Hardware & Software

The physical parts or components of a computer, including monitors, keyboard, memory, storage devices and more.

Interrupts

Originally, hardware interrupts were introduced as an optimisation, which eliminate unproductive waiting time in polling loops whilst waiting for external events. Polling loops: Polling refers to actively sampling the status of an external device by a client program as a synchronous activity. The first system to use this type of approach was in 1954 and …

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Device Drivers

When a user adds a new component to the computer system, for instance a printer, the device drivers will allow the communication and recognition of the component with the operating system, so that the new piece of hardware can function properly. In the early days of programming and computers, device drivers would be created using …

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Virtual Memory

One of the main processes in an operating system is memory management. This technique allows the processes (which allow applications/programs/tasks that you require to function) to move back and forth between the main memory and hard disk memory during the time of execution. Memory management keeps track of all memory locations in order to allocate …

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Multi-Task Operating Systems

An operating system (OS), is a collection of software that manages computer hardware resources and provides common services for computer programs. An operating system is the core software, which allows a computer system to operate and execute its command as it was intended to do so. The operating system manages the user interface, hardware, and …

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Arithmetic Logic Unit

INTRODUCTION Arithmetic Logic Unit is the part of a computer that performs arithmetic operations on binary numbers.  On the contrary, FPU (Floating Point Unit) works on decimal values. This ALU is comprised of CPU (Central Processing Unit), Floating Point Unit (FPU), GPU (Graphical Processing Unit. Thus, a single CPU or FPU might contain many ALU’s. …

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Harvard Architecture

INTRODUCTION Microcontrollers generally use two types of Architecture. Von Neumann Architecture Harvard Architecture  Von Neumann Architecture consists of Control Unit, Arithmetic and LOGIC unit, Input/ Output, and Registers. In Von Neumann Architecture, which is used by many microcontrollers, memory space is on the same bus and thereby instructions and data intend to use the same …

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Computational Thinking

We may think that computer “think” and that they outsmart humans “just like that”. However that’s not the case, computers do exactly what we humans tell them to do, or better said, what we program them to do. Once programmed a computer can only execute problems and produce solutions more efficiently than humans. Computational thinking …

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Von-Neumann vs Harvard Architecture

The term Computer architectures refer to a set of rules stating how computer software and hardware are combined together and how they interact to make a computer functional, furthermore, the computer architecture also specifies which technologies the computer is able to handle. Computer architecture is a specification, which describes how software and hardware interact together …

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RISC and CISC Processors

The general definition of a processor or a microprocessor is: A small chip that is placed inside computer as well as other electronic devices. In very simple terms, the main job a processor is to receive input and then provide the appropriate output (depending on the input). Modern day processors, have become so advanced that …

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Distributed Operating System

What is an Operating System? An operating system (OS), is a collection of software that manages computer hardware resources and provides common services for computer programs. An operating system is the core software, which allows a computer system to operate and execute its commands as it was intended to do so. The operating system manages …

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Real Time Operating Systems

Before we dig deep into real time operating system (RTOS), it is good practice to remind ourselves, what an operating system is. An operating system is the core software, which allows a computer system to operate and execute its command as it was intended to do so. The operating system manages the user interface, hardware, …

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Contemporary Processors

What are contemporary processors? We humans use our brain as our processor, however computational devices have contemporary processors. Devices such as desktops, smartphones, or any form of device that receives and input and output have a processor. This processor can be referred to as the CPU (Central Processing Unit). The CPU carries out logical and …

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Embedded Systems

What are Embedded Systems? Embedded system have become an integral part of human lives, they are designed with a specific function. Characteristics like, compressed size, low cost, and an overall simple design, this makes them very popular nowadays. Embedded systems, in today’s society play a vital role in many devices, such as: home appliances, equipment …

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RAM & ROM

Systems require storage units whether it was for short term or long term purposes. Computer systems take advantage of the memory systems they have, whether it was Random Access Memory (RAM), Read-Only Access Memory (ROM), and highly dense storage units like hard drives. You might be thinking why we can’t have one storage unit for …

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BIOS

What is BIOS? BIOS = Basic Input Output System BIOS is identified as a group of programs, which are solidified to the ROM (read-only memory unit, which doesn’t allow for modifications) chip of a computer’s motherboard. BIOS is where the most basic yet important input and output programs of a computer, system settings, and self-triggered …

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Multicore vs Parallel Systems

Both multicore and parallel systems processing units refer to the way and the amount of computer chips operate in a computational system. To help us understand what multicore and parallel systems are, it is vital to understand what a Central Processing Unit (CPU) is. The objectives of these systems are so that more tasks can …

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Graphics Processor Unit (GPU)

What are GPUs? A Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) is a specialised electronic processor, which is programmed to render all images on a computer screen. A GPU is a an electronic circuit with is specialised and designed to quickly handle and alter memory to accelerate the formation of images in a frame buffer, which will eventually …

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Output Devices

Computer output devices receive information from the computer, and carry data that has been processed by the computer to the user.  Output devices provide data in myriad different forms, some of which include audio, visual, and hard copy media.  The devices are usually used for display, projection, or for physical reproduction.  Monitors and printers are two of the most commonly-known output devices used …

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Operating System (OS)

You and your computer speak different languages.  Computers don’t speak English, nor Spanish; they only speaks in 0s and 1s.  Man and computer cannot communicate directly, which is why an operating system is needed.  The operating system (OS) is a program that allows you to interact with the computer.  Together, the operating system and the …

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Sensors

Sensors are advanced devices that are used to sense and react to signals, either electrical or optical.  A sensor translates the physical characteristic of the input into a signal which can be calculated electrically.  For example, the mercury in a glass thermometer expands and compresses the liquid in order to represent the calculated temperature, which can be viewed …

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High and Low Level Languages

High-level Language A high-level language is a programming language intended to streamline computer programming.  It is called high-level because it is quite a few steps away from the original code run on a computer’s central processing unit (CPU).  High-level source code consists of easy-to-read structures that are later translated into a low-level language, which can …

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