computer hardware, consumer electronics, electronic components  

Computer hardware

Computer systems have become integral tools used in a wide variety of different applications. In addition to data and word processing, computer function now combines communication and computing capabilities for processing multimedia function which includes words, sound and images, and is able to communicate with many other people locally or remotely. A general computer system is basically built with a motherboard, a display device, interface cards and peripherals. The motherboard is the base of the computer system. The motherboards have circuitry imprinted or affixed to the surface of a printed circuit board (PCB) or other similar component. Motherboards commonly include the microprocessor, memory modules, basic input/output system (BIOS), expansion slots, and interconnecting circuitry. Additional components can be coupled to a motherboard through its expansion slots. The computer microprocessor or central processing unit (CPU) is responsible for peripheral components control, logic operations, arithmetic operations, instructions decoding and execution, etc. When the central processing unit is instructed to perform the complex mathematical computations or logic operations, poor operating efficiency will occur. A digital signal processor (DSP) is specially designed for performing complex arithmetic computations involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and complex logic operations in a low power but highly efficient manner. Therefore, a central processing unit usually operates in combination with a digital signal processor for improving digital computation efficiency in a system. Computer instructions are typically stored in successive addressable locations within a memory. Typical computer systems may contain one or more microprocessors which may be connected to one or more system memories. The processors may execute code and operate on data that is stored within the system memories. Computer memory devices are provided as internal storage areas in the computer. A common form of memory is random access memory (RAM), such as dynamic random access memory (DRAM) devices and static random access memory (SRAM) devices. DRAM devices and SRAM devices are volatile memories which lose data when power is cut off. In contrast to the potential loss of data encountered in volatile memory devices, nonvolatile memory devices retain data for long periods of time when power is removed. Examples of nonvolatile memory devices include read only memory (ROM), programmable read only memory (PROM), erasable PROM (EPROM), electrically erasable PROM (EEPROM), and flash memory. Computer systems typically include peripheral memory storage devices such as optical disc drives with removable storage media typically used to store or load software, data, and documentation. Examples of removable storage media include audio CD, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD and combination DVD/CD-RW. A computer system has a plurality of information buses such as a host bus, a memory bus, high speed expansion buses such as the accelerated graphics port (AGP) bus, the peripheral component interconnect (PCI) bus, and other peripheral buses such as the small computer system interface (SCSI), extension to industry standard architecture (EISA), universal serial bus (USB) and industry standard architecture (ISA). Personal computer systems can usually be defined as a desktop, floor standing, or portable computers. A desktop computer typically includes a computer monitor (such as an LCD display) connected to a system or base unit via a display cable. Portable computers, including laptop computers or notebook computers, have increased in popularity since their introduction to the electronics market. The laptop computer generally includes a display section and a base section coupled to one another using a hinge mechanism. Portable computers are typically powered by rechargeable batteries.

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