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scott
Posted: Sunday, November 07, 2010 4:42:41 PM
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Von Neumann architecture

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neumann_architecture

Quote:

The von Neumann architecture is a design model for a stored-program digital computer that uses a central processing unit (CPU) and a single separate storage structure ("memory") to hold both instructions and data. It is named after the mathematician and early computer scientist John von Neumann. Such computers implement a universal Turing machine and have a sequential architecture.

A stored-program digital computer is one that keeps its programmed instructions, as well as its data, in read-write, random-access memory (RAM). Stored-program computers were an advancement over the program-controlled computers of the 1940s, such as the Colossus and the ENIAC, which were programmed by setting switches and inserting patch leads to route data and to control signals between various functional units. In the vast majority of modern computers, the same memory is used for both data and program instructions. The mechanisms for transferring the data and instructions between the CPU and memory are, however, considerably more complex than the original von Neumann architecture.

The terms "von Neumann architecture" and "stored-program computer" are generally used interchangeably, and that usage is followed in this article.



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