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1.2 Computer-System Organization 9 STORAGE DEFINITIONS AND NOTATION The basic unit of computer storage is the bit. A bit can contain one of two values, 0 and 1. All other storage in a computer is based on collections of bits. Given enough bits, it is amazing how many things a computer can represent: numbers, letters, images, movies, sounds, documents, and programs, to name afew.Abyte is 8 bits, and on most computers it is the smallest convenient chunk of storage. For example, most computers don’t have an instruction to move a bit but do have one to move a byte. A less common term is word, which is a given computer architecture’s native unit of data. A word is made up of one or more bytes. For example, a computer that has 64-bit registers and 64-bit memory addressing typically has 64-bit (8-byte) words. A computer executes many operations in its native word size rather than a byte at a time. Computer storage, along with most computer throughput, is generally measured and manipulated in bytes and collections of bytes. A kilobyte,or KB, is 1,024 bytes; a megabyte,orMB, is 1,024 2 bytes; a gigabyte,orGB,is 1,024 3 bytes; a terabyte,orTB, is 1,024 4 bytes; and a petabyte,orPB, is 1,024 5 bytes. Computer manufacturers often round off these numbers and say that a megabyte is 1 million bytes and a gigabyte is 1 billion bytes. Networking measurements are an exception to this general rule; they are given in bits (because networks move data a bit at a time). the interrupting device. Operating systems as different as Windows and UNIX dispatch interrupts in this manner. The interrupt architecture must also save the address of the interrupted instruction. Many old designs simply stored the interrupt address in a fixed location or in a location indexed by the device number. More recent architectures store the return address on the system stack. If the interrupt routine needs to modify the processor state—for instance, by modifying register values—it must explicitly save the current state and then restore that state before returning. After the interrupt is serviced, the saved return address is loaded into the program counter, and the interrupted computation resumes as though the interrupt had not occurred. 1.2.2 Storage Structure The CPU can load instructions only from memory, so any programs to run must be stored there. General-purpose computers run most of their programs from rewritable memory, called main memory (also called random-access memory, or RAM). Main memory commonly is implemented in a semiconductor technology called dynamic random-access memory ( DRAM). Computers use other forms of memory as well. We have already mentioned read-only memory, ROM) and electrically erasable programmable read-only memory, EEPROM). Because ROM cannot be changed, only static programs, such as the bootstrap program described earlier, are stored there. The immutability of ROM is of use in game cartridges. EEPROM can be changed but cannot be changed frequently and so contains mostly static programs. For example, smartphones have EEPROM to store their factory-installed programs
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  • owner: miller - (no access) - Abraham Silberschatz_ Peter B Galvin_ Greg Gagne -Operating system concepts-Wiley (2012).pdf, p33
  • owner: hughleat - (no access) - Abraham-Silberschatz-Operating-System-Concepts---9th2012.12.pdf, p33


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