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XI-Computer Science

Computer System

Computer System
A computer system is a combination of number of physical parts which are arranged and
related in a manner so as to achieve the objective. It comprises essential components to
run the computer smoothly. The computer system consists of input devices for reading
data into main memory, a central processing unit (CPU) for processing the data, output
devices for printing, displaying or outputting information and secondary storage devices
for permanently storage of data and programs.
A block diagram showing all elements of computer system and logical connections is al
follows. In this figure, the dark arrow
shows the data/instruction flow and dotted
arrow
shows the command/signal flow. Command/signal flow is always from
control unit toward the other components and is single directional.

The Processor
Control Unit

Arithmetic and
Logic Unit
Input
Unit

Output
Unit
Main Memory

Secondary Storage

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XI-Computer Science

Computer System

Computer Architecture
The style of construction and organization of the many parts of a computer system are its
architecture.
Level within Computer Architecture
The whole computer system can be considered as a many layered machine consisting
of several layer of software on the top of several layer of hardware.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

System Software
Application Software
Machine Level
Micro programmed level
Digital logic level
Electrical and electronic component level

System software
The programs which are used to operate the computer and that directs the internal
operations of a computer system such as controlling input and output devices or
managing storage areas within the computer, are called System software. Eg Operating
system
Application Software
The program that directs a computer to solve a user-oriented problems, such as preparing
bills, calculating efficiency of engine, preparing mark-sheet, etc are called Application
software. It performs the job for user. Eg Ms word, Ms Excel etc.
Machine Level
Several hardware levels are present in machine level. These are the basic elements of
computer. They are processor, input/output device, main memory, auxiliary storage etc.
Micro program level
A sequence of microinstruction constitutes the micro program, also called firmware. It is
permanently stored in ROM.
Digital logic level
All most basic operations of the machine are provided at this level. The basic elements at
this level can store, manipulate and transmit data in the form of simple binary
representations. The standard digital logic devices like gates are combined together to
form computer processor or computer memories.
Electrical and electronic component level
Almost all modern computer devices are built from simple electronic components such as
transistors, capacitors and resistor and these components rely on suitable power supplies
and operating environment.

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XI-Computer Science

Computer System

The Processor
The real intelligence of a personal computer resides in its microprocessor, which is the
central processing unit (CPU) of a computer. In a personal computer, the processor is a
single chip, an integrated circuit containing millions of transistors, packed into a surface
smaller than a stamp.
Every task to be done by a computer must be interpreted and executed by the processor.
This makes the processor the most important component on the motherboard. In the
average microcomputer, the entire CPU is a single unit called a microprocessor. Every
CPU has at least two parts: the control units (CU) and the arithmetic and logic unit
(ALU).
Since the processor consists of two main components control unit and arithmetic and
logic unit, the functions of processor are the functions of both these parts. The processor
has the following functions:
It controls the transmission of data from input devices into memory.
It processes the data held in main memory;
It controls the transmission of information from main memory to output devices
It perform the arithmetic operation such as addition, subtraction and
multiplication and logical operations such as OR, AND, NOT etc.
The Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU)
The ALU actually performs the arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction and
multiplication and logical operations such as OR, AND, NOT etc. The ALU also includes
a group of registers- high speed memory locations built directly into the CPU that are
used to hold data currently being processed.
The Control Unit (CU)
All the computer resources are managed from the control unit. The control unit controls
the flow of data through the CPU, and to and from other devices. The control unit is the
logical hub of the computer. Many instructions carried out by the control unit involve
simply moving data from one place to another from memory to storage, from memory to
the printers and so forth.

The BUS
In microcomputers, the term bus refers to the path between the components of a
computer. There are two main buses in a computer: the internal (or system) bus and the
external (or expansion) bus. The internal bus resides on the motherboard and connects the
CPU to other devices that reside on the motherboard. An external bus connects external
devices, such as the keyboard, mouse, modem, printer etc to the CPU.

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XI-Computer Science

Computer System

The system bus can be categorized into different types:


Control Bus
Address Bus
Data Bus
Control Bus
Control signals are sent along the control bus which is bi-directional bus meaning that
signals can be carried in both directions. The purpose of the control bus is to transmit
command, timing and specific status information between system components. The data
and address bus is shared by all components of the system through control bus. Control
lines must be provided to ensure that access to and use of the data and address buses by
the different components of the system doesn't lead to conflict.
Data Bus
The data bus provides the bidirectional path for moving data and instruction between
system components. It is a group of lines used for data flow. The width of data bus is a
key factor in determining overall system performance. For example, if the data bus is 8
bits wide, and each instruction is 16 bits long, then the processor must access the main
memory twice during each instruction cycle.
Address Bus
When the CPU wishes to access a particular memory location, it sends this address to
memory on the address bus. The address bus is a group of lines used to identify a
peripheral or a memory location. It is unidirectional meaning bit flow in one directionfrom microprocessor to peripheral devices. The width of address bus determines the
maximum possible memory capacity of the system. For example, if the address bus
consisted of only 8 lines, the maximum address it could transmit would be 2 8. The
address bus is also used to address I/O ports during input/output operations

Machine Cycles
Each time the CPU executes an instruction, it takes a series of steps. The completed series
of steps is called a machine cycle. A machine cycle can be broken down into three
smaller cycles:
1. Fetch: Before the CPU can execute an instruction the control unit must retrieve
(or fetch) a command or data from the computers memory.
2. Decode: The instruction must be broken down (decode) into command form
before a command can be executed, that corresponds to those instructions in the
CPUs instruction set.
3. Execute: When the command is executed, the CPU carries out the instruction in
order by converting them into microcode. At this point, the CPU is ready to begin
the execution cycle.

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XI-Computer Science

Computer System

Memory
Memory is the workspace for the computers processor. A typical personal computer
contains several different types of memory, including ROM, RAM, cache memory,
virtual memory, and various storage devices. Instruction and data are held in memory,
which is divided into millions of individually addressable storage units called bytes. One
byte can hold one character, or can be used to hold a tiny part of a picture, or part of
computer program instruction. The total number of bytes in main memory is referred to
as the computers memory size.
Computer memory can be broadly divided into primary memory and secondary memory.
The difference between primary and secondary memory is as follows:
Primary Memory
1. It is the working space to hold the data
and programs that are currently in use.
2. It is temporary and volatile except
ROM.
3. It is fast and expensive.

Secondary Memory
1. It is the space for large amount of data
and programs for future use.
2. It is permanent and non-volatile.

3. It is slow and very inexpensive as


compared to primary memory.
4. Its size is small.
4. Its size is large.
5. It is also known as internal or main 5. It is also known as external or auxiliary
memory.
or backing storage.

Main or Primary Memory


The main memory of computer is divided into RAM and ROM. The difference between
RAM and ROM is as follows:
RAM
1. It is volatile memory that means it loses
all its contents as soon as the machine is
switched off.
2. It is temporary memory.
3. It is used for storing data and programs
which are currently in use.
4. Its types are SRAM and DRAM.

ROM
1. It is non-volatile that means it holds its
content even when electric power is
switched off.
2. It is permanent memory.
3. It is used for storing startup instructions
that is the program to boot the computer.
4. Its types are PROM, EPROM,
EEPROM etc.

Random Access Memory (RAM)


RAM, or random-access memory is the temporary, or volatile memory of computer in
which the data and instructions currently in use are stored. RAM is considered as
temporary because the data and programs will remain there only as long as the computer
has electrical power or is not reset. So, we call it as volatile memory. The name derives
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XI-Computer Science

Computer System

from the fact that each memory location in RAM has a specific address that is accessed or
used at random. The amount of RAM available limits how much data can be manipulated
and the size of the software programs that can be run on a personal computer.
Types of RAM
a. DRAM
b. SRAM
The difference between SRAM and DRAM is as follows:
DRAM
SRAM
1. It needs periodic refreshing to preserve 1. It can store data as long as electric
its information.
power is supplied. It does not need
periodic refreshing.
2. It is dense that means we can pack a lot 2. It is lower in density that mans SRAM
of bits into a very small chip.
chips are larger and store less bits.
3. It is made up of tiny capacitors.
3. It is made up of transistors.
4. It is slower.
4. It is faster.
5. It is inexpensive.
5. It is expensive
DRAM (Dynamic RAM)
DRAM is the type of memory in a modern computer. The main advantage of DRAM is
that it is dense, meaning that we can pack a lot of bits into a very small chip, and it is
very inexpensive, which makes it affordable for large amount of memory.
The memory cells in a DRAM chip are tiny capacitors that retain a charge to indicate a
bit. The problem with DRAM is that it is dynamic, and because of the design must be
constantly refreshed or the electrical charges in the individual memory capacitors will
drain and the data will be lost. In other word, charge slowly leaks from the cells and has
to be topped up constantly called refreshing.
SRAM (Static RAM)
SRAM is so named because it does not need the periodic refreshing DRAM. Due to the
design of SRAM, not only are refresh rates unnecessary, but SRAM is much faster than
DRAM and is fully able to keep pace with modern processors. Transistors are used
instead of capacitor in SRAM. Transistors do not loose their charges so refreshing is
not necessary like for capacitor in DRAM. As long as there is power, SRAM will
remember what is stored. Comparing to DRAM, SRAM is much faster, but lower in
density and more expensive. The lower in density means that SRAM chips are both
physically larger and store many less bits overall. The high number of transistor means
that SRAM chips are both physically larger and much more expensive to produce than
DRAM.

Read Only Memory (ROM)


ROM, or read-only memory, is the permanent or nonvolatile memory of computer. It
cant be written over or erased by the user, and it remains even when the computer is

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XI-Computer Science

Computer System

turned off. It is hardwired into a chip on the motherboard. The main function of ROM in
a PC is to store the basic input/output system (BIOS) which controls the start-up, or boot,
process and communications with the components such as keyboards and disk drives. In
special purpose computers, program instructions are stored in ROM.
It is called read only because it is either impossible or needs a special device to write to.
ROM is also referred to as non volatile memory because any data stored in ROM will
remain even if power is turned off. As such, ROM is an ideal place to put the computers
startup instructions that is, the software that boots the system (also called Firmware).
So this is necessary to contain software that enables the computer to boot up. Otherwise,
the processor would have no program in memory to execute when it is powered on.
Types of ROM
1. PROM
2. EPROM
3. EEPROM
1. PROM (Programmable Read Only Memory)
PROM is the type of ROM that is blank when new and must be programmed with what
ever data is necessary. A blank PROM can then be programmed, using a special machine
called ROM programmer, or ROM burner. Once written, it can't be erased.
2. EPROM (Erasable PROM)
An EPROM is a PROM that is erasable. EPROM is erased by the exposure to intense
ultraviolet light. The ultraviolet light erases the chip by causing a chemical reaction that
essentially melts the fuse back together, thus any binary 0s in the chip become 1s, and the
chip is restored to new condition with binary 1s in all location.
3. EEPROM (Electrically Erasable PROM)
EEPROM can be erased with electrical signals instead of ultraviolet light. EEPROM is
also called flash ROMs, and are characterized by their capability to be erased and
reprogrammed directly in the circuit board in which they are installed, with no special
equipment requited. By using an EEPROM it is possible to erase and reprogram the
ROM in a Computer without removing the chip from the system.

Cache Memory
Cache memory is a holding area in which the data and instructions most recently called
from RAM by the processor are temporarily stored. It is a type of very fast memory that
is used to improve the speed of computer. It acts as an intermediate store between the
CPU and main memory, and works by storing the most frequently or recently used data
and instructions. When a processor needs an instruction from RAM, it first looks for that
instruction in cache memory and, finds it there often enough to speed up processing.
Some personal computers have cache memory chips hardwired onto the motherboard.
The operating systems are also typically capable of setting aside a portion of RAM to be
used as cache memory.

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XI-Computer Science

Computer System

Main Memory

Cache Memory

Processor

Fig: Cache Memory

Virtual Memory
The concept of using some part of hard disk as RAM is called virtual memory. The basic
idea behind virtual memory is that the combined size of the program and data may
exceed the amount of physical memory available for it. When using virtual memory, a
computer treats part of hard drive connected to it as additional RAM. If the user has the
necessary free hard-drive space, using virtual memory will enable him or her to work
with large programs and data without installing additional RAM.
Virtual memory is not without problems. The problems are

It causes the computer to perform more slowly, because reading from a hard drive
is much slower than reading from RAM.
Another problem is that virtual memory takes up hard disk space that may or may
not be available.

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XI-Computer Science

Computer System

Secondary Storage Devices


Those devices on which the data and information can be saved for future use are known
as secondary storage devices or backing storage. These devices are the supplement to
main memory. Generally, there are two types of secondary storage devices:
Magnetic Storage and
Optical Storage
The difference between magnetic storage and optical storage devices is as follows:
Magnetic Storage
1. Magnetic storage devices use
magnetically sensitive material to store
data.
2. The read/write head of magnetic
storage media that consists of an
electromagnet reads and writes data.
3. The most common magnetic storage
devices are hard disks, floppy disks, tapes
etc.

Optical Storage
1. An optical storage use glass or plastic
material with some reflective medium.
2. It uses laser technology to read and
write data in optical disks.
3. The most common optical storage are
CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD etc.

Optical Storage
Optical storage device uses light technology to read data from and write data to the
optical medium or disks. A very fine laser beam is projected on the reflecting surface to
read data from the disk. By detecting the light intensity reflected from the surface, the
information stored on the disk can be accessed. The most widely used type of optical
storage medium is the compact disk (CD), which is used in CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, CDRecordable, CD-Rewritable etc.
CD-ROM (Compact Disk Read Only Memory)
A CD-ROM is a round disk on which sounds or images can be stored and accessed by
laser technology. The CD-ROM is a read only optical storage medium. They ate capable
of holding above 700 MB of data, 74 minutes of audio or video. Using a standard CDROM drive, one can read from but not write to a CD-ROM. Accessing data from a CDROM is quite a bit faster than floppy disk but considerably slower than a modern hard
disk. A CD-ROM is popular for distribution of large databases, softwares and especially
multimedia applications.
CD-R (CD- Recordable)
A CD-R drive allows the user to write data to the disk once, but data thus written is
permanent and cannot be erased. The CD-R media is coated with a photosensitive organic
dye that has the reflective properties. The unrecorded CD-R disk can be assumed as one
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XI-Computer Science

Computer System

long land. The photosensitive organic dye within a CD-R disc changes from a reflective
state to a non reflective state when it is exposed to the laser recording beam of a CD-R
drive. The reflective state acts as land and non reflective state acts as pit as in CD-ROM.
The change of state is permanent, so we also call WORM (Write Once Read Many)
medium.
CD-RW (CD-Rewriteable)
A round disk housed inside a hard plastic case. A CD-RW drive allows the user to erase
and rewrite data on the disk many times. It is a new type of CD-disk which enables us to
write in it multiple times.
DVD (Digital Versatile Disc)
The improved form of CD-ROM is called Digital Versatile Disk, DVD offers an initial
storage a capacity of 4.7 GB of digital information on a single sided, single layered disc
the same diameter and thickness of CD-ROM.

Magnetic Storage
The Hard disk, floppy disk, Magnetic tape etc are the examples of the magnetic storage
devices. The surface of the magnetic disk or tape contains numbers of tiny iron particles
so that data can be stored on them. Each of these particles can act as a magnet, taking on
a magnetic field when subjected to an electromagnet. The read/write heads of a hard disk
drive, diskette drive, or tape drive contain electromagnets, which generate magnetic fields
in the iron on the storage medium as the head passes over the disk or tape and access
data.
Hard Disk
Hard disk is a magnetic disk. It is the most common secondary storage media in the
microcomputer as well as other types of computer. A hard disk is a stack of round, metal
platters, or disks, arranged on rotating spindle. Hard disks are housed within a sealed
metal or plastic case called a hard disk drive. Data is written to the disks or read from the
disks by means of read/write heads, positioned above or below each disk. The use of hard
disk is to store the operating system, application programs, and data files.
Each platter is connected to a spindle. There is an access arm having two read/write head
for each recording surfaces of the platter to read or write data as the disk spins. The heads
are attached to a common arm. Each surface of each disk is divided into a number of
evenly spaced concentric circular tracks. Each track is divided into sectors. Hard disks
provide faster access to data than floppy disks and are capable of storing much more
information.
Floppy Disk
A floppy disk or diskette is a round piece of magnetic film, surrounded by a hard, thin
plastic case. Floppy disks are read and written to by means of a floppy disk drive, which
has a slot in the front for inserting the floppy disk.

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There are mainly two types of floppy disk 5 inch and 3 inch floppy. 3 is widely
used these days. The 3 floppy disk use a metal centre hub with alignment hole. The
drive grasps the metal hole in hub enables the drive to position the disk properly. On the
lower-left of the disk is a hole with a plastic slider that is the write protect/enable hole.
When the slider is positioned so the hole is visible, the disk is write protected; the drive is
prevented from recording on the disk. The 3 inch drive has a capacity of 1.44 MB and
records 80 tracks and 18 sectors per track in both sides. The drive spins at about 300
RPM (Rotation per Minute).
Magnetic Tape
Magnetic tape is a secondary sequential storage media. Magnetic tape is used to backup
data. Its data density is high and its transfer rate is comparatively fast. Data is read from
the tape sequentially, rather than randomly as in other magnetic devices, making the tape
an excellent medium for backup but a poor medium for accessing particular files quickly.
The tape drive holds the magnetic tape reel and also a second reel for taking up the
tape. It has a read header for reading the information stored on the tape and has a write
head for recording the information. The tape moves past the read head at up to 200
inches per second.
Tape recording is sequential recording and if 10000 th record is to be read, it has to read all
9999 records unnecessarily which is one of its disadvantages. In case of floppy disk or
hard disk, the records are randomly accessed and time required to access is less,
compared to the tape unit.
Magnetic Drum
The drum on which magnetic oxide coating is made is called magnetic drum. It is
basically used to store a large amount of binary information. Each track in the drum is
controlled by one read/write head. As the drum rotates, the binary data can be stored
along the tracks of the drum, or the data can be read from the tracks. Out of all the tracks
one track is taken as timing track due to which reading or writing related to any particular
track is controlled.

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Computer System

Input Devices
Those devices which help to supply data or instructions into the computer are known as
input devices. Input devices enable us to input data and command into computer. An
input device converts input data and instructions into suitable binary form such as ASCII
which can be accepted by the computer. Some popular input devices are as follows.

Keyboard
The key board is the major source for data input. It allows the entry of textual
information and commands into the computer for processing. As you see simple
typewriter, the keyboard is same as appearance but by the help of keyboard you can
initiate or apply different commands to the computer so it is called the most popular input
device. Generally you will get keyboards with more than 100 keys. Now, you will get
Enhanced or Multimedia keyboard with which you can easily play music and movies.
The Apple keyboard and IBM keyboard has same key appearance on the main keys but
some of the modifier and function keys have different functions. As appearance you will
get two types of keyboards, first one is QWERTY keyboard on which the top left row
starts with QWERTY and second one is DVORAK keyboard on which the top left row
starts with DVORAK but it is not so popular.
When a key is pressed, an electrical signal is produced which is detected by an electronic
circuit called keyboard encoder and sent to the computer. At the same time the processor
instructs the monitor to put the character on the screen.

Mouse
Mouse is a very popular input device for graphical user interface (GUI) system. It is used
to select the items on the screen and execute some operations easily. Wheels or rollers on
the bottom of the mouse can be used to record the amount and direction of movement.
Another method for detecting mouse motion is with an optical sensor. For these systems,
the mouse is moved over a special mouse pad that has a grid of horizontal and vertical
lines. The optical sensor detects movements across the line in the grid.

Light Pen
Light pen is used as pointing device, which is very sensitive to light. When the light pen
tip is placed against the screen, it is capable of sensing its position on the Cathode Ray
Tube (CRT). As the tip of he pen is moved over the surface of the screen, its light
sensitive elements detects the light emitted from the screen. We can select the desired
option of the menu by touching light pen against desired option. Now days, light pens are
used in many big hotels room for the customer for selecting their choice of menu and
other items.

Joystick
Joystick is a pointing device, one of the input devices that are used to move the cursor on
the screen. It has a stick with balls at its upper and lower ends. As the handle moves to

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the different direction the pointer moves on the screen. Joystick is mostly used while
playing computer games.

Scanners
A scanner is a device that has eh capability of capturing images and converting it into a
unique set of electrical signals. In other words, a scanner copies an image, creates and
stores it on a computer disk in a form that can be used by the computer. Any image on
paper, whether text or graphics, printed or drawn can be scan to the computer by the help
of scanner. Scanner works same as photocopier but the copier copies date to the paper
and the scanner copies data to the computer disk.

Optical Character Recognizer (OCR)


An Optical Character Reader is a direct entry input device. Which can detect
alphanumeric characters printed on any paper? A light source converts the alphabets,
numbers and similar such characters into electrical signal which are then sent to the
computer for processing. The text to be scanned should be illuminated by low frequency
light source. The reflected light from the text is received by the light sensitive cells and
generates the signal depending on the type of text.

Magnetic Ink Character Recognizer (MICR)


Magnetic Ink Character Recognizer is an input device, which reads the characters that
have been printed in magnetic ink; Magnetic ink is a special type of ink that contains iron
oxide. The magnetic ink gets magnetized when data are entered using MICR. Then the
MICR reads such magnetized patterns of written characters stored in the memory. MICR
is used by banks for processing cheque, credit cards, etc.

Bar Code Reader


Bar Code Reader is an input device, which reads the bar codes and converts them to
electrical pulses, which are sent to the compute for processing. Usually bar codes are
universal code and uses standard code, which has vertical bars of varying width
representing ten digits. The first five represents the manufacturer and the second five
digits identify the products.

Trackball
A trackball is a popular pointing device that works like an upside-down mouse. To move
the cursor around the screen, the ball is rotated with the hand. The trackball requires less
space than a mouse. So it is used as a pointing device in portable laptop computer.

Touch screen
Touch screen is an input device that is sensitive to users touch. One can use finger to
point the command displayed on the screen. It is popular in laptops. Many techniques
have been used to make the screen sensitive to touch like capacitive screen, infrared
screen or pressure sensitive screen etc.

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Output Devices
Those devices which helps user to get information from computer are known as output
devices. There are two main types of output first one is paper output which is also known
as hardcopy output and second one is onscreen output which is also known as softcopy
output. Some popular input devices are as follows.

Printer
Printer is a popular hardcopy output device, which gives the paper output for the user.
Generally, printers are categorized in two main category first one is Impact and second
one is Non impact.
The difference between impact and non-impact printers is as follows:
Impact Printer
Non-impact Printer
1. It prints character by striking the print 1. It prints characters by using special
head with inked carbon onto the paper.
technology such as laser beam in laser
printer and ink spraying in Ink jet printer
2. It is low speed printer.
2. It is high speed printer.
3. It is noisy printer since it produces 3. It is quiet printer.
sound.
4. Its printing quality is low.
4. Its printing quality is high.
5. Examples are Daisy wheel printer, Dot 5. Examples are Ink jet printer, Laser
matrix printer, Drum printer etc
printer etc.

Impact Printer
An impact printer is like a typewriter and the characters are formed by physically striking
the type device against the ribbon. The printer head directly touches the paper against the
ribbon in impact printer to print a character.
Dot matrix
Dot matrix is popular kinds of impact printer which forms characters on the paper by
beating against the ribbon. The printer head contains number of pins which strike the
ribbon against the paper to form a character. A character is printed in a number of steps.
The number of rows and columns in the dot matrix may vary from printer to printer. Its
printing speed lies in the range of 30-300 characters per second.
Daisy wheel printer
This type of printer is nearly obsolete but can still be found where older systems are used.
These printers use a spinning wheel with characters embossed around its edge. A hammer
strikes the wheel from behind, pressing a character against a ribbon. Daisy wheel printers
can create clean text but cannot print graphics. Daily wheel printers are very slow in
comparison to other printers.

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Drum Printer
A drum printer is an impact printer. It uses a rapidly rotating drum which contains a
complete character set in each band around the drum. It also contains a magnetically
driven hammer in each character position of the line. The printer receives all character to
be printed in one line of text from the processor. When the desired comes in printing
position, the hammers hit the paper and ink ribbon against the desired character. It is
noisy printer. Its speed varies from 200 to 2000 lines per minute.
Chain Printer
A chain printer is an impact printer. It uses a rapidly rotating print chain which contains
complete character set. It also contains magnetically driven hammers in each print
position. The printer receives all character to be printed in one line of text from the
processor. When the desired comes in printing position, the hammers hit the paper and
ink ribbon against the desired character. It is noisy printer. Its speed varies from 400 to
2400 lines per minute.
Band Printer
A band printer features a rotating band that is embossed with complete character set. To
print a character, the machine rotates the band to the desired character, and then a small
hammer tapes the band, pressing the character against a ribbon. It is noisy printer.
Depending on the character set used, a good quality band printer can generate 2000 lines
per minute.

Non-Impact Printer
The non impact printer creates images in the paper without striking in any way. The
popular types of non impact printers are Ink jet printer and Laser printer.
Ink Jet Printer
Ink jet printer is a non-impact printer. They are capable of delivering good print quality at
the rate of 250 characters per second and relatively high quality text and graphics.
It transfers an image to a page by spraying tiny droplet of ink into it and then passing it
over a heating element to dry. The print head contains an ink cartridge which is made up
of a number of ink-filled firing chambers, each attached to a nozzle thinner than human
hair. The cartridge sprays a fine mist of ink when an electric charge moves through the
print cartridge. They have the ability to use multiple nozzle print head, thus enabling it to
use various colors for producing color images with near photographic quality.
Laser Printer
A laser printer is non-impact high speed printer. A laser printer is capable of producing
extremely high quality text and graphics (including colors) at very high speed at the rate
of about 450 pages per minutes. A laser printer works on photocopy principle but the
difference is that in a photocopy machine the page image is formed on the photosensitive
drum with a camera lens, whereas in a laser printer page image is formed by scanning
laser beam using computer control.

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XI-Computer Science

Computer System

A laser printer uses a laser beam to produce an image of page on the paper. It uses a
cylindrical drum which can accept the characters. A, toner composed of particles of ink
with an opposite electrical charges, strikes to the charged points on the drum. As the page
moves past the drum, heat and pressure fuse the toner to the page.

Monitor
Monitor is a kind of output device which is also known as soft copy output device. It is
television like screen used to display text, and graphics, allowing users to view the result
of processing. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) and CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) and plasma
are the most common type of the monitor.
CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) Display
The operation of most video monitors is based on the standard CRT design. A CRT screen
is used where large amount of data is to be displayed. A beam of electron, emitted by an
electron gun, passed through focusing system that direct the beam toward specified
positions on the phosphor coated screen. The phosphor then emits a small spot of light
when it is struck by electron beam. The process repeats itself quickly, refreshing the
changing images on the computer screen
A color CRT monitors displays color pictures by using combination of phosphors that
emit different colored light. By combining the different light from the different
phosphors, a range of colors can be generated. To produce color displays three phosphors:
red, green and blue are used. A color CRT operates much like a conventional color
television screen.
LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)
LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) is commonly used in small systems, such as calculators,
palmtops and portable laptop computers. The term liquid crystal refers to the fact that
these compounds have crystalline arrangement of molecules, yet they flow like a liquid.
These devices produce a picture by passing polarized light from the surrounding or from
an internal light source through a liquid-crystal material that is placed between two glass
plates. The front plate is transparent and the back plate is reflective. There is a coating of
thin film on the front plate which is transparent and conductive. An electrically
conductive film is put on the back plate. A voltage is applied between different segments
and the back plate to create electric field in the region of front plate which makes change
in transmission of light through that region.
Plasma Display
A plasma screen uses simplified circuit and can be made larger in size. A plasma display
is brighter and less expensive. Plasma screen are constructed by filling the region
between two glass plates with a mixture of gases that usually include Neon. A number of
parallel wires run horizontally and vertically. A small amount of current is passed through

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XI-Computer Science

Computer System

one horizontal and vertical wire to cause the gas to glow at a spot at the intersection of
wires. Phosphor material is used for each cell. For color display, red, green and blue
phosphor is used in three adjacent cells.
LED (Light Emitting Diode) Display
A LED display is used in microprocessor based industrial control, instruments etc. where
only a small amount of data is to be displayed. A matrix of diode is arranged to form the
pixel positions in the display, and picture definition is stored in a refresh buffer.
Information is read from refresh buffer and converted to voltage levels that are applied to
the diodes to produce the light patterns in the display.

Speaker
Speaker is an essential part of multimedia PC. It is used for producing sound and music.
A sound card which is an essential part of sound output system, translates digital sound
into the electric current that is sent to the speaker. These are also small in-built speakers
which produces beep sound during system errors.

Plotter
A plotter is an output device used to produce high quality drawings and graphics. A
computer sends binary data to the plotter, which translates the signal into coordinates and
places pen marker on each specified locations. Plotters are generally classified as pen
plotter and pen less plotter. A pen plotter uses a pen to draw images using point-to-point
data, moving the pen over the paper. Pen plotters are low in price and hold a large share
of the plotter market.
Pen less plotters include electrostatic plotters, thermal plotters, inkjet plotters and laser
plotters. They are generally used where drawing of high densities are required such as
drawing of machines, printed circuit board, maps etc,

Computer Peripherals
The devices which are connected with main machine are called computer peripherals.
The input and output devices as well as the secondary storage and other physical
equipments controlled by its processor are called computer peripherals. Peripherals can
be internal (installed inside computer) or external (existing outside but connected
electronically into it). Some examples of computer peripheral are keyboard mouse,
monitor, power supply, modem etc.

Modem
Modem stands for Modulator Demodulator. A modem can be considered as both input
and output device that enables a computer to transmit information over a telephone line.
It is modulator since it converts the digital information of computer into analog signals

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XI-Computer Science

Computer System

which can travel over telephone lines. And it is demodulator since it can convert the
analog signal back into the digital signal which the computer understands. The
transmission speed of modem is measured in bits per second (bps).

UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)


UPS provides continuous power supply to the computer and protects it from data loss and
hardware damage due to uncertain power failures. It consists of a standby power supply
made up of an inverter, a battery charger and battery. It is commonly used in the places
where there is high fluctuation or interruption of electricity.

Power Supply
Power supply resides inside system unit. It receives high voltage current (about 220 V)
and distributes it into internal components of computer as required by the computer
hardware. It is situated at the back side of CPU.

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