Chapter 4


Terms in this set (...)

central processing unit (CPU)
Brain of a computer; Consists of 2 parts: arithmetic logic(ALU) and the control unit.
An electronic device that operates on data.
arithmetic logic unit (ALU)
Part of a processor that performs arithmetic (math) and logic calculations.
control unit
Part of the processor that manages the movement of data through the CPU.
instruction cycle
Steps a CPU uses to process data: fetch, decode, execute, also store. Also known as fetch-and-execute cycle or the machine cycle.
clock speed
Speed at which the processor executes a cycle. Measured in GHz.
gigahertz (GHz)
Used to measure the speed at which a processor executes the information cycle. GHz=1 billion cycles per second.
Technique that allows the CPU to work on more than one instruction at a time.
parallel processing
Simultaneous processing by two or more processing units.
multi-core processor
Processor that consists of 2 or more processors integrated on a single chip. This increases the processing speed over a single-core processors and reduces energy consumption over multiple seperate processors.
Physical components of a computer.
peripheral device
A device that is attached to the computer and aids in input and/or output.
system unit
case that encloses and protects the power supply, motherboard, process (CPU), and memory of a computer.
main circuit board of a computer. houses CPU, drive controllers and interfaces, expansion slots, data, buses, ports and connectors, BIOS, and memory may include integrated peripherals
drive controller
on motherboard, provides a drive interface, which connects disk drives to the processor
serial ATA (SATA)
standard internal drive interface
enhanced integrated drive electronics (EIDE)
legacy drive interface found on motherboard of older PC's
expansion cards
card that plugs into an expansion slot on motherboard and allows you to connect additional peripheral devices to a computer
peripheral component interconnect (PCI)
most common type of expansion slot on motherboard that an expansion card plugs into
PCI express (PCIe)
faster version of PCI that is typically used to connect a video card
accelerated graphics port (AGP)
standard analog video port on computers manufactured before 2009
data buses
wires on motherboard over which information flows betwen the components of the computer
serial and parallel ports
legacy ports used to connect peripheral devices to a computer
PS/2 ports
connect a keyboard and mouse, have been widely replaced by USB
Universal Serial Bus (USB)
standard port used to connect many devices including printer, mice, digital cameras, etc..
USB hub
device used to connect multiple USB devices to a single USB port
USB's can be plugged and unplugged without turning off the computer.
hot-swappable port that can connect 63 devices per port. also allows for peer-to-peer communication between devices
IEEE 1394
See FireWire
short-range wireless technology that is used to connect many types of peripheral devices
basic input output system (BIOS)
program stored on the chip of the motherboard that starts up the computer
read-only memory (ROM)
nonvolatile memory that doesn't need power to keep its data
complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS)
volatile memory and uses a small battery to give it power to keep the data in memory when the computer is off
temporary storage that's used by the computer to hold instructions and data
random access memory (RAM)
stores operating systems, programs, and data the computer is currently using
cache memory
type of very fast memory that is used to store frequently accessed information close to the processor
way to connect a peripheral device to a motherboard
Small Computer System Interface. Set of standards for physiaclly connecting and transferring dara between computers and peripheral devices. Best connection for permanent peripherals because it's faster and more reliable.
insulated board on which interconnected circuits and components such as microchips are mounted or etched
flash memory
Technology used by solid-state storage devices, like flash drives and memory cards to store data. The data is store on a chip.
flash drive
small, portable, solid-state drive that can hold up to 128 GB of information. They have become the standard for transporting data.
hard drive
The main mass-storage device in a computer. A form of nonvolatile storage. The primary drive holds the operating system, programs, and data files.
memory card
A form of solid-state storage used to expand the storage of digital cameras, video games, and other devices.
solid-state drive
A small drive often used in small electronic devices, such as media players and cell phones, as well as in notebooks and netbooks.
biometric scanner
specialized scanner used to scan human body characteristics for identification and security purposes.
QR code reader
A program on a mobile device that can scan and decode the information found in a QR code such as a URL or more information about a product.
RFID tag
A tag that can be read by an RFID (radio frequency identification) scanner. It contains a tiny antenna for receiving and sending a radio frequency signal.
A special pen-like input tool used by tablet computers, graphic design tablets, PDAs, and other handheld devices.
An output device that converts digital signals into sound. They come in several different sizes and styles, ranging from tiny earbuds that fit inside your ear to full-size headphones that completely cover your outer ear. Headphones that also include a microphone are called headsets.
A video output that works by lighting up pixels on a screen.
output device
A device that returns information to the user.
A single point on a display screen. Short for picture elements. Each pixel contains 3 colors: red, green, and blue (RGB). From that base, all colors can be created by varying the intensities of the 3 colors.
A video output device typically used when making a presentation or sharing media with a group in such places as classrooms, businesses, and home theaters because they can produce larger output than a monitor.
The number of horizontal pixels by vertical pixels, for example 1280 x 1024 or 1024 x 768, on a display screen. The higher the resolution, the sharper the image.
sound card
An expansion card that provides audio connections for both input devices (microphones and synthesizers) and output devices (speakers and headphones).
An output device that converts digital signals from a computer or media player into sound.
video card
An expansion card that provides the data signal and connection for a monitor or projector. It may also include input ports to connect a TV tuner or another video device to the system.