How does the computer work? Von Neuman Architecture.

How does the computer work? Von Neuman Architecture.

Introduction


How you ever imagined how do computer works? I mean, everyday, you open your PC, open an application, finish your task and turn it of. You have never wondered what is really going in the background and the amazing things that happens that you don't know about, which will make you wonder, How amazing and smart the creators of the computer are and how amazing that machine is.

Von Neuman architecture


Von Neumann architecture is basically a system designed in 1945 by John von Neumann, which has been since the main architecture used by all computers created today. Although Neumann is claimed to be the "Father of Computers", the architecture was inspired from Alan's Turing, and both of them collaborated to deliver us the computer architecture used today.

How does it work?

The basic von Neumann architecture includes three main parts: the brain (CPU), the memory, and the pathway (interconnection) between them. Imagine the CPU as the brain of the computer, where all the thinking and processing happens. The memory is like the computer's short-term memory, where it stores information temporarily. And the pathway is like the road that connects the brain and memory, allowing them to communicate.



In the memory, there are many slots where the computer can store both instructions (like a recipe for the CPU) and data (ingredients for the recipe). Each slot has its own address, like a house number, and holds either an instruction or data.

Now, the CPU itself has two main parts: the boss (control unit) and the worker (datapath or a bus). The control unit is like the boss that decides which tasks (instructions) the computer should do next. The datapath is like the worker that actually carries out those tasks.


Inside the CPU, there are special storage spaces called registers, which are super-fast. These registers hold data that the CPU is currently working with or information about what the computer is doing.


One important register is the program counter, which keeps track of where the computer is in its list of instructions. It's like the computer's bookmark, showing which instruction it's going to tackle next.

To move information between the CPU and memory, there's a pathway called the interconnect. Think of it like a busy street where data travels back and forth. In older computers, this pathway was like a simple road, but nowadays, it's more like a complex network of highways.


In a von Neumann machine, the computer tackles one instruction at a time, focusing on a small chunk of data with each instruction. So, it's like the computer is taking things step by step, following instructions just like you would follow a recipe.

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