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Computers are widely used in every industry, company and business these days. They play a vital role in decision making by processing large data sets or executing specific instructions on the basis of programs written in languages like C++, java etc.

For better understanding of computers it is important to know its architecture first. How they actually work? What are main components that make up a computer system? These questions can be answered by knowing computer architecture details. The study of structure and function of computers is known as Computer Architecture. This provides one with an idea about what hardware consists of, how it works together with the software, what is the memory hierarchy and how computer organizes all these things.

What is computer architecture?

Computer architecture can be defined as the study of structure and function of computers.

Architecture of any computer system consists of three main components: Input, Processing and Output. Computers are usually categorized into following types

This architecture comes under single-chip systems on which CPU (processor) and some other components like bus (communication path) or memory are fabricated on a silicon chip . All these components are integrated in form of LSI( Large Scale Integration ) on a small piece of silicon called chip . These chips can be used to make various kinds of computer systems by connecting them with different input/output devices like Keyboard ,monitor etc. This type of computers has following characteristics:

A huge number hardware components can be fabricated on one chip.

It is the cheapest of all the types of computers. It has high reliability and low power consumption.

The main disadvantage of single chip computer systems is that , it is difficult to extend their capabilities like adding more memory etc . We can say that it do not support plug-n –play devices also. For this reason we find single chip computers in embedded applications only .

An example for a Single Chip Computer System would be IBM PC (Personal Computer) . There are different kinds of processor available which you study in CPU chapter like 8086,80286,80386SX, Pentium etc. All these processors were fabricated on one chip and made personal computer possible. The other components like display, storage were connected to these chips via various buses.

Input Devices used are keyboard, mouse etc. Processor, Memory and other components are fabricated on a single chip known as Central Processing Unit(CPU). A small piece of silicon containing different circuits to perform different arithmetic operations, logical operations etc is known as CPU Logic or Arithmetic-Logic Unit(ALU). It has several registers inside which temporarily stores data during processing. One register is dedicated for Instruction Register (IR), which holds the instruction being executed at any instant. Another register also called Program Counter(PC) holds the address of next memory location to be accessed by the processor so that it reaches there very quickly instead of accessing RAM all time even if its not required. It also holds the address of next instruction to be read from memory. A processor has its own RAM known as Register File(RF) which is used for storing data most frequently . Data busses are demultiplexer circuits that are used to send bits of information into or out of registers in groups, they are connected between ALU, register file , Memory etc. an octet of eight bits are transmitted by one bus at a time. Every bit has two wires so total number of buses required is equal to twice the no.of bits being transferred each clock cycle .

Memory Hierarchy consists of following levels

Since entire computer system consists inside a silicon chip it becomes difficult to build different components on different chips and connect them together because of huge size of the motherboard and also due to high cost of such a system so we use some other technique. For this reason we build computers in several units which can be interconnected with each other via common medium. This medium is known as Bus (communication path) . A bus is selected that has enough bandwidth to handle all requests for data transfer simultaneously. That means, it should have enough wires and buffers for reading and writing data in parallel. High-end processors used in servers today may have 32 or 64-bit wide buses. Multiplexing is useful in computer systems because they can be easily upgraded by adding extra devices like memory, network interface cards etc on the bus instead of designing another bus from scratch Different components are connected through different types of buses as discussed below.

A bus is a communication path used for sending data from one component to another.. There are two types of busses- Parallel and Serial. Buses can be divided into following categories

Address Bus Data Bus Control Bus

Address bus carries the address of the memory location to which information needs to be transferred. A 32 bit address can access 4 GB (2^32) bytes of memory space . It has 29 Address lines and 3 control lines . The three control lines are READ, WRITE and HOLD. HOLD pin tells other devices that this address contains valid information that should not yet be overwritten by new data transfer requests. For example it may contain an instruction code or status message. Data bus carries actual data. It is a group of eight wires carrying information at one time. Again it has control signals which are known as Data Bus Control Lines . A typical databus comprises of 8 bits i.e., it can carry 256 different combinations that include zero and 255 also known as octet of data . Since CPU operates on groups of bits at once there must be enough lines in bus to transfer this much number bits in one shot and the most common width for such a bus is 32-bit i.e., 4 bytes or Two Octets.

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Computer Architecture Help

College computer architecture homework help, university level computer architecture assignment help, iit computer architecture assignment help and other computer science homework help and project assistance is provided by our expert team to the students studying in colleges all over the world. Computer architecture is an important subject for any branch of computer engineering where you can learn about how processor works with memory to perform computing tasks. If you need any kind of high school or college level computer architecture homework help then ask your question online here.