Hire a tutor

How does the CPU communicate with primary memory?

The CPU communicates with primary memory through the system bus, which carries data, addresses, and control signals.

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) and primary memory (also known as main memory or RAM) are two critical components of a computer system. They work together to execute programs and process data. The communication between these two components is facilitated by the system bus, a set of physical connections (wires, optical fibres, etc.) that carry data, addresses, and control signals.

The system bus is divided into three main types: the data bus, the address bus, and the control bus. The data bus carries the actual data that is being processed. The width of the data bus (i.e., the number of wires it contains) determines how much data can be transported at once. The address bus carries the addresses of memory locations where data is stored or from where it is retrieved. The control bus carries signals that coordinate and control the activities of the computer, such as read or write commands.

When the CPU needs to read data from or write data to the primary memory, it sends a signal over the control bus. This signal specifies whether a read or write operation is to be performed. The CPU then sends the address of the memory location to be accessed over the address bus. If it's a read operation, the data stored at that memory location is sent back to the CPU over the data bus. If it's a write operation, the CPU sends the data to be written over the data bus.

This process of communication is managed by the memory controller, a digital circuit that manages the flow of data going to and from the computer's memory. The memory controller can be a separate chip or integrated into the CPU itself.

In summary, the CPU communicates with primary memory through a complex system of buses and controllers, which work together to transport data, addresses, and control signals between these two critical components of a computer system. This communication is essential for the execution of programs and the processing of data.

Study and Practice for Free

Trusted by 100,000+ Students Worldwide

Achieve Top Grades in your Exams with our Free Resources.

Practice Questions, Study Notes, and Past Exam Papers for all Subjects!

Need help from an expert?

4.92/5 based on480 reviews

The world’s top online tutoring provider trusted by students, parents, and schools globally.

Related Computer Science ib Answers

    Read All Answers