ITM 102 Study Guide - Digital Signal Processor, Usb Flash Drive, Network Interface Controller

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IT consists of three basic categories: hardware, software, and network
HARDWARE components represent physical (hard) parts of a system; consist primarily of
electronic devices (mostly digital) with some electromechanical parts used with input, output, and
storage devices
Six basic IT hardware categories:
1. PROCESSING HARDWARE directs execution of instructions and transformation
of data using transistors
Transistor is an electrical switch that can either be on (represented by 1) or
off (represented by 0)
Microchip is a tiny chip made up of transistors; microchip contains most of
the components that make up the central processing unit (CPU)
Clock speed is measured in megaherts (MHz), millions of cycles per second,
or gigahertz (GHz), billions of cycles per second
Computer hierarchy: categorizes processors according to their power
Processing power often corresponds to computer’s physical size
Embedded processors are programmable chips built into products include
digital signal processors (DSPs); DSPs are special microprocessors that
include more math-related functions in instruction set
Supercomputer Largest and fastestPerforms processor intensive
computations using parallel processing
MainframeLargeCarries out organizational processing
needs using high-speed processing chips
and large amounts of memory
Server farmsMedium/many Multiple servers to handle network
processing activities
Personal computer (PC)Small to medium Carry out processing tasks needed to
perform their jobs; usually networking
Personal digital
Very small Portable computing power; used to
communicate with PC or other users
Embedded processorsExtremely small Low-scale processing and/or identication;
embedded in appliances and products
2. MEMORY temporarily locates data and instructions before processing
Read only memory (ROM): contains instructions and data that only special
devices can alter; long term memory
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Random access memory (RAM): stores data only until they are no longer
needed, or until computer shuts down; short-term memory
Memory capacity measured as number of bytes that chip stores (KB, MB,
3. INPUT HARDWARE provides interface used for data entry into a device (i.e.
keyboard, mouse)
4. OUTPUT HARDWARE provides interface used to retrieve information from a
device (i.e. printer, MP3)
Convert IT-processed information into usable form (i.e. monitor)
5. STORAGE HARDWARE stores data, information and instructions for the long term
(i.e. CDs, USB flash drive)
6. COMMUNICATION HARDWARE connects one IT device to another
Network interface card (NIC): physical connection between a computer and
a local network
Modems: (wired or wireless) allows connection to remote network over
telecommunication line
Converts (modulates) digital signals going out from computer into
analog signal appropriate for connection medium
Receiving signal, converts (demodulates) analog signal back into
digital signal that computer can recognize
SOFTWARE information that specifies how hardware device should work with other
data, information, and knowledge
Software divided into three main categories:
1. SYSTEM SOFTWARE any software required to control hardware components and
support the execution of application software (i.e. Windows Vista, Windows 7)
Operating system (OS) software: coordinates and handles details of
working with computer hardware; two main functions:
i.Managing hardware and software resources of computer
ii.Providing stable and consistent interface between application
programs and hardware
Utility software: provides additional tools that can be used to maintain and
service your system (i.e. firewall)
2. APPLICATION SOFTWARE complete, self-contained program or set of programs
for performing specific jobs
Productivity software: efficiently and effectively work with data,
information, and knowledge
i.Document preparation software
ii.Electronic spreadsheet software
iii.Presentation graphic software
iv. Database management system (DBMS)
v. Personal information management (PIM)
3. MIDDLEWARE link application that use dissimilar software or hardware platforms
and act like specialized messenger/translator to manage exchange of information
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