System Architecture - Computer Systems Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in System Architecture - Computer Systems Deck (18):

What is a computer system?

Hardware and software working together to complete a task


What does a computer system do?

A computer system takes INPUT, PROCESSES the data that has been input and the OUTPUTs it


What is meant by hardware?

A physical component of a computer system


What hardware components are usually found in a computer system?

  • CPU
  • Power Supply Unit
  • Cooling Fan
  • CPU Heat Sink
  • Graphics Card
  • Optical Drive
  • RAM
  • Hard Disk Drive
  • Motherboard
  • ROM


What is a peripheral device?

  • A device that is not directly connected to the CPU
  • A peripheral does not take part in the computers core architecture involved in memory and processing
  • Peripherals include input hardware, output hardware and storage devices.


What is the purpose of an input device?

Sends data and control signals to the CPU for processing


Name 3 of the most common input devices

  • Mouse
  • Keyboard
  • Webcam
  • Games controller
  • Touch Screen
  • Sensor


What is the purpose of an output device?

A device that receives information from the CPU and turns it into human-usable form


Name 3 of the most common output devices

  • Screen / monitor
  • Printer
  • Speakers
  • Headphones


What is meant by an ‘embedded system’?

A computer system that is built into another device


What are 3 examples of common embedded systems?

  • Dishwasher
  • MP3 player
  • Washing machine
  • Mobile phone
  • Manufacturing equipment
  • Satellite Navigation system
  • DVD Player
  • Oven


What are the characteristics of an embedded system?

  • Usually used in control systems.  
  • Usually used to monitor and control machinery
  • It has a dedicated / specific function within a larger device
  • Software is programmed into the device (usually in ROM)


What are the benefits of using an embedded system instead of a general purpose computer?

  • Size - embedded systems are smaller than general purpose computers - therefore the device can be smaller than an general purpose computer (e.g. worn within fitness tracker / smart watch / smart phone)
  • Cost - embedded systems are cheaper to produce than general purpose computers - this keep down the cost of producing the device
  • Reliability - embedded systems tend to be more reliable than general purpose computers - therefore the device is less likely to break
  • Reliability - the whole system may still function if a non-essential embedded system does not work /damaged
  • Efficient - embedded systems are more efficient at doing  task
  • Energy - embedded systems are low powered devices - therefore use less power / electricity to run than a general purpose computer


What parts of a Smart TV would use an embedded system?

  • Wi-fi connectivity
  • Backlighting
  • Speaker control
  • Internet browsing


What parts of a washing machine would use an embedded system?

  • Program control
  • Temperature sensor
  • Thermostat control
  • Door lock control
  • Water pumps


What is meant by software?

The programs or applications that a computer can run


What is meant by Firmware?

  • Software that is embedded into hardware
  • The software is stored permanently in the device