~ Systems Architecture

Be Inspired

We have come incredibly far in terms of technology and systems architecture - and who knows what the future holds. Things are developing at an amazing pace and a fully functional quantum computer could be just round the corner (you may want to look up quantum computing if you're serious about this subject - it's an exciting field!)

Check out this image (source: Wikimedia commons) of the ....

....first ever working transistor!

You've got to ask the next question and marvel at the answer. 

How many transistors in a modern CPU?

In 1971, the first-gen Intel processor sported 2,300 transistors and ran at 740,000Hz. The latest fourth-gen Intel Core processor has 1.7billion transistors and runs as 3,000,000,000Hz. The brain of a home sapien has 100billion neurons and runs at roughly (according to Intel) 1,000Hz. Wow! 

Video - Find out more


1. Can you think of any other processors (other than INTEL?)

2. Could there have been an alternative to the CPU (as the brain of a computer). What could it have been? (this is a difficult question!)

PowerPoint Theory

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Presentation 1 - Purpose and Function of the CPU

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Presentation 2 - Factors affecting processing + Embedded systems

Tasks & Worksheets

Your teacher may ask you to do one or more of the following tasks. Download and complete!

Past Paper based Worksheet

Presentation with "fly in" answers in Subscription only drive


Worksheet answers available to 'teacher only' subscribers

CPU basics -worksheet

CPU structure and function

Computer Systems

Learning Poster

1. Complete a learning poster (a single slide) in which all of the following terms is explained

a) Purpose And Function Of The CPU, Von Neumann Architecture, Common CPU Components And their Function, Common Characteristics Of CPUs Affecting Their Performance, Embedded Systems

Research Power Point

1. Complete a research powerpoint that covers a history of Systems Architecture (CPUs through the ages) Include information about Von Neumann, different CPUs, RISC and CISC and what companies are doing to make their processors faster and better!

End of topic assessment

Well done on completing this topic!

Your teacher will direct you as to which task needs to be handed in

What to submit

-learning poster

-research powerpoint



Ensure you revise and go over your learning for this topic yourself in order to retain this information for your exam and beyond!

Take an interactive quiz!

Teachers - use this quiz on this particular topic to test students or adapt it with your own questions. Students can play individually or in teams against each other! It's free!

Quiz 1: Systems Architecture Generalhttps://play.kahoot.it/#/k/d1e83816-1bd3-4f9e-b49a-5edf5fc868e0

Quiz 2: The CPU https://play.kahoot.it/#/k/e41304a4-205c-4051-b3c6-0e176b98d2c7

Quiz 3: CPU Keywordshttps://play.kahoot.it/#/k/524cfa64-8c5e-4c8c-bffa-7703b97b725b

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