Understanding computer architecture

  1. Hi all,

    I recently purchased a hardware board which supports PC/104 and when i am going through the manual i found a lot of unknown terms like you can configure your PC/104 based board as memory mapped or I/O based and for that you have to do settings in the BIOS or some jumper settings on the board and so on which confused me a lot. so, i wanted to learn the computer architecture first i want to know everything about computer. could somebody please suggest me the starting point for this.

    thanks in advance,
  2. jcsd
  3. Hey satya77.

    My guess is that you can configure it by an external I/O device like an old serial or parallel bus or the new universal serial bus connections: something along those lines. I'm guessing memory-mapped settings is done by configuring some kind of on-board memory.

    Jumper settings refer to little pins which activate particular circuits which set parameters for the board. In the old days people had to actually set quite a few jumper settings but nowadays most people don't unless they are computer technicians or people trying to overclock their PC's. If you see a pair of pins with a plastic thing that slots over both of them, this is an example of a jumper.

    What I would do is read your manual to find out what the jumpers correspond to and see what kind of I/O support you have for programming the board and the type of interface you have: it will say something like RS-232, USB I, USB-II, LPT and so on unless it's another kind of I/O device that connects to some other hardware that is not a normal PC.

    Since you said you purchased a board, I imagine the computer connects to the board via the hardware interface which means that you should have a device driver and software to communicate with the board. The software might not be something with a UI, but as long as you can upload/download data and get a decent level of feedback and control, this is what you will need to look at.

    So in conclusion, read your board manual for jumper settings and configuring I/O, read the hardware documentation for setting up I/O exchange with the board and read the board manual for how to program the on-board memory component if you can program it.
  4. rcgldr

    rcgldr 7,692
    Homework Helper

    Wiki article:


    I/O mapping would require you use I/O (port based) instructions to access the components on the PC/104 card. Memory mapping would use memory based instructions to access the components on the PC/104 card instead. This is probably done via jumpers on the PC/104, cards. I'm not sure how the BIOS on a PC/104 system works. I would assume that most standard I/O functions, such as keyboard port, serial port, ..., are all I/O mapped, and only memory on each board would be memory mapped.
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