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Computer Architecture

Simplified Windows Architecture Overview
A simplified overview of the Windows operating system architecture divides it into user-mode and kernel-mode components. More ...

The Use of SOI (Silicone on Insulator) Wafers in MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) Production
The main advantage of Silicone on Insulator (SOI) technology is that they enable the manufacture of smaller devices. The manufacturing process optimizes the efficiency of transistors and allows chips to be packed close together, resulting in a greater yield per wafer. More ...

AMD's Phenom Processor
Since 2005 AMD has used the Athlon name for their processors. This changed in 2007 when they released their new processor called Phenom. So we must ask the question; what is the difference between the Athlon and the Phenom? More ...

Basic Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) Circuitry
One of the primary functions performed by a computer is mathematics. This article describes some of the logic circuits used to create the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) of a microprocessor. More ...

Intel's Sandy Bridge Micro-Architecture
"Sandy Bridge" is Intel's code name for a new cpu core microarchitecture. It introduces a few new or improved features. The memory controller, the PCI Express controller, and video circuitry are all located within the processor die and the new ring architecture uses a Last Level Cache between the CPU and graphics cores. More ...

Microcontrollers
A microcontroller is an IC that contains a microprocessor as well as RAM, ROM and general I/O ports. Engineers design microcontrollers into specific-purpose devices such as microwave ovens, cars, washing machines, refridgerators, and even space probes. More ...

Digital Logic Transfer Characteristics
In the real world, gates don't transfer logic levels instantaneously. The time it takes for electrons and holes to move through the semiconductor material (called propagation delay) in CMOS are less than 100 ps (pico seconds), but there are other delays caused by resistance, capacitance, and inductance. More ...

Binary Number Representation and Binary Math
Computers perform all of their amazing work with only two voltage levels, one representing binary 0, the other representing binary 1. This article describes how to perform binary addition and subtraction. More ...

The AMD Athlon 64 X2 Processor
The Athlon 64 X2 is the first dual-core CPU manufactured by AMD. It is essentially two Athlon 64 cores on one die joined together with additional control logic. The cores share one dual-channel memory controller. The benefit of dual-core processors is their ability to process more software threads at the same time. However, many programs are written with only one thread. More ...

CPU Cache Basics
After the processor accesses a location in memory, there's a high probability that the next location in memory that it will access is in the same area of memory. So to make the computer run faster, a a smaller, faster memory called a cache is placed between main memory and the processor. More ...

Arduino Microcontroller Development Platform
The benefit of the open source Arduino Microcontroller Development Platform is that the software is free and the hardware is cheap. This makes it one of the cheapest platforms on which to develop prototypes. More ...

The Fetch, Decode, Execute Cycle
The Fetch, Decode, Execute cycle is paramount to the functioning of a microprocessor. In this article I'll describe the Fetch, Decode, Execute cycle simplified to its bare-bones in a highly simplified fictitious microprocessor. More ...