This article will deal with computer hardware and its main components. It includes the tangible parts of the hardware that have a physical existence. Here all the basic parts like Central processing unit, motherboard, storage devices, input, and output peripherals communication devices will be discussed. The purpose of this study is to explore and provide a comprehensive approach towards all the parts of the hardware that are essential for computer’s working.
COMPONENTS OF HARDWARE
Computer Hardware refers to the physical parts of the computer that may include many things like motherboard, storage devices, etc. It consists of four components i.e. the input unit, the next one is the processing unit, the memory unit, and the output unit. (Fig 1)
I. THE INPUT UNIT
The input unit sends data to the computer thus providing a way to communicating with the computer, it includes keyboard, mouse or pointing devices, scanners, etc. It is used to provide data to the commuter and allows it to control it.
First of all, discussing “keyboard”, which is a human interface device that has various functional keys including alphanumeric keys. Whenever the user stuck a key on the keyboard the tiny chip called keyboard controller notes that a key has been pressed, it then places code into the part of the memory known as keyboard buffer, which indicates which key has been pressed. The controller then sends a signal to the computer’s system software, an indication that something has happened to the keyboard. In this way, the keyboard works.
Secondly, the “pointing devices” are also a human interacting device that gives the user access to give input in the form of data that is spatial into the computer. The touchpads work by detecting movement across a physical surface on which the user gives commands. And analog devices work by observing their angle of deflection, these devices specify the position in space. Examples of pointing devices are mouse, touchpad, touchscreen, trackball, etc.
“Touchscreen” is another pointing device; the user can use it with the help of a stylus or fingers. It enables the user to interact directly with the graphics being displayed on the screen. Along with that mouse or scanner are also used as input devices.
II. THE CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT
An electronic circuitry inside the computer that carries out the given instructions given by the computer. It is the brain of the computer. The two basic parts it consists of are: the control unit and secondly the arithmetic unit. Using this technique many newer microprocessors can execute many instructions at a time simultaneously. The control unit is explained in detail in the previous article. You can check it out here (Fig2)
III. MEMORY UNIT
After all the processing the data need to be stored somewhere to be used afterward. Computer memory is used for this purpose. The two types of storage are RAM and ROM. “RAM” stands for Random Access Memory. It is a temporary storage medium that contains software’s instructions and the memory currently being in use. It is known as primary storage because it is the main memory that is accessible to the CPU. The computer loses the data in RAM whenever the computer loses power.
But the RAM is faster than a hard drive. The next type of memory storage is done in “ROM”. It stands for Read-Only Memory. It does not need any power to keep working and is a non-volatile type of memory. Modification can be done on the stored data but it is a difficult process and is sometimes slow. This is the primary storing process of data, there also exist secondary storing devices such as hard disk, CD, floppy, etc.
IV. OUTPUT UNIT
A peripheral device that receives data from the computer for displaying the work being processed by the computer. It may include printers, sound cards, monitors. Firstly, discussing the printers, a device that prints the data on a page. They have two types, i.e. impact and non-impact printers. Characters are printed by “Impact Printers” when the inked ribbon is pressed by the hammers on a paper. These hammers have engraved letters and numbers. They are used for bulky printing and have a low cost.
It has two types of character printers and line printers. “Non-impact printers” use some otter means like nozzle to spray the droplets of ink onto the page. They print a complete page at a time. They are faster than non-impact printers and have high quality. It may include Laser printers and inkjet printers. The monitor is also an output device that displays the video, image, and text on the screen in pictorial form. It is basically a circuitry that has a power supply, options to adjust the setting of the screen, and a case that holds all of these required components.