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Chapter 4. The Components of the System Unit. Jeremy Lukianovich. The system unit. The system unit is the case that contains the electronic components that make up a computer. The mother board is the main circuit board that all of the electronic components are in some way connected to.

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the system unit
The system unit

The system unit is the case that contains the electronic components that make up a computer.

The mother board is the main circuit board that all of the electronic components are in some way connected to.

computer chip
Computer Chip

The computer chip is a small piece of etched semi-conducting materiel, such as silicone.

There are two types of attachments

1) DIP-dual inline package (two rows of metal feet)

2) PGA-Pin grid array (large number of pins covering the surface of the chip)

processor cpu
  • The Control unit- directs and coordinates activities in the computer
  • The arithmetic logic unit- performs comparisons, arithmetic, and logic operations
  • Machine cycle- the repeated 4 steps to all computer actions (1-fetching, 2-decoding, 3-executing, 4-storing)
  • Registers-Small storage locations in the processor. This is a high speed temporary storage area.
  • The system clock- controls timing of all computer operations
Processor installation and upgrades
    • Three types
      • Chip for Chip-Replace existing chip
      • Piggy back-stack new one on top of old chip
      • Daughterboard upgrade-new chip on adapter card that plugs into motherboard
  • Heat sinks and heat pipes
      • ceramic or metal finned components that help dissipate heat
  • Coprocessors
      • a secondary chip that aids the main processor, thereby increasing the performance of the computer
  • Parallel processing
      • Using multiple computer processors to increase the speed of the processor.
data representation
Data Representation
  • Computers use digital representation
    • Binary code
      • 1=on
      • 0=off
  • A single digit is a bit
  • 8 bits equal a byte
  • Two coding systems
    • ASCII
    • EBCDIC
  • RAM (Random access memory)
      • Primary memory type
      • Read from and written by programs
      • If power loss RAM is lost, unless stored
        • DRAM (Dynamic RAM)
          • Must be reenergized or will lose memory
          • Several types
        • SRAM (Static RAM)
          • Most stable but expensive
      • More RAM the faster the computer will be
      • Memory Cache
        • Stores frequently used data - speeds up computer
        • 3 types
          • L1-built into processor
          • L2-advanced transfer cache
          • L3-separate cache, must have L2 to work
      • Disk Cache (see chapter 7)
  • ROM (Read only memory)
      • Stores permanent data and instructions
  • Flash memory
      • Nonvolatile memory that can be erased electronically
      • Often contains startup instructions due to its adaptability
  • CMOS (Complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor)
      • Technologically advanced materiel that produces high speeds with low power draws.
  • Memory access times
      • The time it takes a computer to do an operation, this can be as little as 10 nano-seconds
expansion slots and adapter cards
Expansion Slots and Adapter cards
  • Expansion slots
    • Slot on computer that can hold a circuit board that in some way increases the performance of the computer.
      • Sound cards
      • Video cards
      • Modem cards
      • Network cards
  • PC cards and Flash memory cards
    • PC cards-a thin device that plugs into a computer and adds memory, storage, sounds, modem, communications, fax, or other abilities to the computer.
    • Flash memory cards-a card that allows a user to add data from a mobile device (such as a PDA) to a laptop.
ports and connectors
Ports and connectors
  • Serial ports-a port that connects two devices and transmits 1 bite at a time, good for devices that do no require high transfer rates.
      • Mouse
      • Keyboard
      • Modem
  • Parallel ports-a port connects devices but transmits data at a higher rate than a serial port
      • Printers
  • USB ports-universal serial bus port
      • Can connect up to 127 peripherals together on one port.
          • Daisy chain them
          • USB hub
          • Hot plugging (plugging in a device without first shutting the computer down.
special purpose ports
Special purpose ports
  • Firewire port
        • Similar to USB
        • Faster than USB
  • MIDI port (musical instrument digital interface)
        • Used to connect a instrument to a computer
  • SCSI (small computer system interface
        • Attach such devices as disk drives and printers
        • Daisy chain up to 7 to 15 devices
  • IrDA (infrared data ssociation)
        • Transfer data via infrared light waves, completely wireless
  • Bluetooth
        • Radio waves to transmit information
        • Similar to IrDA but you don’t need to line up the devies
  • Buses
      • The channels within a computer chip which the bits take to travel from one point to another.
      • Bus width dictates how many bits a computer may transmit and one time
      • Faster the bus speed the faster the programs will run.
  • System Buses
      • Part of the mother board
      • Connects processor to main memory
  • Expansion buses
      • Channels outside the main processor that transmit data into and out of the processor
        • ISA (industry standard bus)-slowest
        • Local- high speed bus that connects things such as disk drives
        • Accelerated Graphics port-improves speed which 3D graphics move
        • USB and Firewire
        • PC Card bus
  • Opening in system where you can insert additional equipment
  • Drive bays- rectangular openings which usually house disk or CD drives.
power supplies
Power Supplies
  • Battery powered-primarily laptops
  • AC adaptor-allows the DC powered computer to be plugged into a AC power supply (wall socket)
  • A cooling fan is generally mounted near the power input
mobile computers and devices
Mobile Computers and Devices
  • Laptops-small computers that have folding screens, very portable
    • Contain many miniaturized components which generally raises the price
  • Tablet PC-entire computer in the shape of a tablet.
  • PDA-handheld computing device, generally contain a phone book, basic word processing, and little else.