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1. Out of what material are computer chips made?

Plastic Silicon Olestra

Computer chips are small pieces of silicon onto which transistors are etched. Much of the microprocessor-producing
industry is located in the San Francisco Bay Area in Southern California and has earned the nickname of "Silicon

2. The width of the smallest wire on a computer chip is typcially measured in:

• Millimeters Microns Nanometers

The smallest wire on a chip is measured in microns. Current chips have wires that are less than one micron wide,
while a human hair is about 100 microns thick.

1. Which of the following is not part of a computer chip's job?

• Performing mathematical operations Moving data from one memory location to another

Starting up the computer

Although CPUs have many complicated tasks to run, they do three basic things: perform mathematical operations,
move data between memory locations and follow sets of instructions. The job of starting up the computer specifically
involves the bootstrap loader.
1. To what do buses and lines connect in a computer chip?


Address and data buses, which send addresses and data to memory, and read and write lines, which tell the memory
whether it wants to set or get an addressed location, can connect to either ROM or RAM and generally connects to
What does ROM stand for?

• Read-only memory Random-only memory Read-on memory

ROM stands for read-only memory. Unlike RAM (random access memory), ROM chips are programmed with a set of
bytes that can't change.
1. On a PC, what do the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) instructions do?

• Load the operating system Open latches Test hardware in the machine
When the microprocessor starts up, it looks towards the BIOS for several instructions. Among other things such as
storing the boot sector in RAM after it's read, BIOS instructions check the machine's hardware for errors.
1. Computer chip designers create language instructions that the microprocessor reads. What part of the
computer can translate the words from the instructions into bit patterns the chip can understand?
• The assembler The program counter The ALU
Because humans aren't very good at remembering complex bit patterns, the assembler translates semantic
instructions developed by designers into a language the CPU can use.
1. About how much address space can a 64-bit microprocessor access?

• 4 GB 1,000 GB One billion GB

While 32-bit microprocessors can only address between 2 and 4 gigabytes of RAM, 64-bit microprocessors can
address as much as one billion gigabytes of RAM if needed. Although that may seem excessive for something like
home computers, such extra space may be necessary in the future for overloaded servers.