A Letter to My Clients: How Computers Work

Dear Mr. Client O’Mine: Per your request to give you a high-level explanation of how computers work, above is a diagram, along with a walk through that will hopefully dispel the mystery. Let us start with the central processing unit (CPU). It is the core of any computer, and technically speaking, the components that make…

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CPU Parallelism: Techinques of Processor Optimization

There are two forms of parallelism that serve to improve the performance of processors: the first is Instructional Level Parallelism (ILP). ILP consist of applying the techniques of superscalar processing and pipelining to overlap as the execution of as many instructions as possible (DeMone, 2000). Superscalar and Pipelining are two ILP techniques of improving the…

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More on Cores: Single Core? Dual Core? Quad Core? What’s the Difference?

The core of a processor refers its components, along with system memory, that facilitate the fetch-execute cycle by which computers read (fetch) and process (execute) the instructions of programs. Although the physical implementation of a chip depends upon its architecture, all CPUs consist of two logical components: the arithmetic/logic unit (ALU) and the control unit…

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CPU Core Symmetry: Asymmetrical versus Symmetrical

The symmetry of a multi-core processor refers to whether the cores are of a homogenous or heterogeneous design. A processor with asymmetrical cores is one in which the design of the cores is heterogeneous. Typically this means that, in relation to one another, each of the cores can be designed to operate with different instruction…

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Computer Memory: A Brief Survey of Technologies

Below is a (very) brief cheat-sheet of descriptions of the most commonly used memory technology and specifications today:Dual In-line Memory Modules (DIMM) — A Dual In-line Memory Module (DIMM) is actually not a type of memory; but rather, simply a number of memory components placed onto a circuit board with 240 pins which provide an…

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