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Basic Operational Concepts of a Computer. Most computer operations are executed in the ALU (arithmetic and logic unit) of a processor. Example: to add two numbers that are both located in memory. Each number is brought into the processor, and the actual addition is carried out by the ALU.

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basic operational concepts of a computer
Basic Operational Concepts of a Computer
  • Most computer operations are executed in the ALU (arithmetic and logic unit) of a processor.
  • Example: to add two numbers that are both located in memory.
    • Each number is brought into the processor, and the actual addition is carried out by the ALU.
    • The sum then may be stored in memory or retained in the processor for immediate use.
registers
Registers
  • When operands are brought into the processor, they are stored in high-speed storage elements (registers).
  • A register can store one piece of data (8-bit registers, 16-bit registers, 32-bit registers, 64-bit registers, etc…)
  • Access times to registers are faster than access times to the fastest cache unit in the memory hierarchy.
instructions
Instructions
  • Instructions for a processor are defined in the ISA (Instruction Set Architecture) – Level 2
  • Typical instructions include:
    • Mov BX, LocA
      • Fetch the instruction
      • Fetch the contents of memory location LocA
      • Store the contents in general purpose register BX
    • Add AX,BX
      • Fetch the instruction
      • Add the contents of registers BX and AX
      • Place the sum in register AX
how are instructions sent between memory and the processor
How are instructions sent between memory and the processor
  • The program counter (PC) or instruction pointer (IP) contains the memory address of the next instruction to be fetched and executed.
  • Send the address of the memory location to be accessed to the memory unit and issue the appropriate control signals (memory read).
  • The instruction register (IR) holds the instruction that is currently being executed.
  • Timing is crucial and is handled by the control unit within the processor.