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TECHNOLOGY GUIDE ONE Computer Hardware TG1.1 Introduction Hardware refers to the physical equipment used for the input, processing, output and storage activities of a computer system. Hardware consists of: Central processing unit (CPU) Primary storage Secondary storage

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technology guide one


Computer Hardware

tg1 1 introduction
TG1.1 Introduction

Hardware refers to the physical equipment used for the input, processing, output and storage activities of a computer system.

hardware consists of
Hardware consists of:
  • Central processing unit (CPU)
  • Primary storage
  • Secondary storage
  • Input technologies
  • Output technologies
  • Communication technologies
tg1 2 the central processing unit
TG1.2 The Central Processing Unit
  • Central processing unit (CPU)performs the actual computation or “number crunching” inside any computer.
  • Microprocessor
    • Control unit
    • Arithmetic-logic unit (ALU)
    • Registers
how the cpu works continued
How the CPU Works (continued)

See this view from Intel of how a chip works

advances in microprocessor design
Advances in Microprocessor Design

Moore’s Law: microprocessor complexity would double every two years.

the evolution of chips
The Evolution of Chips

For a look at the evolution of chips from the Intel 4004 to multicore chips, click here.

tg1 3 computer memory
TG1.3 Computer Memory

Two basic categories of computer memory:

  • Primary Storage
  • Secondary Storage
memory capacity
Memory Capacity
  • Bit
  • Byte

In this picture, one byte, 01001000, represents the letter H

hierarchy of memory capacity
Hierarchy of Memory Capacity
  • Kilobyte
  • Megabyte
  • Gigabyte
  • Terabyte
  • Petabyte
  • Exabyte
  • Zettabyte
primary storage
Primary Storage
  • Primary storageor main memorystores three types of information for very brief periods of time:
    • Data to be processed by the CPU;
    • Instructions for the CPU as to how to process the data;
    • Operating system programs that manage various aspects of the computer’s operation.
  • Primary storage takes place in chips mounted on the computer’s main circuit board, called the motherboard.
main types of primary storage
Main Types of Primary Storage
  • Registers
  • Random access memory (RAM)
  • Cache memory
  • Read-only memory (ROM)
internal workings of personal computer
Internal workings of personal computer

Hard disk drive

CPU board with fan

Floppy disk drive


secondary storage
Secondary Storage

Memory capacity that can store very large amounts of data for extended periods of time.

  • Magnetic tape (sequential access)
  • Magnetic disks (direct access)
magnetic tape
Magnetic Tape

Magnetic tape reel

Magnetic tape cartridge

optical storage devices
Optical Storage Devices
  • Optical storage devices: A form of secondary storage in which a laser reads the surface of a reflective plastic platter.
    • Compact Disk, Read-Only Memory (CD-ROM)
    • Digital Video Disk (DVD)
enterprise storage systems
Enterprise Storage Systems
  • Enterprise storage system: An independent, external system with intelligence that includes two or more storage devices.
  • Three types of enterprise storage:
    • Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks (RAID)
    • Storage Area Network (SAN)
    • Network Attached Storage (NAS)
tg1 4 computer hierarchy
TG1.4 Computer Hierarchy
  • Supercomputers
  • Mainframe Computers
  • Midrange Computers
  • Workstations
  • Notebooks and Desktop Computers
  • Ultra-mobile PCs
  • Computing devices
mainframes and mid range computers
Mainframes and Mid-range computers

IBM iSeries

midrange computer

IBM System Z


tg1 5 input and output technologies
TG1.5 Input and Output Technologies
  • Input technologiesallow people and other technologies to put data into a computer. The two main types of input devices are:
    • human data-entrydevices include keyboards, mouse, trackball, joystick, touchscreen, stylus and voice recognition;
    • source-data automationdevices input data with minimal human intervention (e.g. barcode reader).
      • Speed up data collection;
      • Reduce errors;
      • Gather data at the source of a transaction or other event.
input and output technologies continued
Input and Output Technologies (continued)
  • Output generated by a computer can be transmitted to the user over several output devices and media, which include:
    • Monitors
    • Printers
    • Plotters
    • Voice
we ve come a long way
We’ve come a long way!

Keypunch machine

Punch card

the first mouse
The First Mouse

A very early (if not the first) mouse demonstration in 1968.

microsoft seadragon
Microsoft Seadragon

Microsoft Seadragon is a very interesting interface. See a demonstration here.

the multitouch screen
The Multitouch Screen

Jeff Han presents the multitouch screen at the TED talks.

microsoft surface computing
Microsoft Surface Computing

Microsoft Surface Computing offers a new interface for users. This technology is also called the Microsoft “coffee table.” Demo

Another look at Microsoft Surface Computing Demo

tg1 6 innovations in hardware utilization
TG1.6 Innovations in Hardware Utilization
  • Server Farms
  • Virtualization
  • Grid computing
  • Utility computing
  • Edge Computing
  • Autonomic Computing
  • Nanotechnology (see these slides)
tg1 7 strategic hardware issues
TG1.7 Strategic Hardware Issues
  • How do organizations keep up with the rapid price and performance advancements in hardware?
  • How often should an organization upgrade its computers and storage systems?
  • Will upgrades increase personal and organizational productivity?
  • How can organizations measure such increase?
  • How do organizations manage telecommuting?