1. Describe Von Neumann architecture and explain why it is important. The Von Neumann architecture explains the architecture of an electronic computer. It is attributed to be root of every electronic computer that has ever been made. According to Von Neumann architecture an electronic computer has Control Unit, Arithmetic Logic Unit, Memory & Input / Output Devices. The following diagram shows this architecture:-
Memory: - Memory holds both data and the instructions.
Control Unit: - The Control Unit manages the movement of data and instructions in and out of the memory and also deals with sequential carrying out of the programs. Arithmetic Logic Unit: - Carries out all the calculations on the data. Apart from operations like addition, subtraction etc, ‘greater than’, ‘less than’ etc would also be provided. Input / Output: - Input/output devices to feed into the data and take out the data. This component served interaction with the human who was operating the device The most basic principle of development of Von Neumann architecture was that it not just stored the data and the computation that was involved; it also stored the set of orders and instructions that had resulted in the computation. The entire set of instructions were stored in what is called as ‘registers’ and the control unit used to process this in a sequential manner – which means one at a time. In this architecture the instructions were encoded into numeric form and the data as well as the instructions were then stored in the memory. The Von Neumann Architecture is important because it led to the development of the earliest computers. Even the computers we see today, that are fifth generation and have a drastically different architecture, draw their parallels from Von Neumann Architecture. Obviously there has been lot of improvements. However, the base of having memory, control unit, input / output devices still remains integral to all the...
References: Backus, J. 1978. Can programming be liberated from the von Neumann style? A functional style and its algebra of programs. Communications of the ACM 21, 8, (August), 613-641.
Myers, G. J. 1982. Advances in Computer Architecture. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
von Neumann, John (1945), First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC, retrieved August 24, 2011
Linda Null; Julia Lobur (2010). The essentials of computer organization and architecture (3rd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning. pp. 36,199–203. ISBN 978-1-4496-0006-8.
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