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Topic 2—Computer organization (6 hours)

2.1 Computer organization (6 hours)


(As "pre-reading" prep for this topic do take a look at the "How Comptuers Work" pages of this website.)


Computer architecture

2.1.1 Outline the architecture of the central processing unit (CPU) and the functions of the arithmetic logic unit (ALU) and the control unit (CU) and the registers within the CPU.

2.1.2 Describe primary memory.

2.1.3 Explain the use of cache memory.

2.1.4 Explain the machine instruction cycle.


Secondary memory

2.1.5 Identify the need for persistent storage.


Operating systems and application systems

2.1.6 Describe the main functions of an operating system.

2.1.7 Outline the use of a range of application software.

2.1.8 Identify common features of applications.


Binary representation

2.1.9 Define the terms: bit, byte, binary, denary/decimal, hexadecimal.

2.1.10 Outline the way in which data is represented in the computer.


Simple logic gates

Firstly, (and this may not be the perfect place for this, but it's not bad) here's an explanation of how a single transistor works.

2.1.11 Define the Boolean operators: AND, OR, NOT, NAND, NOR and XOR.

2.1.12 Construct truth tables using the above operators.

2.1.13 Construct a logic diagram using AND, OR, NOT, NAND, NOR and XOR gates.