A palmtop computer has a processor with a 24 bit address bus, 32 bit data bus and 8 control lines. The palmtop computer accepts flash cards as additional storage.
(a) The processor receives a signal on an interrupt control line. Explain what happens when the processor receives the signal. (2)
When the processor receives the signal it will stop performing the current task and it will clear registers.
(b) Calculate the maximum amount of memory that the palmtop computer can address. Express your answer in appropriate units. Show all working. (3)
2^(24) x 3 byte
(c) Data is to be transferred from the processor to main memory using a write operation. Describe how a processor would perform a write operation. Your answer should mention the buses or control lines used at each stage. (4)
The address is sent from the address bus to be written to, the data bus transfers the data and then the control line is activated, finally the data is placed in a memory location that has a unique binary address.
d) A file created on the palmtop is to be stored on the flash card. The file management and input/output management functions of the palmtop’s operating system are used during the transfer. Describe one task carried out by each of these functions. (2)
One task carried out by the File Management function is it protects current files from overheating.
One task carried out by the Input/Output Management function is it can find transmission errors.
(e) The price of flash cards has decreased in recent years as their capacity has increased. State one other recent trend in the development of flash cards. (1)
Flash cards have improved in recent years because the speed of access has increased.