Basic Computer Engineering – Study Material
Chapter – 1
Computer: Definition, Classification, Organization i.e. CPU, register, Memory & Storage Systems, I/O Devices, and System & Application Software. Computer application E-Business, Bio-Informatics, health Care, Remote Sensing & GIS, Meteorology and, Computer Gaming, Multimedia and Animation etc.
Lecture – 1
A computer is a programmable electronic device or machine that processes and manipulates data to perform various tasks, calculations, and operations based on instructions provided by software or hardware programs. It can accept input data, process it, and produce output as a result of its programmed functions.
Classification of Computers
Classification of Computers – According to uses and applications, computers come in a variety of sizes and shapes with varying processing capabilities. In the beginning, the size of a computer was as large as building rooms, and processing speeds were relatively slow. With the introduction of microprocessor technology, the size of the computer was drastically reduced, and the processing speed increased.
Classification of Computers – Based on their Functionality and Sizes:
Computers are categorized into four groups according to their external dimensions, internal capabilities, and external uses.
Here is list of computers classified based on functionality:
- Mainframe computer
The super computers are the highest performing system. A supercomputer is a computer with a high level of performance compared to a general-purpose computer. The first supercomputer was created in the 1960s for the American Department of Defense (USA). Supercomputers use several processors to increase their speed, and many people can use them simultaneously. Supercomputers are generally utilized for scientific purposes and large-scale, complex calculations.
They are widely used in the aerospace, automotive, chemical, electronics, and petroleum industries, as well as for weather forecasting and seismic analysis.
Example for supercomputer
Belle, Deep Blue, and Hydra for playing chess, Gravity Pipe for astrophysics, MDGRAPE-3 for protein structure prediction and molecular dynamics, and Deep Crack for breaking the DES cipher.Jaguar, Nebulae, Roadrunner, Kraken, Tianhe-1,
PARAM is a first Indian supear computer
CII Mitra 15, Control Data’s CDC 160A and CDC 1700, DEC PDP and VAX series, Data General Nova, Hewlett-Packard HP 3000 series and HP 2100 series, Honeywell-Bull DPS 6/DPS 6000 series, IBM midrange computers, Interdata 7/32 and 8/32.
Mainframe computers, also known as mainframes, are the most commonly used type of digital computer in large industries for controlling processes as well as in offices for maintaining networks and providing access to shared resources. IBM is estimated to control two-thirds of the mainframe market. They are far more suitable for intensive operation than supercomputers. Many modern computers can multitask; however, they are typically limited to eight or fewer processors.
Mainframe computer systems are powerful enough to support a hundred users at remote terminals at the same time. It can support hundreds of users by keeping multiple programs in primary memory and switching between them quickly. Multi-programming refers to the ability to run multiple programs at the same time for multiple users.
Example for Mainframe computer
IBM-3000 series, IBM 4300, IBM 3090, IBM zSeries, System z9, and the new System z10 are good examples of mainframe computers
Most minicomputers, like mainframes, are multiuser and general-purpose computers. The primary distinction between mainframes and minicomputers is that minicomputers are slower even when performing the same tasks as mainframes.
Example for Mini computer
IBM’s AS/400e: This is a series of minicomputers that was introduced by IBM in 1988. …
Honeywell 200: This is a 16-bit minicomputer that was launched by Honeywell in 1963. …
TI-990: This is a family of 16-bit minicomputers that was developed by Texas Instruments in the 1970s and 1980s.
The most common type of computer, widely used in homes, schools, banks, and offices, among other places. It is a low-cost digital computer with a single microprocessor, storage unit, and input/output device. Microcomputers are typically designed for individual use only.
They were originally referred to as microcomputers because they were so small in size compared to supercomputers and mainframes. They are commonly used in homes, offices, and for personal use, so they are also referred to as personal computers.
Example for Micro computer
Desktop computers and portable computers like a laptop, personal digital assistant (PDA)
A desktop computer, also known as a PC (Personal computer), is the most common type of microcomputer. It have CPU (Central Processing Unit), a keyboard and a mouse for input, and a monitor or display unit for output. The CPU is made up of a microprocessor, main memory, secondary storage unit such as a hard drive or optical drive, and a power supply unit all housed in a single cabinet.
Example for Desktop computer
Apple, Dell, Hp, Lenovo.
Portable computers, such as laptops and PDAs, have surpassed desktop computers in popularity. The best feature of this portable computer is that it is lightweight and portable. Laptops have all of the same components as desktop computers, but they are more compact and smaller in size.
A palm-sized portable digital assistant (PDA) is another type of portable computer. As a result, it is also known as a palmtop computer. PDAs are used to keep track of appointments, take important notes, set reminders, perform mathematical calculations, play games, and even surf the internet and send emails. In 1993, Apple released the Newton, the first personal digital assistant.
Example for Portable computer
Palm Pilot, Handspring Visor, HP Jordana, Compaq Aero, Franklyn eBook man
Classification of Computers – Based on Purpose:
Computers are broadly classified into two types based on its purpose:
- General-purpose computer
- Specific-purpose computer
General Purpose Computer:
A general-purpose computer is built to do a variety of common tasks. Computers of this type have the ability to store multiple programs. They can be applied in the workplace, in science, in education, and even at home. Such computers are adaptable, but they are also less effective and move more slowly.
Specific Purpose Computer:
A single specific task can be handled by a specific-purpose computer, which is designed to execute a certain task. They aren’t made to manage several programs. They were therefore not adaptable. Since they are made to handle a specific task, they are more efficient and faster than general-purpose computers. These computers are utilized for things like airline reservations, air traffic control, and satellite tracking.
Classification of Computers – Based Data Handling:
The computer is further classified into three types based on its ability to handle data or how it processes incoming data differently. They are
- Digital computer
- Analog computer
- Hybrid computer
A digital computer deals with the data that can be stored in binary format i.e. in the form of 0s and 1s. This computer stores data or information as voltage pulses that either indicate 0 or 1. Before being stored in a computer’s memory, all types of data, including text documents, music files, and graphic images, are transformed into binary format. It is a machine that manipulates discrete data and executes logical and mathematical operations.
An Analog computer is used to process the analog data. Analog data is data that is constantly changing or varying. They are used to measure continuously varying aspects of physical quantities such as electrical current, voltages, hydraulic pressure, and other electrical and mechanical properties. Analog computer does not measure discrete values. They are employed in scientific and industrial applications.
A hybrid computer is a combination of both a digital computer system and an analog. The hybrid computer has the capacity to handle both analog and digital input. While the digital half of the system manages the numerical and logical operation, the analog portion of the system handle the continuously varying aspects of complex mathematical computation. The system’s controller is also a part of the digital component.
Hybrid computers are used in medical science to measure the heartbeat of the patient, also used in controlling industrial processes and scientific applications.
Lecture – 2
In computer architecture, the CPU register holds the key role which is small data holding place or memory, and is an integral part of the processor. It is a very fast memory of computer mainly used to execute the programs and other main operation quite efficiently. Register basically used to quickly store, accept, transfer, and operate on data based on the instructions that will be immediately used by the CPU. In memory hierarchy of a computer registers the top place and is fastest in manipulating the data. Numerous fast multiple ported memory cells are the atomic part of any register.
Operations of a CPU Register
For CPU processing these register plays a critical role. When we give the input, these are stored and in register processes and the output is from the register only.
So basically a register will perform the following operations.
- Fetch: To fetch the instructions of the user also the instructions that are present in the main memory in a sorted way
- Decode: The second operation is to decode the instructions that need to perform. Thus CPU will be knowing what are the instructions
- Execute: Once the instructions are decoded then execute operation is performed by the CPU. Once done the result is presented on the user screen
Different types of Memory Register (CPU Register)
Registers are an essential component of a CPU, and they come in various types, each serving specific functions in the execution of instructions and data manipulation. Here are some of the common types of registers found in a CPU:
Program Counter (PC):
Purpose: The PC register, also known as the instruction pointer, holds the memory address of the next instruction to be fetched and executed. It keeps track of the sequence of instructions to be processed.
Function: It is used to determine the address in memory from which the next instruction is to be fetched.
Memory Address Register (MAR):
Purpose: The MAR register holds the memory address of the data to be read from or written to in the computer’s main memory (RAM).
Function: It specifies the address of the data location when a memory operation (read or write) is needed.
Memory Buffer Register (MBR):
Purpose: The MBR register is used to temporarily store data that is being transferred to or from the memory.
Function: When reading from memory, the data is placed in the MBR before it’s moved to other registers within the CPU, and when writing to memory, data is first stored in the MBR before being written to the specified memory location.
Instruction Register (IR):
Purpose: The IR register holds the current instruction being executed by the CPU.
Function: It stores the opcode (operation code) of the instruction and, in some architectures, the operand or data that accompanies the instruction.
Purpose: These registers are used for various data processing tasks and are not dedicated to specific functions.
Function: They hold data that is currently being operated on by the CPU. Examples include the accumulator, index registers, and data registers.
Stack Pointer (SP):
Purpose: The SP register is used to keep track of the top of the stack in memory.Function: It is crucial for managing function calls, local variables, and supporting the push and pop operations on the stack.
Status Register (Flags Register):
Purpose: The status register, often referred to as the flags register, contains condition codes that store information about the result of operations.
Function: It records the outcome of operations, including information about carry, zero, sign, and overflow flags, which are used for making decisions in conditional branch instructions.
Purpose: In CPUs that support floating-point operations, these registers are used to store and manipulate floating-point numbers.
Function: They facilitate mathematical operations on floating-point data, providing high precision for scientific and engineering computations.
Purpose: In vector processing units, vector registers store elements of arrays or vectors, enabling parallel processing of multiple data elements.
Function: They help accelerate tasks like multimedia processing and scientific simulations by performing operations on vector data in a single instruction.
Memory and Storage
The term ‘memory’ refers to the component within your computer that allows for short-term data access. You may recognise this component as RAM, or Random- Access Memory. “Memory” in computers is like its short-term memory. Think of it as a notepad that your computer uses to do tasks quickly. These tasks can be anything from working on documents, opening programs, to surfing the internet.
How fast and well your computer does these things depends on how big this memory is. Bigger memory mean your computer can work faster and do more things at once. So, having more memory makes your computer work better and faster.
Hard Disk Drive
Whereas memory refers to the location of short-term data, storage is the component within your computer that allows you to store and access data on a long-term basis. You may recognise this component as Hard Disk Drive. Usually, storage comes in the form of a solid-state drive or a hard drive. Storage houses your applications, operating system and files for an indefinite period. Computers need to write information and read it from the storage system, so the speed of the storage determines how fast your system can boot up, load and access what you’ve saved.