Sat. Jan 21st, 2023

Unit 2 – Fundamentals of Computer Systems

Hardware and Software

Computer hardware in a computer system

Types of computer systems

Purposes, features and uses of internal components

Factors affecting the choice, use and performance of internal components

How the features of hardware affect their performance and that of a system

Data storage and recovery systems

Computer software in a computer system

Operating systems

Utility software

Application software

Principles and implications of open source software

Data Processing

The use, features and implications of using computer systems for data processing

The role of hardware in collecting data

Data processing functions

Backup and data recovery procedures

Computer Architecture

Approaches to computer architecture

Features and characteristics of different computer architecture models

Use and application of emulation

Factors affecting the choice of different architecture models

The impact of using different architecture models

The concepts of microarchitecture

Instruction cycles

Execution speeds

The use and choice of instruction sets




Multi-processing and multi-threading

Features and implications of embedded and mobile CPU architecture

Features and implications of server CPU architecture

Registers and register handling

Function and purpose of general and special registers and their impact on the way computer systems perform

Role of interrupts in a computer system

How data is represented by computer systems

Number systems

Use and interpretation of number systems

Use of binary arithmetic

Use of binary to represent negative and floating point numbers

Text representation

Purpose and implications of using codes to represent character sets

Features and uses of common character sets

Image representation

How bitmap/raster image data is stored and represented

Impact of image resolution of how images are stored and represented

Impact of sample/bit depth on way image data is stored and represented

Effects of compression on image data

How data is organised on computer systems

Data structures

Features, applications and implications of data types used in computer systems

Use and application of data types in computer software

Indices and matrices

Single-, two- and multi-dimensional arrays

Row-major and column-major order

How data is transmitted by computer systems

Transmitting data

Asynchronous and synchronous data transmission

Parallel and serial transmission

Use of packet data

Protocols used to govern and control data transmission

Features, applications and implications of encryption

Types of compression

Error detection

Methods used to detect errors in data transmission

Concepts, implications and applications of error detection

Error correction

Commonly-used error correction systems

The use of logic and data flow in computer systems

Flow charts and system diagrams

Use of flow charts and diagrams to represent data flow in and between computer systems

Use and interpretation of flow charts and diagrams to solve problems