Mountain State University Systems Architecture Assignment
Data Storage Technology / System Integration & Performance
What is the difference between static and dynamic RAM?
Static RAM is implemented entirely with transistors and Dynamic RAM uses transistors
and capacitors. DRAM circuitry is less complex than SRAM circuitry. DRAM uses capacitors
to store data dynamically. It is considered dynamic because capacitors quickly lose
their charge and require thousands of refresh operations per second. In contrast,
SRAM stores data with transistors only. The transistors implement complex operations
without the need of refresh cycles to hold its charge. SRAM is much faster and much
more expensive than DRAM because of its complex architecture. DRAM has a higher
density of memory cells in comparison to SRAM. The high number of refresh cycles
make it so that DRAM less efficient and slower than SRAM.
How is data stored and retrieved on a magnetic storage device?
A magnetic storage device converts electrical signals into magnetic charges.
A magnetic storage device consists of a magnetic storage medium, and a read/write
head. The read/write head consists of an in/out electrical current that it converts
into a magnetic field with both a positive and negative polarity. The magnetic storage
medium stores charges from the read/write head as a result of the magnetic field
coming in contact with the read/write head. Electrical switches at either end of
the in/out electrical current detect the direction of current flow and sense either
a zero or one bit value. The read operation of a magnetic storage device is the
opposite (inverse) of the write operation.
What is the difference between physical access and logical access?
Physical access is the exact location of specific data. For example a specific
sector on a hard drive platter may hold data for a needed program to run. The portion
of the hard drive that holds what is known as the “Boot Sector” has a specific location
on the hard drive. Logical access is a method by which the CPU and system bus interact
with each peripheral device. The CPU interprets all peripheral components as if
they were a storage device. Each hypothetical storage device is seen as holding
one or more bytes in sequentially numbered addresses.
Physical access can be considered the “Physical location” from which data or an electrical signal is held. Logical
access can be considered the set of instructions and naming conventions the CPU
uses to access the physical location of a peripheral or stored data. In Logical
access everything, including all peripherals are considered physical locations,
and named accordingly.
What is a multicore processor?
High performance CPU’s use multiple CPUs and cache memory on a single chip. What
are its advantages compared to multi-CPU architecture? Multi-CPU architecture uses
two or more single core CPUs on a single motherboard. Multiple CPUs share primary
storage and a single system bus. When used within a single system, the speed at
which instructions are implemented are much slower as a result of multiple CPUs
sharing a single system bus and primary storage. Why have multicore processors only
recently been available? Improvements in fabrication technology enable large caches
on the same chip as the CPU. Continuing improvements in fabrication technology could
enable even larger caches, but at the cost of performance. Recent advances in semiconductor
fabrication has allowed the multicore architecture to become available. (As of 2005)
As of 2010 Intel have both a Quad-Core and Six-Core Multicore processor on the market.
As of the writing of our textbook, only dual-core were available. Further advancements
in fabrication technology and CPU design architecture will continue to increase
the processing power of CPU’s.