MICROPROCESSOR - A BRAIN ТО THE HARDWARE
1. The microprocessor forms the heart of a microcomputer.
The first microprocessors were developed in 1971 as a branch
of pocket calculator development. Since then there has been a
tremendous raise of work in this field and there appeared doz
ens of different microprocessors. Microprocessors are used pri
marily to replace or increase random logic design.
As it is known computer actually refers to a computing system including hardware (processor, I/O circuits, power supplies, control panel, etc.) and software (instruction manual, user's manual, assembler and diagnostic and service routines). Processor refers to the processing circuits: control processing unit, memory, interrupt unit, clock and timing. Most processors also include computer software.
Central processing unit — heart of the processor — consists of the register array, arithmetic and logical unit, control unit (including microROM), and bus control circuits. Microsoftware may also include microinstruction manual, microassembler, etc.
2. The very first microprocessors were fabricated using
PMOS technology. "Holes" in the p-type material having a low
mobility, those microprocessors were relatively slow devices.
Later, improved technology permitted microprocessors to be
constructed using n-type MOS and these microprocessors are
almost as fast as normal minicomputers.
Ш_________________________ Unit 8. Central Processing Unit
Some microprocessors are now made using CMOS. The speed and logic density of CMOS are inferior to n-type MOS but the process does have some significant advantages. First of all, it has a low power consumption, power being consumed only when a logic element changes a state. Secondly, it can operate over a wide voltage range. As a result, electronics based on CMOS can operate successfully with "noisy5* power supplies* The low consumption makes it quite possible to use a simple battery to maintain the security of supply for several weeks. This type of microprocessor has clear advantages over the other types.
Data and instructions must enter the data processing system, and information must leave it. These operations are performed by input and output (I/O) units that link the computer to its external environment.
The I/O environment may be human-related or human-independent. A remote banking terminal is an example of a human-related input environment, and a printer is an example of
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a device that produces output in a human-readable format. An example of a human-independent input environment is a device that measures traffic flow. A reel of magnetic tape upon which the collected data are stored in binary format is an example of a human-independent output.
Input-Output Interfaces, Data enter input units in forms that depend upon the particular device used. For example, data are entered from a keyboard in a manner similar to typing, and this differs from the way that data are entered by a bar-code scanner. However, regardless of the forms in which they receive their inputs, all input devices must provide a computer with data that are transformed into the binary codes that the primary memory of the computer is designed to accept. This transformation is accomplished by units called I/O interfaces. Input interfaces are designed to match the unique physical or electrical characteristics of input devices to the requirements of the computer system. Similarly, when output is available, output interfaces must be designed to reverse the process and to adapt the output to the external environment. These I/O interfaces are also called channels or input-output processors*(IOP).
The major differences between devices are the media that they use and the speed with which they are able to transfer data to or from primary storage.
Input-Output Device Speed. Input-output devices can be classified as high-speed, medium-speed, and low-speed. The devices are grouped according to their speed. It should be noted that the high-speed devices are entirely electronic in their operation or magnetic media that can be moved at high speed. Those highspeed devices are both input and output devices and are used as secondary storage. The low-speed devices are those with complex mechanical motion or operate at the speed of a human operator. The medium-speed devices are those that fall between — they tend to have mechanical moving parts which are more complex than the high-speed devices but not as complex as the low-speed.
High-speed devices: magnetic disk; magnetic tape.
Medium-speed devices: card readers; line printers; page printers; computer output microfilms; magnetic diskette; optical character readers; optical mark readers; visual displays.
US_________________________ Unit 9. Input-Ouput Units
Low-speed devices: bar-code readers; character printers; digitizers; keyboard input devices; plotters; voice recognition and response units.
There are several devices used for inputting information into the computer: a keyboard, some coordinate input devices, such
119 Unit 9. Input-Ouput Units
as manipulators (a mouse, a track ball), touch panels and graphical plotting tables, scanners, digital cameras, TV tuners, sound cards etc.
When personal computers first became popular, the most common device used to transfer information from the user to the computer was the keyboard. It enables inputting numerical and text data. A standard keyboard has 104 keys and three more ones informing about the operating mode of light indicators in the upper right corner.
Later when the more advanced graphics became to develop, user found that a keyboard did not provide the design capabilities of graphics and text representation on the display. There appeared manipulators, a mouse and a track ball, that are usually used while operating with graphical interface. Each software program uses these buttons differently.
The mouse is an optic-mechanical input device. The mouse has three or two buttons which control the cursor movement across the screen. The mouse provides the cursor control thus simplifying user's orientation on the display. The mouse's primary functions are to help the user draw, point and select images on his computer display by moving the mouse across the screen.
In general software programs require to press one or more buttons, sometimes keeping them depressed or double-click them to issue changes in commands and to draw or to erase emages. When you move the mouse across a flat surface, the ball located on the bottom side of the mouse turns two rollers. One is tracking the mouse's vertical movements, the other is tracking horizontal movements. The rotating ball glides easily, giving the user good control over the textual and graphical images.
In portable computers touch panels or touch pads are used instead of manipulators. Moving a finger along the surface of the touch pad is transformed into the cursor movement across the screen.
Graphical plotting tables (plotters) find application in drawing and inputtig manuscript texts. You can draw, add notes and signs to electronic documents by means of a special pen. The quality of graphical plotting tables is characterized by permitting capacity, that is the number of lines per inch, and their capability to respond to the force of pen pressing .
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Scanner is used for optical inputting of images (photographies, pictures, slides) and texts and converting them into the computer form.
Digital videocameras have been spread recently. They enable getting videoimages and photographs directly in digital computer format. Digital cameras give possibility to get high quality photos.
Sound cards produce sound conversion from analog to digital form. They are able to synthesize sounds. Special game-ports and joysticks are widely used in computer games.
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