What makes a computer a computer?

What does a computer need to be able to do?As an absolute minimum, a computer must be able to calculate, be programmable and interact with its environment.

What do we need:

  1. A CPU.

After all, someone has to do the arithmetic.

  • Memory.
  • We need to be able to save the program and we need storage space to calculate. Purely theoretically, RAM is sufficient; but this loses its content when the current is off, so that in practice we also need some kind of non-volatile memory. Nowadays, this is usually one of the many varieties of flash memory.

  • And in order to interact with the environment, we need a way to enter and output data.
  • In a typical PC of today, there is either a CPU from Intel or less often from AMD.Both support different variants of the same 64bit instruction set.

    When we talk about memory, most people think of DRAM, that’s memory.But this is, as already mentioned, fleeting, therefore the PC still has at least 1 hard drive (or SSD – all the same :-)) for storing the non-volatile data, which also includes the OS and the installed user programs. And what many forget: the flash memory is also available, in the form of the BIOS. The part of the PC that controls everything immediately after powering on and loads the OS.

    The INPUT/AUS devices then include: keyboard, mouse, monitor, network …

    Even a smartphone is nothing more than a computer – to put in your pocket.

    The CPU is usually an ARM variant here.ARM does not produce chips itself, but produces the “switching diagrams”. You can license them, then add your own parts and then have them made for chips in one of the factories.

    Even a smartphone has flash and RAM memory, even if the advertising usually only mentions the size of the flash memory – that’s the space for the installed APPs and their stored data.In the data sheet, however, you will always find the size of the DRAM when you search for it.

    As AN IN/AUSgift devices, the touchscreen is the most prominent feature; but also everything that is listed in the data sheet as “sensors” are nothing more than input devices for the computer and WLAN and mobile phone are both INPUT and AUSgifte devices.Now I almost forgot the microphone and the loudspeakers 🙂 – also nice examples of ONE/AUSgabe devices.

    But it’s also much smaller.Also here are computers:

    Source: (Wikicommons) File:Some smallest PIC nr.jpg

    Each of these IC enclosures houses a complete computer!

    For example, the number 4 on the image is enough for an 8bit CPU along with 16 bytes (NOT kilo, mega or even giga) memory (RAM) and 384 bytes of flash memory for the program.

    For the power supply it needs 2 pins, so 4 pins remain for the ON/AUS gift. So everything a computer needs is available 🙂

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