Research project 2: Computer Architecture

Computer Architecture

Please post these discussion tasks in our D2L discussion forum at: Communications / Discussions / Research Project 2

Each discussion tasks should entail between 50 and 200 words, or half of that amount if you use illustrations or diagrams (a total minimum of 250 words).  While conciseness is appreciated over verbosity, consider that you may need to better explain your understanding.  Try to make a conversation out of this activity.  

Please complete the exercises using plain text.  Unless you have a diagram that is impossible in text, pleased do not upload photos of your written work.  

If you do the work on a computer first, recommended plain-text editors are gedit and notepad++ for Windows and vim, emacs, pico and nano for Linux and Mac.

Full credit will be given to coherent answers in the student’s own words that are generally correct.  Partial credit is awarded where information is generally mistaken and/or where word count is insufficient.    

If others have already addressed all remaining topics, please post your distinct material by replying to an existing post.  Otherwise, work on a topic that no one else has addressed.  


Research and discuss five of the following tasks (cite your sources):  

1. You should learn about the inclusion of the irrational number p (3.14…) in engineering mathematics, particularly with respect to the normalization of Y-axis and X-axis units, when Y depends on amplitude (power) and X depends on time (frequency).  p is used in many electrical formulas having to do with system clocks, alternating current, radio, etc.  

Recall from geometry that the number p = circumference / diameter for a circle.  Given a periodic frequency, we can project a circle-like cycle as a waveform, provided “normalized” or common units for X and Y.  Accordingly, address the topic of Normalized Frequency.  

2. Describe an application of p in the electronics design of clocks signals or radio.

3. What are the principle functions of a modem for computing? What does the word modem mean?

4. In what ways does UART interact with a modem?  In what ways are clocks involved?

5. What does Serial IO have to do with UART?  What is UART?  What is RS232?

6. What are memory-mapped I/O and port-mapped I/O?  How do they compare?

7. What does it mean when a machine’s data is communicated at the physical “hardware level” versus higher software levels?

8. What parameter configurations are needed to connect two machines via serial cable?  Show a command-line example that uses a Linux utility such as stty.

9. Research and discuss the workings of a small C program for serial communication between two devices.  If you are so inclined, you may optionally write and demonstrate such a working program.

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