Processing Hardware

Subject: Computer

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Overview

Processing is a procedure that transforms raw data into meaningful information. This note contains description on processing hardware of computer.
Processing Hardware

Basically processing hardware is the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of computer system. CPU is the central processing unit of the computer. It process data according to our instructions. Processing is a procedure that transforms raw data into meaningful information.

Memory unit

It is a part of CPU where all the given instructions, data and the results are stored during processing period. By using the unique address we can identify the locations of memory. There are different types of memory among them the popular are RAM (random Access Memory), ROM (Read Only Memory). Memory refers to the electronic holding place for instructions and data where the computers microprocessors can reach quickly. Computers need memory to store data and process them. We can represent the memory to store the data and process them. We can represent the memory using different units like 8 Bits = 1 byte (One Character) 1024 Byte= 1 Kilo Byte (KB) 1024 KB= 1 Mega Byte (MB) 1024 MB= 1 GB (Giga Byte) 1024 GB= 1 TB (Tera Byte)

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Types of Memory

Basically we have two types of memory used on computer system. These are primary memory which is known as main memory or internal memory or simply memory and the secondary memory which is known as auxiliary memory or backup storage or external memory. Besides these two memories we have internal processor memories like cache memory, register, virtual memory etc.

Primary memory

The CPU contains the basic instructions needed to operate the computer, but it doesn't have the capability to store entire programs or data permanently. The CPU contains registers, but these are small areas that can hold only few bytes of data at a time. However, the CPU needs to have millions of bytes of space to hold programs and the data being manipulated.

Physically, memory consists of chips either on the motherboard or on a small circuit board attached to the motherboard. There are two types of memory:

  • Permanent/ Non-volatile Memory: Memory that store data permanently.Example: ROM
  • Temporary/Volatile Memory: Memory that will become empty after turned off the computer system.Example: RAM
RAM (Random Access Memory)

By memory, we generally mean RAM which is volatile in nature. It is a high speed memory that holds programs and data only when use. It requires constant supply of power. It is also called Read/Write Memory or volatile memory. The most important factor affecting the speed and power of a computer is the amount of RAM it has. The more RAM in a computer, the more it can do. The measuring unit of memory is byte, which is the amount of memory required to store a single character. RAM has the ability to access each byte of data directly, so it is named Random Access Memory. There are two types of RAM: SRAM (Static RAM) and DRAM (Dynamic RAM).

ROM (Read Only Memory)

These are non-volatile chips always holding the same data. Data in them can't be changed, that is, the contents in ROM cannot be written or erased by the user; these are 'hard-wired' or done only once by the manufacturer, hence they called Read Only Memory or sometime called permanent. Generally, ROM contains system programs for handling the operating system. There are different types of ROM: Programmable Read Only Memory (PROM), Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EPROM), and Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EEPROM).

Secondary Memory

These are used to store large volume of data permanently for the future use. These are non-volatile in nature. These are less expensive, so most computers have a large amount of secondary storage. However, they don't operate as fast as primary memory such as RAM. Secondary storage devices are often referred as back-up memory or external memory or additional memory. There are two types of secondary memory. They are:

  • Magnetic storage
  • Magnetic tape
Things to remember
  • Processing is a procedure that transforms raw data into meaningful information.
  • There are primary and secondary memory.
  • RAM and ROM are primary memory.
  • Magnetic storage, Magnetic tape, Magnetic disk and Optical storage are secondary memory.
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  • There can be more than one community in a society. Community smaller than society.
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  • common interests and common objectives are not necessary for society.
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Questions and Answers
CPU is an electric brain to computer which process and controls all the activity of computer system. The section of CPU are:
  • Control unit
  • Arithmetic and logic unit
  • Memory unit
Primary memory Secondary memory
i. It is directly accessed by CPU. i. It is accessed by CPU via an interface.
ii. It is main memory used for present purpose. ii. It is auxiliary memory used for future purpose.
iii. It is expensive e.g. ROM, RAM etc. iii. It is cheaper. E.g. Hard disk, CD ROM etc.
The primary memory also known as main memory is internal semiconductor based memory. Its types are:
  • RAM 
  • ROM
ROM RAM
i. It stands for Read only memory i. It stands for Random Access memory.
ii. It is non-volatile (permanent) memory. ii. It is volatile (temporary) memory.
iii. It's types are PROM, EPROM, EEPROM etc. iii. It's types are SRAM, DRAM etc.
SRAM DRAM
i. It stands for static Random Access
memory.
i. It stands for dynamic Random Access
memory.
ii. It does not need periodic
refreshing.
ii. It needs periodic refreshing.
iii. It stores data in the Flip-Flop
state.
iii. It stores data in transistor state.
 
The high speed memory placed in between main memory and CPU to increase the processing speed is known as cache memory.
A computer needs primary memory in order to hold data, instructions and information after entering from the keyboard, during the time of processing and after processing.
Random Access Memory is called volatile memory because its data contents remain permanent and do not loss as soon as electricity in not supplied.
Read Only Memory is called non volatile memory because its data contents remain permanent and do not loss as soon as electricity is not supplied.

Mother Board is a main printed circuit board of computer which contains the vital components of computer such as CPU, memory chips, expansion slots etc.

Micro-processor is the brain of computer that processes data and controls different parts of computer with the help of operating system.

Uninterruptible Power Supply is a common power protection device which supplies constant flow of electricity to the computer and its components in order to prevent computer and data from being lost and damaged.
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