GOOD DAY, students. This is lesson eight in our series of lessons. In this week’s lesson, we will be looking at device interfaces associated with storage, and the terms ‘fire wire’, ‘expansion slots’ and ‘ports’. At the end of this lesson, you will be able to differentiate between three types of device interfaces, expansion slots and ports.
The device interfaces that are commonly associated with storage devices are SCSI, IDE, HDMI, USB and SATA. Let us examine each of these device interfaces.
Acronym for Small Computer System Interface, or SCSI (pronounced scuzzy), is a set of standards for physically connecting and transferring data between computers and peripheral devices. SCSI is most commonly used for hard disks and tape drives, but it can connect a wide range of other devices, including scanners and CD drives.
Acronym for Intelligent Drive Electronics, or Integrated Drive Electronics, is an interface for mass storage devices in which the controller is integrated into the disk or CD-ROM drive.
Acronym for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, it is a computer bus primarily designed for transfer of data between a computer and mass storage devices, such as hard disk drives and optical drives.
Computer ports have many uses: to connect a monitor, webcam, speakers, or other peripheral devices. On the physical layer, a computer port is a specialized outlet on a piece of equipment to which a plug or cable connects. There are different kinds of ports, such as parallel, serial, USB ports and HDMI. Let us examine each of these ports briefly.
A universal serial bus (USB) is a common interface that enables communication between devices and host controller, such as a personal computer. It connects peripheral devices, such as digital cameras, keyboards, printers, scanners, media devices, external hard drives and flash drives.
2. FIRE WIRE
In addition to the USB, fire wire (also called IEEE 1394) is another popular connector for adding peripherals to your computer. Fire wire is most often used to connect digital camcorders, external hard drives and other devices that can benefit from the high transfer rates (up to 480 megabits per second) supported by the Fire wire connection. This port is thus used to transfer video images from digital devices.
HDMI (HighDefinition Multimedia Interface) is an exclusive audio/video interface for transferring uncompressed video data and compressed or uncompressed digital audio from an HDMI-compliant source device, such as a display controller, to a compatible computer monitor, video projector, digital television, etc.
This is used mainly to connect printers, but can also be used to connect certain scanners and external hard disks.
This is used to connect certain types of mouse, modem and printer.
Expansion slots are typically located on the motherboard which houses different vital parts, such as the processor and RAM. Additionally, they also provide connections to other internal peripheral devices. Such slots can be used for adding more memory (RAM), graphics facilities and other special devices. Typical types of expansion slots are PCI, PCI express, AGP, ISA and RAM slots.
1. RAM SLOTS
The RAM chips are usually inserted in the RAM slots available on the motherboard. The RAM chips can be easily removed, replaced and upgrade for speed purposes.
The Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) slot is a slot for expansion devices. Most desktop computers come with several PCI expansion slots. PCI slots are used for a variety of devices, namely, modems, network cards, video cards, sound cards, etc.
Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) is used mainly for the connection of graphic cards.
4. PCI EXPRESS SLOT
The PCI Express slot, like the PCI slot, is used for expansion cards. PCI Express allows for higher transfer speeds than PCI and is, therefore, preferred for graphic cards. The PCI Express has replaced the Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) in most computers as the primary slot for graphics cards. Many newer programs, such as Adobe’s popular photo and video editors, rely more on an advanced graphics card to process data.
Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) is used primarily for attaching modems and is not commonly seen on most modern computers.
We have come to the end of this lesson. See you next week. Remember, if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.