Definiciones de generaciones de las computadoras en el siglo xxi

Hardware
Los componentes y dispositivos del Hardware se dividen en Hardware Básico y Hardware Complementario
* El Hardware Básico: son las piezas fundamentales e imprescindibles para que la computadora funcione como son: Placa base, monitor, teclado y ratón.
* El Hardware Complementario: son todos aquellos dispositivos adicionales no esenciales como pueden ser: impresora, escáner, cámara devídeo digital, webcam, etc.
Placa Base o Placa Madre
Los componentes Hardware más importantes de la computadora y esenciales para su funcionamiento se encuentran en la Placa Base (también conocida como Placa Madre), que es una placa de circuito impreso que aloja a la Unidad Central de Procesamiento (CPU) o microprocesador, Chipset (circuito integrado auxiliar), Memoria RAM, BIOS o Flash-ROM,etc., además de comunicarlos entre sí.
Grupos de Hardware
Según sus funciones, los componentes y dispositivos del hardware se dividen en varios grupos y en el siguiente orden:
* Dispositivos de Entrada
* Chipset (Circuito Integrado Auxiliar)
* Unidad Central de Procesamiento (CPU)
* Unidad de Control
* Unidad Aritmético-Lógica
* Unidad de Almacenamiento
* Memoria Principal oPrimaria (RAM – ROM)
* Memoria Secundaria o Auxiliar (Disco Duro, Flexible, etc.)
* Dispositivos de Salida
Dispositivos de Entrada
Los Dispositivos de Entrada son aquellos a través de los cuales se envían datos externos a la unidad central de procesamiento, como el teclado, ratón, escáner, o micrófono, entre otros.
Chipset (Circuito Integrado Auxiliar)
El Chipset o Circuito Integrado Auxiliar esla médula espinal de la computadora, integrado en la placa base, hace posible que esta funcione como eje del sistema permitiendo el tráfico de información entre el microprocesador (CPU) y el resto de componentes de la placa base, interconectándolos a través de diversos buses que son: el Northbridge (Puente Norte) y el Southbridge (Puente Sur).
El Northbridge o Puente Norte es un circuito integradoque hace de puente de enlace entre el microprocesador y la memoria además de las tarjetas gráficas o de vídeo AGP o PCI-Express, así como las comunicaciones con el Puente Sur.
El Southbridge o Puente Sur (también conocido como Concentrador de Controladores de Entrada/Salida), es un circuito integrado que coordina dentro de la placa base los dispositivos de entrada y salida además de algunas otrasfuncionalidades de baja velocidad. El Puente Sur se comunica con la CPU a través del Puente Norte.
Unidad Central de Procesamiento (CPU)
La CPU (Central Processing Unit o Unidad Central de Procesamiento) puede estar compuesta por uno o varios microprocesadores de circuitos integrados que se encargan de interpretar y ejecutar instrucciones, y de administrar, coordinar y procesar datos, es endefinitiva el cerebro del sistema de la computadora. Además, la velocidad de la computadora depende de la velocidad de la CPU o microprocesador que se mide en MHz (unidad de medida de la velocidad de procesamiento). Se divide en varios registros:
Unidad de Control
La Unidad de Control es la encargada de controlar que las instrucciones se ejecuten, buscándolas en la memoria principal, decodificándolas(interpretándolas) y que después serán ejecutadas en la unidad de proceso.
Unidad Aritmético-Lógica
La Unidad Aritmético-Lógica es la unidad de proceso donde se lleva a cabo la ejecución de las instrucciones con operaciones aritméticas y lógicas.
Unidad de Almacenamiento
La Unidad de Almacenamiento o Memoria guarda todos los datos que son procesados en la computadora y se divide en MemoriaPrincipal y Memoria Secundaria o Auxiliar.
Memoria Principal o Primaria (RAM – ROM)
En la Memoria Principal o Primaria de la computadora se encuentran las memorias RAM, ROM y CACHÉ.
La Memoria RAM (Random Access Memory o Memoria de Acceso Aleatorio) es un circuito integrado o chip que almacena los programas, datos y resultados ejecutados por la computadora y de forma temporal, pues su contenido se…

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