This is a glossary of terms relating to computer hardware – physical computer hardware, architectural issues, and peripherals.
A small, fast local memory that transparently buffers access to a larger but slower or more distant/higher latency memory or storage device, organised into cache lines. Automatically translates accesses to the underlying resources address space to locations in the cache.
A small block of memory within a cache; the granularity of allocation,refills,eviction; typically 32-128 bytes in size.
The process of keeping data in multiple caches synchronised in a multi-processor shared memory system, also required when DMA modifies the underlying memory.
freeing up data from within a cache to make room for new cache entries to be allocated; controlled by a cache replacement policy. Caused by a cache miss whilst a cache is already full.
finding data in a local cache, preventing the need to search for that resource in a more distant location (or to repeat a calculation).
Not finding data in a local cache, requiring use of the cache policy to allocate and fill this data, and possibly performing evicting other data to make room.
A pathological situation where access in a cache cause cyclical cache misses by evicting data that is needed in the near future.
The number of potential cache lines in an associative cache that a specific physical addresses can be mapped to; higher values reduce potential collisions in allocation.
a data input device that reads data from a card-shaped storage medium.
the enclosure that contains most of the components of a computer (usually excluding the display, keyboard and mouse).
Compact Disc-Recordable; a variation of the optical compact disc which may be written to once.
(Compact Disc-ReWritable) a variation of the optical compact disc which may be written to many times.
Cache-only memory architecture, a multiprocessor memory architecture where an address space is dynamically shifted between processor nodes based on demand.
(Compact Disc Read-Only Memory) - a pre-pressed compact disc which contains data or music playback.
(or integrated circuit) - a miniaturised electronic circuit that has been manufactured in the surface of a thin substrate of semiconductor material.
the memory that stores the microcode of a CPU.
the portion of a CPU which actually performs arithmetic and logical operations. A CPU may have multiple cores (e.g. "a quad-core processor").
in modern usage, a synonym for main memory, dating back from the pre-semiconductor-chip times when the dominant main memory technology was magnetic core memory.
Central processing unit - the portion of a computer system that executes the instructions of a computer program.
Conventional Peripheral Component Interconnect - a computer bus for attaching hardware devices in a computer.
Computer chassis, cabinet, box, tower, enclosure, housing, system unit or simply case - the enclosure that contains most of the components of a computer (usually excluding the display, keyboard and mouse).
Computer form factor
The name used to denote the dimensions, power supply type, location of mounting holes, number of ports on the back panel, etc.
An electronic visual display for computers. A monitor usually comprises the display device, circuitry, casing, and power supply. The display device in modern monitors is typically a thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) or a flat panel LED display, while older monitors used a cathode ray tubes (CRT).
(or chip set) - a group of integrated circuits, or chips, that are designed to work together. They are usually marketed as a single product.
a generic term that refers to a high-performance input/output (I/O) architecture that is implemented in various forms on a number of computer architectures, especially on mainframe computers.
a cache in a CPU or GPU servicing data load and store requests, mirroring main memory (or VRAM for a GPU).
Computer data storage
a technology consisting of computer components and recording media used to retain digital data. It is a core function and fundamental component of computers.
local memory associated with a hardware device such as a graphics processing unit or OpenCL compute device, distinct from main memory.
(Direct Access Storage Device) A mainframe terminology introduced by IBM denoting secondary storage with random access, typically (arrays of) hard disk drives.
(dual in-line memory module);A series of dynamic random-access memory integrated circuits. These modules are mounted on a printed circuit board and designed for use in personal computers, workstations and servers.
DisplayPort is a digital display interface developed by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA). The interface is primarily used to connect a video source to a display device such as a computer monitor, though it can also be used to transmit audio, USB, and other forms of data.
Direct mapped cache
a cache where each physical address may only be mapped to one cache line, indexed using the low bits of the address. Simple but highly prone to allocation conflicts.
Direct memory access - the ability of a hardware device such as a disk drive or network interface to access main memory without intervention from the CPU, provided by one or more DMA channels in a system.
(Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) - an optical compact disc - of the same dimensions as compact discs (CDs), but store more than six times as much data.
Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is a video display interface developed by the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG). The digital interface is used to connect a video source to a display device, such as a computer monitor.
a standard-sized area for adding hardware (hard drives, CD drives, etc.) to a computer.
(Dynamic random-access memory) - a type of random-access memory that stores each bit of data in a separate capacitor within an integrated circuit and which must be periodically refreshed to retain the stored data.
refers to a superscalar pipeline capable of executing 2 instructions simultaneously.
powerful computer used mainly by large organizations for bulk data processing such as census, industry and consumer statistics, enterprise resource planning, and financial transaction processing.
the largest random access memory in a memory hierarchy (before offline storage) in a computer system; i.e. distinct from caches or scratchpads; usually consists of DRAM.
the address of a location in a memory or other address space.
Computer memory architecture
a memory architecture in a computer system, e.g. NUMA, uniform memory access, COMA, etc.
memory access pattern
The pattern with which software or some other system (an accelerator , or DMA channel) accesses memory, affecting locality of reference and parallelism.
Modified Harvard architecture
a variation of Harvard architecture used for most CPUs with separate non-coherent instruction and data caches (assuming that code is immutable), but still mirroring the same main memory address space, and possibly sharing higher levels of the same cache hierarchy
the central printed circuit board (PCB) in many modern computers which holds many of the crucial components of the system, while providing connectors for other peripherals.
devices that are used to store data or programs on a temporary or permanent basis for use in an electronic digital computer.
an electronic visual display for computers.
a pointing device that functions by detecting two-dimensional motion relative to its supporting surface; motion is usually mapped to a cursor in screen space; typically used to control a graphical user interface on a desktop computer or for CAD etc.
small connectors used on some laptops and other systems in place of the standard VGA connector.
a layer of hardware-level instructions involved in the implementation of higher level machine code instructions in many computers and other processors.
a type of read-only memory (ROM) whose contents are programmed by the integrated circuit manufacturer.
another name for a USB flash drive.
a device attached to a computer but not part of it.
Any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end user, with no intervening computer operator.
Power supply unit
Converts mains AC to low-voltage regulated DC power for the internal components of a computer. Modern personal computers universally use switched-mode power supplies. Some power supplies have a manual switch for selecting input voltage, while others automatically adapt to the mains voltage.
The pre-loading of instructions or data before needed either by dedicated cache control instructions or predictive hardware, to mitigate latency.
A peripheral which produces a text or graphics of documents stored in electronic form, usually on physical print media such as paper or transparencies.
refers to a level of semiconductor manufacturing technology, one of several successive transistor shrinks.
a processor in a multiprocessor system or cluster, connected by dedicated communication channels or a network.
an electronic circuit (either a microprocessor or an internal component of one) that may function autonomously or under external control, performing arithmetic and logic operations on data, possibly containing local memory, and possibly connected to other processing elements via a network, network on a chip, or cache hierarchy.
the process of pre-loading instructions or data into a cache ahead of time, either under manual control via prefetch instructions or automatically by a prefetch unit which may use runtime heuristics to predict the future memory access pattern.
Power supply unit - A unit of the computer that converts mains AC to low-voltage regulated DC for the power of all the computer components.
Programmable Read-Only Memory - a type of non-volatile memory chip that may be programmed after the device is constructed.
An electronic equipment that arrange written software to configure programmable non-volatile integrated circuits (called programmable devices) such as EPROMs, EEPROMs, Flashes, eMMC, MRAM, FRAM, NV RAM, PALs, FPGAs or programmable logic circuits.
Peripheral Component Interconnect Express - a computer expansion bus standard designed to replace the older PCI, PCI-X, and AGP bus standards.
PCI-eXtended - a computer bus and expansion card standard that enhances the 32-bit PCI Local Bus for higher bandwidth demanded by servers.
(Redundant Array of Independent Disks) - data storage schemes that can divide and replicate data across multiple hard disk drives in order to increase reliability, allow faster access, or both.
Random-access memory - a form of computer data storage that allows data items to be accessed (read or written) in almost the same amount of time irrespective of the physical location of data inside the memory. RAM contains multiplexing and demultiplexing circuitry to connect the data lines to the addressed storage for reading or writing the entry. Usually more than one bit of storage is accessed by the same address, and RAM devices often have multiple data lines and are said to be '8-bit' or '16-bit' etc. devices. In today's technology, random-access memory takes the form of integrated circuits.
Read Only Memory - a type of memory chip that retains its data when its power supply is switched off.
a computer which may be used to provide services to clients.
computer programs and other kinds of information read and written by computers.
Single in-line memory module - a type of memory module containing random access memory used in computers from the early 1980s to the late 1990s.
(or solid-state disk or electronic disk) a data storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data persistently. It is also referred to as a solid-state disk, but it contains neither an actual disk nor a drive motor to spin a disk.
Static random-access memory - a type of semiconductor memory that uses bistable latching circuitry to store each bit. The term static differentiates it from DRAM which must be periodically refreshed.
an internal expansion card that facilitates economical input and output of audio signals to and from a computer under control of computer programs. It is also referred to as an audio card.
Synchronous dynamic random access memory - dynamic random access memory that is synchronized with the system bus.
a high-speed, high-capacity alternative to the 90 mm (3.5 in), 1.44 MB floppy disk. The SuperDisk hardware was created by 3M's storage products group Imation in 1997.
also referred to as a graphics card and several other names, a video card is an expansion card which generates a feed of output images to a display (such as a computer monitor).
Video Graphics Array - the last graphical standard introduced by IBM to which the majority of PC clone manufacturers conformed.
memory that requires power to maintain the stored information.
- 1 2 3 4 Shelly, G.; Vermaat, M. (2008). Discovering Computers: Fundamentals. Available Titles Skills Assessment Manager (SAM) - Office 2010 Series. Cengage Learning. p. 6. ISBN 978-1-4239-2702-0. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
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- ↑ Kent, Allen; Lancour, Harold (May 11, 2016). "Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science". Google Books. p. 277. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
- ↑ "Golden Oldies: 1993 mainboards". Retrieved 2007-06-27.
- ↑ https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Cx89N0z1uucC&pg=PA254#v=onepage&q&f=false
- ↑ Andrews, Jean (May 11, 2016). "A+ Guide to Hardware". Cengage Learning. p. 403. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
- ↑ Project, Ubuntu Documentation (May 11, 2016). "Ubuntu 11.04 Unity Desktop Guide". Fultus Corporation. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
- ↑ "micro op cache patent".
- ↑ Hannon, John J. (May 11, 2016). "Emerging Technologies for Construction Delivery". Transportation Research Board. Retrieved May 19, 2016.