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1.1 Systems architecture

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CPU Purpose
To execute / run programs, to coordinate and manage the hardware resources.
ALU Operations
Simple arithmetic operations, Logic (comparison) operations
Stored Program Concept
Both the program and the data are stored together in the same memory. Von Neumann Architecture
Control Unit
Co-ordinates and controls the entire operations carried out by a computer. It monitors hardware and the input and outputs
Program counter
Special purpose register that holds the address of the next instruction to be executed
Arithmetic and logic results are temporarily stored
Memory Data Register
Holds the actual data copied from RAM, ready for the CPU to process it
Memory Address Register
Holds the memory location of data that needs to be accessed from RAM.
Current Instruction Register
stores the instruction currently being executed or decoded
Clock Speed
Number of Fetch, Decode, Execute cycles per second. (Measured in Hertz)
Clock speed effect
The higher the speed (Hz), the more instructions the CPU will be able to carry out per second.
Dual core
Two processors linked together on a single chip
small amount of very fast, expensive memory in the CPU
Cache effect
The data used most often by the CPU is held in cache so is instantly available
Level 1 cache
Cache memory that is extremely fast but small (between 2-64KB), located very close to the processor
Level 2 cache
Cache memory that is fairly close to the processor, fairly fast and medium-sized (256KB-2MB)
causes the next instruction and any data involved to be taken from main memory
Interprets what the instruction means
carries out the instruction
Embedded computer
A single microprocessor that includes RAM, ROM and a CPU
Embedded computer uses
Cars, Microwaves, dishwashers etc
Dual core effect
Allows 2 processes to be execute at the same time.