Homework 3


Due 7 September (Friday, 11:59 p.m. EDT)

Module 4, Book Chapters 9, 10, 11


(5 Points) Why would DMA be useless if the computer did not have interrupt capability?

(15 Points) Answer the following questions regarding polling.

a. What is polling used for?

b. What are the disadvantages of polling?

c. What is a better way to perform the same job?


(10 Points) In general, what purpose does an interrupt serve? Stated another way, suppose there were no interrupts provided in a computer. What capabilities would be lost?


(15 Points) Answer the following questions regarding memory storage.

d. What are the advantages of flash memory over hard disk storage?

e. What are the advantages of hard disk over flash memory storage?

f. What are the advantages of both hard disk and flash memory storage over RAM?

g. What is the major advantage of RAM over other types of storage?


(15 Points) A multi-plattered hard disk is divided into 1100 sectors and 40,000 cylinders. There are six platter surfaces. Each block holds 512 bytes. The disk is rotating at a rate of 4800 rpm. The disk has an average seek time of 12 msec.

h. What is the total capacity of this disk?

i. What is the disk transfer rate in bytes per second?

j. What are the minimum and maximum latency times for this disk? What is the average latency time for this disk?


(15 Points) A typical published page consists of approximately forty lines at seventy-five characters per line.

k. How many published pages of 16-bit Unicode text would fit on a typical 600MB CD-ROM?

l. How many published pages of text would fit on a netbook computer with an 80 GB flash memory?


(10 Points) Describe the steps that occur when a system receives multiple interrupts.


(5 Points) Carefully explain the purpose of a bus interface.


(10 Points) What are the trade-offs in using a serial bus versus a parallel bus to move data from one place to another?


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