Computer Architecture Essay

1485 words - 6 pages

Computer ArchitectureLatoya MoorerProf. Arnold DauzCIS 106: Intro to Information Technology11/04/2013Von Neumann architecture is an early, influential type of computing structure. It primarily consists of memory chips that are able to both hold and process data. Each chip has the ability to perform different tasks, depending on how it is affected by the operation executed before it. In this architecture, each computer would have memory, devices for output and input, a central control, a place for central arithmetic, and external storage. Von Neumann architecture was created in the mid-1940s by John von Neumann, a pioneering computer scientist. Born in 1903, he also wrote several mathematics papers with highly important theories which have been in use for many decades. He described the structure necessary for creating a useful computer in one of these papers. This programming structure forms the base for a important percentage of current computing architecture (www.wisegeek.com).While many modern computers continue to have some base in Von Neumann architecture, some programmers have started to dispose of the concept for more efficient models. A miracle known as the Von Neumann bottleneck is one of the primary problems with the structure. The problem with the bottleneck is that the operations which process information and data share the same bus, which is the transportation method for these elements. This affects the efficiency and overall ability of the system. In modern times, this architecture has often been replaced with Harvard architecture. It is also a stored-program type of architecture. Harvard architecture manages storage, data, and instructions in a similar way, but has more resources for transporting information. The structure has dedicated data buses for transporting instructions and memory, so that more functions can operate at the same time. While the Harvard architecture has grown in popularity, there are still some who prefer the simpler Von Neumann architecture, which can be a more accessible format for beginning computer programmers in particular (www.bcahelper.blogspot.com).A bus, in computing, is a set of physical connections (cables, printed circuits, etc.) which can be shared by multiple hardware components in order to communicate with one another. The purpose of buses is to reduce the number of "pathways" needed for communication between the components, by carrying out all communications over a single data channel (www.techterms.com). This is why the metaphor of a "data highway" is sometimes used. A bus is characterized by the amount of information that can be transmitted at once. This amount, expressed in bits, corresponds to the number of physical lines over which data is sent simultaneously. A 32-wire ribbon cable can transmit 32 bits in parallel. The term "width" is used to refer to the number of bits that a bus can transmit at once. Additionally, the bus speed is also defined by its frequency (expressed in Hertz), the...

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