Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Input/Output (I/O)

I/O is the means by which a computer exchanges information with the outside world.[27] Devices that provide input or output to the computer are called peripherals.[28] On a typical personal computer, peripherals include input devices like the keyboard and mouse, and output devices such as the display and printer. Hard disk drives, floppy disk drives and optical disc drives serve as both input and output devices. Computer networking is another form of I/O.

Often, I/O devices are complex computers in their own right with their own CPU and memory. Agraphics processing unit might contain fifty or more tiny computers that perform the calculations necessary to display 3D graphics[citation needed]. Modern desktop computers contain many smaller computers that assist the main CPU in performing I/O.

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