multimedia PC Council (MPC)

  • IBM Ultimedia Solution

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Multimedia Support: Audio

  • Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)

    • Standard system for connecting musical instruments and synthesizers to computers

  • Digital signal processor (DSP)

    • A chip used by advanced sound systems to improved the analog-to-digital-to-analog conversion process

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Multimedia Support: Video

  • Video compression

    • A process that uses mathematical formulas to reduce the number of bits required to present a single video frame

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Architecture and Upgrades: Responding to Change

  • Computer system architecture

    • The structure, or configuration, of hardware components of a computer system

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Computer Standards

  • Approved reference models determined by groups for building various products

  • Common PC standards:

    • Plug and play (PnP)

    • Small Computer Systems Interface (SCSI)

    • Multimedia extension (MMX)

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Information Systems Principles

  • Assembling an efficient computer subsystem requires an understanding of its relationship to the information system and the organization. The computer system objectives are subordinate to, but supportive of, the information system and the organization.

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Information Systems Principles

  • Components of information systems (input devices, people, procedures, goals) are interdependent. Because the performance of one system affects the others, all systems should be measured according to the same standards of effectiveness and efficiency.

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Information Systems Principles

  • When selecting computer subsystem devices, consider current and future needs. The choice of a particular computer system should allow for later improvements in the overall information system. Reasoned forethought is the hallmark of a true systems professional.

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Information Systems Principles

  • Determine hardware needs based on how the hardware will be used to support the objectives of the information systems and the goals of the organization. For PC users, this means knowing what software you want to run.

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Information Systems Principles

  • Do research to gain an understanding of the trade-offs between overall system performance, and cost, control, and complexity.