52 terms

Chapter 2 - The System Unit: Processing and Memory

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Terms in this set (...)

Bit
The smallest unit of data a digital computer can recognize; represented by a 0 or a 1.
Byte
A group of bits.
Kilobyte (KB)
Approximately 1 thousand bytes (1,024 bytes to be precise).
Megabyte (MB)
Approximately 1 million bytes
Gigabyte (GB)
Approximately 1 billion bytes.
Terabyte (TB)
Approximately 1 trillion bytes.
Petabyte (PB)
Approximately 1,000 terabytes
Exabyte (EB)
Approximately 1,000 petabytes.
Zettabyte (ZB)
Approximately 1,000 exabytes.
Yottabyte (YB)
Approximately 1,000 zettabytes
Decimal numbering system
The numbering system that represents all numbers using 10 symbols (0-9).
Binary numbering system
The numbering system that represents all numbers using just two symbols (0 and 1).
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)
A fixed-length, binary coding system used to represent text-based data for computer processing on many types of computers.
Unicode
An international coding system that can be used to represent text-based data in any written language.
Machine language
A binary-based language for representing computer programs that the computer can execute directly.
System unit
The main box of a computer that houses the CPU, motherboard, memory, and other devices.
Motherboard
The main circuit board of a computer, located inside the system unit, to which all computer system components connect.
Cache memory
A group of fast memory circuitry located on or near the CPU to help speed up processing.
Bandwidth
The amount of data that can be transferred in a given period of time; also referred to as throughput.
Memory
Chip-based storage.
Volatile
A characteristic of memory or storage in which data is not retained when the power to the computer is tuned off.
Nonvolatile
A characteristic of memory or storage in which data is retained even when the power to the computer is tuned off.
RAM (random access memory)
Chips connected to the motherboard that provide a temporary location for the computer to hold data and program instructions while they are needed.
Register
High-speed memory built into the CPU that temporarily stores data during processing.
ROM (read-only memory)
Nonvolatile chips located on the motherboard into which data or programs have been permanently stored.
Flash memory
Nonvolatile memory chips that can be used for storage by the computer or suer; can be built into a computer or a storage medium.
Expansion slot
A location on the motherboard into which expansion cards are inserted.
Expansion card
A circuit board that can be inserted into an expansion slot location on a computer's motherboard to add additional functionality or to connect a peripheral device to that computer.
ExpressCard module
A module that can be inserted into a computer's ExpressCard slot to add additional functionality or to connect a peripheral device to that computer; commonly used with notebook computers.
Bus
An electronic path on the motherboard or within the CPU or other computer component along which data is transferred.
Expansion bus
A bus on the motherboard used to connects peripheral devices.
Memory bus
The connection between the CPU and RAM.
Frontside bus (FSB)
The bus that connects the CPU (via the I/O bridge) to the rest of the bus architecture.
PCI Express (PCIe) bus
One of the buses most commonly used to connect peripheral devices.
Universal Serial Bus (USB)
A universal bus used to connect up to 127 peripheral devices to a computer without requiring the use of additional expansion cards.
FireWire
A high-speed bus standard often used to connect digital video cameras and other multimedia hardware to a computer.
Port
A connector on the exterior of a computer to which a device may be attached.
Arithmetic/logic unit (ALU)
The part of a CPU core that performs logical operations and integer arithmetic.
Floating point unit (FPU)
The part of a CPU core that performs decimal arithmetic.
Control unit
The part of a CPU core that coordinates its operations.
Prefetch unit
The part of a CPU core that attempts to retrieve data and instructions before they are needed for processing in order to avoid delays.
Decode unit
The part of a CPU core that translates instructions into a form that can be proceeded by the ALU and FPU.
Bus interface unit
The part of a CPU core that allows it to communicate with other CPU components.
System clock
The timing mechanism within the computer system that synchronizes the computer's operations.
Machine cycle
The series of operations involved int eh execution of a single machine level instruction.
Pipelining
The capability of a CPU to begin processing a new instruction as soon as the previous instruction completes the first stage of the machine cycle.
Multiprocessing
The capability to use multiple processors or multiple processing cores in a single computer, usually to process multiple jobs at one time faster than could be performed with a single processor.
Parallel processing
A processing technique that uses multiple processors or multiple processing cores simultaneously, usually to process a single job as fast as possible.
Nanotechnology
The science of creating tiny computers and opponents by working at the individual atomic and molecular levels.
Carbon nanotubes
Tiny, hollow tubes made of carbon atoms.
Quantum computing
A technology that applies the principles of quantum physics and quantum mechanics to computers to direct atoms or nuclei to work together as quantum bits (quits), which function simultaneously as the computer's processor and memory.
Optical computer
A computer that uses light, such as from laser beams or infrared beams, to perform digital computations.
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