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Cache In Your Chips And Get A Bus!

 by: Seamus Dolly

Computer related terminology could sometimes be daunting to newcomers. These are relatively new words or hybrids of words, already in existence. Someone with a degree in English, for example, could not necessarily guess, the function of a particular devise, by its name. This is because such a devise never existed in history or in the history of the English language.

Tolerance and patience is required.

If you work in the field of computers, these "new" words must be learned. However, P.C.'s are designed for use by ordinary people, and the gritty details regarding their construction, can be largely ignored. A journalist, typist, builder or bookkeeper doesn't need to know what an EIDE or SCSI is, or indeed isn't.

Hard drive description is not relevant to the majority, as long as the devise is functional.

A "BUS", though, could be guessed by some, as it carries something, not unlike a conventional bus. In this case, it carries current/electrons/data, and is simply a conductor. A bus conductor, if you like. For now, buses are made of copper with experiments underway to utilise other materials. I read recently that "prions", which are a type of protein, are been considered as conductors. Will some of our computers' components be organic? We shall have to see!

Fibre optics, which are, basically speaking, glass pipes around four thousands of an inch (0.1 mms.), in diameter, employ the speed of light, for signal/data transfer. A light (diode), is on or off, at one end, and a photo-resistor at the other end registers its state. Now, wasn't that simply put! These glass pipes are coated to reflect the light inwards, meaning that light can be "bent" around corners, while within its container/pipe. Heat generation is minimal and electrical resistance is redundant.

It is heat generation and resistance that brings your "fan" into play, keeping everything cool, and electron transfer at a controlled level.

Low resistance= high current. Your starter motor for your car has really thick cables allowing electrons from the twelve volt power source (battery) to do their job in turning over you engine, which is a considerably difficult task. A smaller cable would have a higher electrical resistance, causing it to overheat, and eventually, melt. Keep listening for that "fan".

It is your computers first line of defence.

In fact, it is the principle of electrical resistance that is employed by electrical heaters.

CACHE is not legal tender in most countries, but a type of memory that your CPU (central processing unit ) first looks for. It does this, not to be awkward, but more because it is the fastest route, from a users point of view.

About The Author

Seamus Dolly is the webmaster of http://www.CountControl.com. His background is in engineering and analogue electronics. His studies include A+,iNet and Server+


seamus@countcontrol.com


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