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Computer hardwareFigure 1.1 Schematic diagram of major parts of a simple computer. Most computers are organized as shown in Figure 1.1. A computer contains several major subsystems – such as the Central Processing Unit(CPU), memory, and peripheral device controllers. These components all plug into a "Bus". The bus is essentially a communications highway; all the other components work together by transferring dataover the bus. The active part of the computer, the part that does calculations and controls all the other parts is the "Central Processing Unit" (CPU). The Central Processing Unit (CPU) containselectronic clocks that control the timing of all operations; electronic circuits that carry out arithmetic operations like addition and multiplication; circuits that identify and execute theinstructions that make up a program; and circuits that fetch the data from memory. Instructions and data are stored in main memory. The CPU fetches them as needed. Peripheral device controllers look afterinput devices, like keyboards and mice, output devices, like printers and graphics displays, and storage devices like disks. The CPU and peripheral controllers work together to transfer informationbetween the computer and its users. Sometimes, the CPU will arrange for data be taken from an input device, transfer through the controller, move over the bus and get loaded directly into the CPU.Data being output follows the same route in reverse – moving from the CPU, over the bus, through a controller and out to a device. In other cases, the CPU may get a device controller to move datadirectly into, or out of, main memory. Adaptado de Neil Gray. A Beginners C++. Chapter 1 – Computer Hardware. 2002. pp 3-4. Disponível em http://www.uow.edu.au/~nabg/ABC/C1.pdf. Acessado em 17/02/11.
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