Output Devices

Again, as we have learned, the only thing a microprocessor does is to mimic binary arithmetic. Accordingly, in the most fundamental terms, output is simply the task of receiving back from the processor the results of binary arithmetic tasks the microprocessor has performed.

Fortunately, the user only sees the results that have been decoded by various output devices:

  • MonitorComputer Monitor - The computer graphics adapter translates 0s and 1s into video signals for the computer monitor.
  • Printers - 0s and 1s can also be translated into instructions that can be acted upon by various printer technologies:
    • laser printers
    • ink-jet printers

Both input and output devices attach to the computer's internal communication "highways" (called "buses") through a variety of ports on the computer's surface, including:

  • serial ports
  • parallel ports
  • USB ports
  • Firewire ports

Click here to see a simple animation of input and output as communication with the microprocessor.

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These pages were written by Steven H. VanderLeest and Jeffrey Nyhoff and edited by Nancy Zylstra
©2005 Calvin University (formerly Calvin College), All Rights Reserved

If you encounter technical errors, contact computing@calvin.edu.