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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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Chapter 4

The Components of the System Unit

Jeremy Lukianovich

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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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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)

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  • 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

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  • 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.

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    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

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    • 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

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    • Cache

      • 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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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

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    • 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

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    • Opening in system where you can insert additional equipment

    • Drive bays- rectangular openings which usually house disk or CD drives.

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    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

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    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.