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ODW 3.2

Our Digital World 3.2

TermDefinition
motherboard The primary circuit board on your computer that holds the central processing unit (CPU), BIOS, memory, and expansion cards.
chip A thin wafer of semiconducting material, such as silicon, which contains an integrated circuit that performs various functions, such as performing mathematical calculations, storing data, or controlling computer devices.
read-only memory (ROM) Memory that holds information such as the BIOS and instructions the computer uses to start up the operating system. Also referred to as nonvolatile memory.
nonvolatile memory A type of computer storage specifically designed to retain information, even when the power is switched off.
BIOS (basic input/output system) Code that checks and starts up computer devices such as memory, monitor, keyboard, and disc drives, and directs the hard drive to boot up and load the operating system (OS) to memory. 
expansion card A device inserted on the computer motherboard that adds capabilities such as sound, graphics handling, or network communications.
PC Card An add-on card that slots into a built-in card reader to provide other kinds of functionality, such as adding memory or networking capabilities.
power supply Switches alternating current (AC) provided from a wall outlet to lower voltages in the form of direct current (DC).
charging mat A device or mat on which you can charge multiple devices simultaneously, without using a cable connecting them to the device.
port A slot in your computer used to connect it to other devices or a network. 
physical port A type of port that uses a physical cable to connect a computer to another device.
serial port A port, built into the computer, used to connect a peripheral device to the serial bus, typically, by means of a plug with 9 pins. Network routers use serial ports for administration, although they're being replaced by web-based administration interfaces.
universal serial bus (USB) port A port in the form of a small rectangular slot that can be used to attach everything from wireless mouse and keyboard toggles (the small device that transmits a wireless signal to a wireless device) to USB flash drives for storing data.
FireWire port Based on the same serial bus architecture as a USB port, this type of port provides a high-speed serial interface and is generally used for devices that require high performance, for example for digital cameras, camcorders, or external hard disk drives.
Thunderbolt port A port connection technology developed by Intel and Apple to provide a peripheral connection standard that supports high-resolution displays and other devices that require a lot of bandwidth, such as high-end video cameras or data storage devices.
Infrared Data Association (IrDA) port Ports that allow you to transfer data from one device to another using infrared light waves.
MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) A protocol that allows computers and devices, such as musical synthesizers and sound cards, to control each other.
drive A device that stores data on media. Can be integrated into the computer or be external or removable.
hard disk The disk that is built into your computer and is the primary method of data storage. The disk rotates under a read/write head that reads and writes data.
CD (compact disc) A storage device from which a computer can read data, write data, or both.
DVD A disc-shaped storage device from which you can read data, write data, or both. This type of media can store larger quantities of data than a CD.
optical drive A drive that allows your computer to read and write data using optical technology, such as a DVD or CD drive.
Blu-ray disc A type of storage device, mostly used for high-definition movies and games.
optoelectronic sensor Technology used in devices, such as optical drives, which detects changes in light caused by irregularities on a surface.
external hard drive A disk drive that connects to your computer via a cable connected to a port where you can store data and retrieve it from another computer.
network attached storage (NAS) A networked hard drive.
flash drive A small, convenient device that lets you store data and take it with you. Also known as a USB stick or thumb drive.
flash memory A type of computer memory used to record and erase stored data and transfer data to and from your computer; used in mobile phones and digital cameras because it is much less expensive than other types of memory.
solid-state drive (SSD) A flash-based replacement for an internal hard disk that is lighter and more durable than a traditional hard disk, and which should pave the way for smaller, portable computers with longer battery life.
multicore processor A CPU chip that contains more than one processing unit (core), for example dual core (two cores) or quad core (four cores). 
parallelized Software design that allows tasks to run pieces of a task on two or more processors. 
Created by: softcrylic