This is a simple question that most people ask, but it’s one we all ponder from time to time. How does the computer in front you work?
In just a few decades, computers have transformed from being simple devices to become a staple of the 21st century. Although computers are relatively new, many people don’t know how simple rectangles–small enough for your backpack–can do everything, from complex math to running sophisticated software.
What components are needed to build a computer?
What is a Computer?
A computer is an electronic device that can be programmed to process information. Computers are made up of both hardware and software. They receive data either via a live input route or via a digital storage unit and then send it out.
Modern computers should not be confused with the obsolete job of computer operators in the 19th century. Both perform tedious and time-consuming mathematical calculations and information processing. However, they are both people.
What is the Work of a Computer?
Although a computer can process the input to create the desired output, how can it outperform the human mind?
Conventional computers aren’t able to imitate the human brain. They instead run sequential commands, with data moving continuously from input to memory to the processor. Neuromorphic computers on the other side process data simultaneously, which makes them more efficient, faster, and closer to the human brain’s structure.
A computer operates in four steps.
- input: input is data that has been entered before it can be processed. It is generated by the keyboard, microphone, mouse, and any other external sensors.
- Storage How the computer stores input data. The hard drive can be used to store long-term, mass data while data that is needed for immediate processing are temporarily stored in Random Access Memory (RAM).
- Processing is where input transforms into output. The brain of a computer is the Central Processing Unit (CPU). It executes instructions and performs mathematical operations on input data.
- Output: output is the final product of data processing. This can include images, audio, or video content. It also includes the words that you type with a keyboard. Instead of receiving the output directly from your device, you can send it to a printer or projector.
The Hardware Components Of A Computer
A computer is easier to build the simpler it can perform a task. older computers have limited capabilities and are therefore simpler than their modern counterparts.
Hardware components include everything that you can touch or see in a computer’s hardware, such as keyboards, mics and mice, screens, speakers, and all input and output devices.
Hardware also includes the physical processing components like storage, CPU and graphics card.
The motherboard acts as the main communication hub between all the hardware components of the computer. It is the central circuit that connects all components of the computer, except those using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It’s impossible for a modern computer to function without a motherboard.
The motherboard acts as the communications hub. The CPU, on the other hand, is the communications director. It interprets and transmits signals to other components to tell them what data to use to produce the desired output. The CPU’s cores are more powerful and can do more simultaneous operations.
RAM acts as the main assistant to the CPU. RAM is the main assistant to the CPU. Instead of searching for data in large storage units, RAM stores data needed by the operating system, all running software and any input. The RAM’s capacity determines how heavy-weight software can be run on the device.
HDD stands for Hard Disk Drive. It is the part that stores all your media and apps permanently, as well as the operating system (OS). They can be as large or small as a few hundred gigabytes, GB, to several terabytes (TB) in performance.
Solid State Drives (SSDs) are another type storage hardware. SSDs as well as HDDs can be used for many purposes. Many users combine drives to increase performance.
Graphics Processing Unit
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), is responsible for processing visual imagery on your computer. Graphics Processing Units (GPU) are vital for rendering high-quality graphics and playing video games. You can integrate graphics processing with the CPU or make it your own component.
Sound Cards process auditory data and send it to your speakers. The sound card can also be a separate component or integrated with the CPU.
Software Components of a Computer
Modern computers are made up of a mixture of software and hardware components. They work together to process complex inputs or outputs.
Software is a pre-written set of instructions that tells your machine what to do. It is a digital program and not a physical part that can be seen by opening a laptop or computer’s cover.
Software can play different roles in your computer’s functioning, just like the hardware.
Firmware blurs the line between software and hardware. Firmware is software that is physically embedded into hardware.
Firmware, which is a simple program that tells your computer how to launch the OS, is what kickstarts your computer upon turning it on. It is essential to launch your operating system and other components. Without it, your computer will not be able to communicate with any hardware.
Operating System (OS).
An operating system is software that manages the hardware and software resources of your computer. Without an OS, your computer can’t communicate with you using your input devices.
Computers are the Future
Computers that use the sequential processing model will become smaller, more efficient, and faster. Computer design and architecture have reached their limits. Modern computing architecture is not dependent on technology that was created more than 50 years ago. This includes Quantum computers and Neuromorphic computers.