Basic operational concepts of a computer, Computer Engineering

Basic Operational Concepts of a Computer:

  • Most of computer operations are executed in the ALU (arithmetic and logic unit) of a processor.
  • For an example: to add 2 numbers that are both located in memory.

-          Each number is taken into the processor, and the definite addition is performed by the ALU.

-          Then sum may be stored in memory or retained in the processor for immediate use.


  • When operands are taken into the processor, they are stored in high-speed storage elements (registers).
  • A register may store 1 piece of data (8-bit registers, 16-bit registers, 32-bit registers, 64-bit registers, etc...)
  • Access times to registers are quicker than access times to the fastest cache unit in the memory hierarchy.


  • The Instructions for a processor are declare in the ISA (Instruction Set Architecture)- Level 2
  • Typical instructions include following:
  • Mov BX, LocA

1.      First fetch the instruction

2.      Fetch the contents of  the memory location LocA

3.      Store the contents in general purpose register BX

  • Add AX,BX

1.      Fetch the instruction

2.      Add the contents of registers BX and AX

3.      Place the sum in register AX

Posted Date: 10/13/2012 2:53:54 AM | Location : United States

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