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21 terms

Components of the System Unit

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Arithmetic Logic Unit
The component of the processor chip that handles most of the mathematical calculations and logical reasoning needed to execute an instruction
ASCII
Mapping that takes common characters in American English and maps them to number so that they can be represented on a computer. For example, "A" maps to the decimal number 65 or the byte 01000001
Bay (Internal or External)
Mounting point within a computer chassis where components such as a hard drive, cd rom, or dvd player can be placed
Bus
Move data from one component (memory, processor, expansion card) to another
Byte
Smallest practical unit of computer memory
Cache
Small chunk of extremely high speed memory that is placed between the processor and main memory in order to help speed up some tasks
Control Unit
Responsible for fetching an instruction into the registers within a processor and analyzing that instruction to determine what needs to be done
CMOS Memory
Indicates that the memory is manufactured from components that require very little power to remain energized and retain the memory's contents
Expansion Card/ Adapter Card
Circuit board onto which chips have been arranged so that the board can perform a desired task
Heat Sink
Cools the processor
Machine Cycle
The sequence of steps that a processor undertakes for each instruction.
1. fetches the instruction from RAM Memory
2. decodes the instruction in the control unit
3. executes the instruction often using the ALU
4. stores the results back into RAM memory
Volatile Memory
Memory that must be continually re-energized by the computer in order to hold its contents
Motherboard
The main circuit board in a computer that connects together all of the individual components that comprise the system unit
Parallel Processing
A computer problem that is solved by using multiple processors functioning together at the same time
Pipelining
Allows modern computers to perform more work while working at slower system clock speeds
Power Supply
Contains a transformer that takes outlet AC power and converts it into DC power for use by components such as the hard drives and processor
RAM Memory
Volatile memory that is used by the computer to store instructions for running programs and any data currently needed by those programs
Register
Small high speed memory locations within a computer processor that are used to hold data for whatever instructions the processor is currently executing
ROM Memory
The memory in question that is non-volatile and cannot be changed under normal use
System Clock/ Clock Speed
The pace at which the computer processes information is regulated
Unicode
A coding scheme similar to ASCII that attempts to represent characters in most of the world's languages using 2bytes for each one