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Look Up: (916 Terms)
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Audio (80) Business (59) Community (19)
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Browse Results: [All], Hardware
3DFX
A company that used to make the Voodoo series of 3D accelerator cards. Notable for its innovations (SLI mode) as well as arcade hardware (some of Midway's arcade machines, including Hydro Thunder and Gauntlet Legends, were basically PCs running souped-up 3dfx cards). After a number of disappointments following the voodoo3 series, they (and their proprietary graphics API, GLIDE) were purchased by NVidia in 2000.
See Also:3D Accelerator Card, Glide
AGP
Accelerated Graphics Port. A specialized graphics port which gives a dedicated port between the display system and system memory, surpassing the Expansion Bus, for greater speed.
BIOS
Basic Input/Output System The part of a PC that manages communications between CPU and peripherals. The BIOS is, in most cases, embedded in a EEPROM (rewritable memory ROM). The BIOS manage the first reads on the disk drive, to boot, for instance.
Button
The simplest form of interface the button either provides pressed or non-pressed information to the game. Buttons are usually used for action commands, such as punching, kicking, pressing the gas/break, or shooting.
Cable Modem
An internet service which transmits data through a thick cable to the consumer; naturally, this means that a lot of data can be transmitted quickly. Though the technology itself has no self-imposed limits -- other than the maximum speed possible for transmission -- cable companies often place maximum speeds on the internet connections, since people generally don't need much upload speed. This is in the best interest of the consumer, because it allows everyone to have fair access to the total amount of speed available to the company.
See Also:Modem
Cache Memory

Cache Memory

The term cache refers to a fast intermediate memory within a larger memory system (Handy, 1993). Cache memory, utilized on machines such as the IBM System/360 Model 91 as early as 1968, was created to address the von Neumann bottleneck. Despite the efforts of engineers, early computer processors processed information much faster than they could access information from main memory. The low ratio of processor speed to memory access time in this case was so common on von Neumann machines that it became known as the von Neumann bottleneck (Baker, 1994). The introduction of cache memory, a special form of random access memory (RAM), helps to eliminate this bottleneck by providing one-cycle memory access to the processor (Hayes, 1998).

Cache memory serves as a buffer between a CPU and main memory (Hayes, 1998). Data and instructions located inside cache memory may be accessed significantly faster than data and instructions in main memory. Typically, the larger the cache, the faster the computer runs as a whole (Corporate Technology Direct, 1996).

Data words are stored within the cache data memory portion in small groups called cache blocks. Each cache block is additionally marked by a block address, called a tag. The collection of tag addresses are stored within the cache tag memory.



One common type of cache memory organization is called the "look-aside" cache, as shown in Figure 2. A look-aside cache allows both the cache and main memory to be directly connected to the system bus. In this design, the CPU firsts requests a block of memory from the cache. The cache (M1) then compares the incoming address to the tag addresses that currently exist in cache tag memory. If a match is found, a cache hit occurs. The CPU then accesses this memory directly, thus eliminating any involvement of M2. If a match is not found, a cache miss occurs. In the event of a cache miss, a block of memory in the cache is replaced with the desired block of memory which exists in main memory (M2). The process of replacing a block in cache memory with a block in main memory is done by first sending a request to main memory, which in turn transfers memory over the system bus. The transfer of memory from the cache to the CPU is much faster than the transfer of memory from main memory to the cache, which makes cache memory a good technique for speeding up data processing (Hayes, 1998).



 

Bibliography :

Baker, H.G. (1994, March). Linear logic and permutation stacks--the forth shall

be first. ACM sigarch computer archive, pp. 34-43.

Bruce, K.B. (1998). CS334 lecture 2 [lecture notes]. Williams College.

Corporate Technology Direct (1996). What is cache memory? Retrieved March 25, 1999 from the

World Wide Web: http://www.corporatetech.com/memory/cache_memory.html

Handy, J. (1993). The cache memory book. pp. 54-56.

Hayes, J.P. (1998). Computer architecture and organization. pp. 452-454.

Slater, M. (1997, August). AMD's K6 kicker. Computer shopper, pp. 562-563, 566

 

CD
Compact Disc. The current default media for distributing software to end users.
CD-R
A device used to WRITE Compact Discs. This is also known as the "CD - BURNER," because it burns data onto the CD with a laser. CD-Rs cannot write data to CDs on which data have already been written.
See Also:CD, CD-RW
CD-RW
A device that can READ and WRITE data to CDs. With this device, data can be "Fixed" (replaced) on CDs to which data had once been burned. The CR-RW can only fix CDs that are REWRITABLE.
See Also:CD, CD-R
CGA
CGA - Color Graphics Array IBM defined graphic card. Created to provide color graphic (4 colored modes 320x200, 'hacked' 16 colored mode 160x100).
Console
Systems designed specifically for playing video games. Currently consoles would include the Sony Playstation, Nintendo N64 and Sega Dreamcast.
CPU
The Central Processing Unit of a computer, also called the computer's "processor." The CPU acts as the computer's brain by performing important calculations and executing the commands found in a program.

CRT
Cathode Ray Tube. A raster display consisting of an electron gun (Cathode) that fires charged particles (electrons) at a thin film of phosphorus, thus exciting the phosphor and causing it to emit light.
Dolphin
An early production name for the IBM/ATI-based Nintendo GameCube.
See Also:GameCube
Dreamcast
The Sega Dreamcast is the last console of Sega Enterprises, which was released in 1998 in Japan and 1999 in North-America and Europe. Since 2000 various freeware games are available thanks to the open source and free development kit KallistiOS. The Dreamcast is the one and only videogame console which makes it possible due the free development libraries like SDL to create software legal without using any Sega libraries. Three commercial games without Sega licence were released 2003 and 2004 this way. Still, there are publishers like www.dreamcast-scene.com or www.goatstore.com who even help out single programmers to release their software commercially on CD.
Dreamcast
The latest console from Sega. (WWW)
DVD
DVD (Digital Versatile Disk) DVD storage capacity is: 17 Gbyte DVD delivers the data at a higher rate than CD-ROM. This technology could replace the Video Cassett tape due to the high quality of the sound and video. Unlike video cassett tapes, DVDs do not degrade in picture quality over time.
EGA
EGA - Enhanced Graphics Array IBM defined graphic card. Followup to CGA. Provides up to 16 colors out of a palette of 64.
Fill Rate
Used to describe the number of pixels a card can move onto into view, thus the screen. Often the fill rate is given with different qualfiers, such as textured, zbuffered, filtered pixels.
FPU
Floating Point Unit. The unit that compute all floating point types. For Intel Processors series, until the 80486 (1992), the FPU was dissociated from the main Processor (x87 series).
Gameboy
A handheld game console created by Nintendo. A second, smaller version was later released. This was the Gameboy Pocket. A third model was called the Gameboy Color. Recently another, more powerful version called the Gameboy Advance was released.

GameCube
A videogame system created by Nintendo. Released in November 2001.
GPF
General Protection Fault - CPU error which can be intercepted by the OS to perform different tasks or generate an error. Can be caused by: - a process who violated its assigned resources and tried to access a resource which it was not granted (often unavailable memory due to pointer errors). - a process who tried to acces memory in a lower ring (higher priority, usually kernel memory) The GPF can also be used for memory swapping - the OS catches the GPF involved in reading a memory page which is in the swap file so it loads it into RAM and then resumes execution. Usually a GPF results in a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) in Windows
See Also:BSOD
Graphics Card
A card which processes graphics for a computer. * A graphics card is given an image in digital form. The card then takes care of converting the digital data and squirting down a cable into a monitor or TV in their preferred analog[ue] form. Modern cards also provide some features which help speed the creation of an image by the computer. For instance, most now have blitters which speed up copying rectangular chunks of memory around from A to B.
Hard Drive
A media storage device which is usually built into the computer tower, and serves as major storage space for programs and other data.
IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) Cable
Not to be confused with, "Integrated Development Environment," this cable connects varius drives to the motherboard allowing data to quickly get from one to the other. It is generally shaped like a ribbon, though round IDE cables do exist.
IHV
Independent Hardware Vendor. A hardware manufacturer that specializes in manufacturing a single type of hardware rather than manufacturing full computer systems.
Interlacing
Because the electron guns that draw pictures on TV screens were initially too slow to draw the screen in one pass, the first lines at the top of the screen would be fading by the time the last lines were drawn, pictures on TVs were drawn using what is known as interlacing. First the odd lines down are drawn (line 1, 3, 5, etc.). Then the even lines are drawn (line 2, 4, 6, etc.). The image shown by one pass is known as a field, and the complete image drawn by two passes is known as a frame. Standard TV broadcasts run at 30 frames per second (fps). In an effort to boost hype for a product, sometimes ads or press releases would state that their game was "60 fields per second", instead of 30 fps. Most computer monitors are non-interlaced as well as many arcade screens.
Interrupt
1. aka Hardware Interrupts: A request for attention from the processor. When the processor receives an interrupt, it suspends its current operations, saves the status of its work, and transfers control to a special routine known as an interrupt handler, which contains the instructions for dealing with the particular situation that caused the interrupt. ex: int 0x09 - keyboard interrupt 2. aka Software interrupts: functions stored in memory by the operating system to be used by programs to facilitate different tasks (aka system calls). ex: int 0x21 in MS-DOS
Joypad
An input device which consists of a button like surface which can usually move in 4 distinct directions and 4 more combinations and is almost exclusively hand-held. Usually used for giving directional information and comes with buttons for action input.
Joystick
An input device which consists of a stick that comes up from a platform which can be hand-held or mounted onto a surface. Usually used for giving directional information and comes with buttons for action input.
LCD
LCD - Liquid Crystal Display. LCD screens are used widely among electronic devices. Probably the most common application of LCD screens, is in Digital Watches. How it works is as follows: Two sheets of clear plastic are pancaked together with a think lair of a substance called Liquid Crystal. When a voltage is applyed, it causes the liquid crystal to turn opaq.
MCA Bus
IBM's PS/2 32-bit expansion bus. In 1987, IBM created the PS/2, with a 32-bit expansion bus, to replace the original PC's ISA 8 bit (and later 16 bit) buses. The MCA bus was patented, so other brands than IBM couldn't use them. That has lead a consortium to create EISA bus. Very few cards are in MCA bus nowadays.
MIPS
Million Instructions Per Second. Measurement of speed for processors.
MMX
An advancement to Intel microprocessors which added 57 new instructions which are designed to handle video, audio, and graphical data more efficiently.
Modem
A shorter term for "modulator/demodulator". This is a device which takes data from a computer and turns it into a series of audio pulses which can be sent over a telephone line; on the receiving end, these pulses are "demodulated" into a copy of the original data. Modern internet devices like ADSL and cable no longer use this exact type of technology, but the term "modem" has been expanded to include these devices.
See Also:Cable Modem
Net Yaroze
A black Playstaton hobbyist's development kit (which also looks exactly like the regular Playstation & is made by Sony) that enables you to develop your own video games just for the Net Yaroze. But only members can participate. More information can be found at the following address: http://www.scea.sony.com/net/what.htm
Noise Gate
The noise gate is a piece of studio equipment used to control the volume of an audio signal. The original intended purpose of this is to clean up unwanted noise from a recording, but some nice effects can also be achieved using a noise gate. Used simply, the noise gate only allows an audio signal above a certain threshold to play. This can be used to clean up unwanted noise by setting the threshold above the level of the noise. A typical use of the noise gate as an audio effect is to have it controlled by an additional track - for example, a beat supplied by a drum machine. In this case, the gate can be applied over the top of an audio track such as a synth pad, or perhaps vocal 'oohs'. By 'opening' and 'closing' the gate based on the rhythm supplied by another track (which may or may not be audible itself), the track in question is effectively cut up into a nice rythm. This is often used in electronic music, especially Trance. Software noise gates are also available.
PCI BUS
The Periferal Componet Interconnect BUS is used for all types of hardware components, including (non-AGP) video cards, sound cards, extra ports, and others. The slots (generally 3 to 5) are located in the lower left portion of the motherboard (under the AGP BUS) and are white or gray.
PIT
Programmable Interval Timer. A timer present in all PCs with a frequency of 1.193MHz (2^32/3600) with 3 outputs, channel 0 causing IRQ 0 (int 8), channel 1 for memory refresh and channel 2 for the PC Speaker.
PlayStation
A game console made by Sony.
Playstation 2
Playstation 2 is Sony's latest consoleas of 2002. It was the first of the next generation consoles to be released, and gains much of its popularity from thew Final Fantasy series of games it runs. THe PS2 now has online capabilities, and along with Final Fantasy XI, hard drives can be purchased as an expansion for the PS2. The PS2 is powered by a 250MHz Sony/Toshiba CPU, dubbed the "Emotion Machine." You may develop on PS2 using Sony's PS2 SDK for Linux. PS3 is planned to be released in the near future.
PowerPC
A RISC microprocessor designed by IBM and Motorola and Apple. Most well known for its presence inside Macintoshes, although it is quite popular in IBM's server lineup. The most powerful model at the time of this writing is the POWER4 (Server, 64-bit). It has been modified to produce the PPC970 (G5, Desktop, 64-bit) for desktop machines.
PSX
Sony Playstation.
RAID
RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. Basically you can connect normal IDE drives onto your RAID controller and then select a mode for operation, most controllers at time of writting support 4 modes, stripping (RAID 0), Mirroring (RAID 1), stripping and Mirroring (RAID 0+1) as well as the SPAN mode.

To Use RAID 0 or 1 you need 2 hard drives (any normal IDE), and for 0+1 you need at least 4 drives, while for spanning you can have any number greater then 2.

RAID 1 impoves your proformence by turning your connected hard drives effectively into one large one, as well as sharing the work between them, which doubles the proformence of the drives.

RAID 0 creates and stores a on the fly copy of your first hard disk onto the seccond drive in case of failure.

RAID 0+1, you have a RAID 0 working which is backed up onto other drives which are running in RAID 1.

SPAN connects any number of drives >2 togethor so that they appear as one big drive, however it DOES NOT share work between them like RAID 0, so you don't get a proformence increase.

Sega Genesis
Sega Genesis (AKA: Mega Drive in many parts of the world): A 16-bit videogame system that was made by Sega. Released in the US on the 1st of September in 1989. A second smaller scaled down version was released in 1993 called the Genesis Mark II; as well a company called Majesco released a third system in 1998 called the Mark III. There was also a couple attachments released for the system as well, including a CD ROM drive called the Sega CD (AKA: Mega CD) and a 32 bit adapter named the 32x. Other variations of the Genesis console include a portable hand-held version with a LCD screen called the Sega Nomad and a combination Sega Genesis/Sega CD system named the Sega CDx (Or Multi Mega).
Sega Saturn
Sega's home console, the successor to the Sega Megadrive. It failed due to a lack of developer interest due to the unnecessary complexity of the system; a small but dedicated development scene exists surrounding it much like that surrounding the Megadrive.
SNES
Super Nintendo. (NES, Nintendo Entertainment System). Successor to the NES, this system was 16-bit and the reigning champion for its time period in consoles. (WWW)
Triad
The term given to a pixel in a monitor based on the red, green and blue components that make up each one. In other viewing devices, such as Head Mounted Displays, resolution is often given in triads instead of pixels.
Vertical Retrace
In a CRT, this is the time during which the electron gun is repositioning itself from the lower right to the upper left. It is during this time that proper page flipping is done, so that smooth, tear free animation can be done.
VGA
Video Graphics Array: Analog graphics standard introduced with the IBM PS/2 series. Backwards compatible with EGA at the BIOS level, but provides higher resolutions. Supports a maximum resolution of 640 x 480 pixels in 16 colors (mode 0x12) out of a palette of 262,144 colors. Mode switching can be done using int 0x10, func 0x00
XBox
A videogame console created by Microsoft. Released in November 2001.
Xbox360
The successor to the Microsoft Xbox, this console uses new ATI graphics chips as well as multi-core IBM PowerPC CPUs capable of running six simultaneous threads in hardware.
See Also:PowerPC, XBox
XGA
XGA is a Monitor Graphics Type which contains 15-inch units with a native resolution of 1024x768 pixels.


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