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3. Von Neumann architecture

In the 1940s, computers were built to carry out a single specific task, for example breaking secret wartime codes. If you needed the computer to do a different job, you had to literally completely re-wire the computer by hand. This could take weeks. There was no such thing as a 'software update' in those days!


Mr Von Neumann was a scientist who had an idea of how to create a computer that was far easier to change, this is known as the Von Neumann architecture.

Where the programs on old computers were laid out in the physical arrangement of hardware, Von Neumann architecture uses software. The program being run and the data that it's using are both stored in temporary memory close to the CPU.

With this architecture, the task a computer is working on can be changed by simply loading a different program into memory.

Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Computer architecture