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Table of contents
What is Computer Architecture?
What is Computer Organization?
Prerequisite for Computer Organization and Architecture
Difference Between Computer Organization And Architecture
Computer System Functional Units
Input Unit
ALU(Arithmetic and Logical Unit)
Output Unit
Control Unit
Memory Unit
Frequently Asked Questions
What is meant by Computer Architecture?
What are the types of computer architecture?
What are the topics in computer organization and architecture?
Last Updated: Mar 29, 2024

Difference Between Computer Organization and Architecture

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Computer organization and architecture can be thought of as a catalogue of components or features that are made available to users, such as instruction sets, the number of bits utilized for data, addressing methods, etc. How a computer system is organized determines how it is set up so that all the tools that have been catalogued can be used.

computer organization and architecture

For manipulating Data and Information, we use an electronic device called a computer. It can retrieve, store, and process data. Nowadays, we use computers in every field to send emails, make documents, store data in spreadsheets, play games, and browse the web. There is also a large amount of software for the computer to edit pictures, make presentations, etc.

This blog will go through a brief summary of Computer Systems and will cover the concepts of Computer Organization and Architecture.

What is Computer Architecture?

Computer Architecture

A functional description of the needs and design implementation for a computer's various sections is called computer architecture. It is concerned with the operational behavior of computer systems. When developing a computer, it comes before the computer organization.

  • It refers to system attributes that are visible to the software programmer and have a direct influence on a program's logical execution, such as the number of bits needed to represent distinct types of data, the computer's instruction set, the technique for addressing memory, the method used for input and output, and so on.
  • Abstractly, the system is defined here.
  • It is concerned with the concepts that the programmer is directly involved with.
  • Instruction set ( Logical units ) different types of addressing modes are included here.
  • When examining architectural design, the following three major categories are taken into account: System Design (which covers all of the hardware components required to develop the system), Instruction Set Architecture (which includes all of the instructions delivered to the computer system), and Micro Architecture ( give minute detail about storage element)

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What is Computer Organization?

Computer Organization

When our computer architecture is decoded, we come to computer organization. Computer Organization is how operational features are connected to help realize the architectural specification. A computer organization handles a structural relationship.

  • Operational units and their interconnections are referred to by computer architecture that achieves the architectural specifications. Different functional blocks are explained in the system.
  • It is primarily concerned with implementing architecture and deals with functional structure and numerous structural linkages.
  • The concepts which are transparent to the programmers are dealt with by it.
  • It consists of physical connection components such as circuits with adder subtractors.
  • Here we have three types of CPU organization: Single Accumulator Organisation, Stack Organisation, and General Register organisation.

Prerequisite for Computer Organization and Architecture

Computer Organization and Architecture is a vital and fundamental topic in Computer Science. Thus, having a solid foundation before diving into this topic is preferable. You should be well versed in some topics such as:

  • Computer Basics
  • Digital Logic
  • Mathematics
  • Basic Programming
  • Some Exposure to Assembly Language
  • Computer Science Fundamentals

Difference Between Computer Organization And Architecture


Computer Architecture

Computer Organisation

DefinitionThe computer system's structure and behaviour as seen by the user, is concerned here.The connection of the computer's hardware system is concerned with forming a computer system.
DesigningWe decide on computer architecture while designing computer systems.We decide organization after architecture While designing a computer system.
WorkingHow the computer system's designing is done is described here.How the computer system works is described here.
AspectsThe computer system's logical aspects are described here.The computer system' physical aspects are described here.
Other NameIt is also called an instruction set architecture.system designIt is also known as microarchitecture.
HandlingThe system's hardware and software are coordinated by architecture.A computer organization handles the network's segment in a system.
BridgeBetween hardware and software, it acts as an interface.It is concerned with the components of a computer and its connections.
IssuesHigh-level design issues are addressed by computer architecture.Computer organizations address low-level design issues.
Consists ofIt consists of logical components such as Instruction Set, Addressing Modes, and so on.It involves physical units like circuit design, adders, signals, and peripherals.
ViewThe software programmer can see it.It is apparent to the software programmer.

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Computer System Functional Units

A computer is made of five important functional units. These units are part of the CPU(Central Processing Unit). These are as follows:

  • Input Unit
  • Memory Unit
  • Arithmetic Logic Unit(ALU)
  • Output Unit
  • Control Unit


We can illustrate these with the diagram below:

Functional Units of Computer

Input Unit

It is responsible for reading the data. It takes the data from the user directly or through commands. This sends the data or the field upon which the task will be done and what task will be done. It interacts with the I/O devices and the computer. Thus, it uses peripheral devices for it. Some examples include keyboard, mouse, touchpad, etc.

ALU(Arithmetic and Logical Unit)

It is responsible for performing the arithmetic and logical operations. Arithmetic operations include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and comparing numbers. And, logical operations include AND, OR, comparison, etc. It presents the instructions to the system and stores the results in the memory. It also stores the results in the registers. It has various operands placed into registers. Operands store one word at a time. They help in the quick retrieval of data.

Output Unit

It is responsible for displaying the result and giving outputs in a language understandable by humans (converting it from the binary result). Some examples include printers, monitors, etc.

Control Unit

It is responsible for controlling the data flow sent and received by the CPU. It acts as a coordinator. It is responsible for handling units for taking inputs, placing them in the memory, processing them, and generating the final output. It also acts as an interpreter as it decodes information, converts it into executable format, and commands other components to take action. 

Also read, microprogrammed control unit

Memory Unit

It is responsible for storing the data and instructions. It stores two types of data: the operations to be formed and the data related to the program. The memory is divided into three types: primary, secondary, and cache memory.

Primary memory or RAM(Random Access Memory) is the main storage part. Programs for execution are placed into this memory. It is fast, expensive, and has a volatile memory. Secondary Memory is the hard disk of the computer. Also, pen drives, SSD cards, etc., are modern types of secondary memory. It is slow, less expensive, and has greater storage capacity. Cache memory is the supplementary memory. The process of loading programs from secondary to primary memory is slow, so the computer loads the frequently loaded programs into the cache memory for fast retrieval. It stores the data temporarily and is small in size.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is meant by Computer Architecture?

Computer architecture is a functional description of the conception, actualization, and specifications of various computer components. It is viewed as a list of the parts or features that are made available to users, including instruction sets, the number of bits used for data, etc.

What are the types of computer architecture?

Von Neumann Architecture, Harvard Architecture, Modified Harvard Architecture, and RISC & CISC Architectures are some of the types of computer architecture.

What are the topics in computer organization and architecture?

The topics are computer system fundamental units, CPU architecture, program instructions, instruction formats, addressing modes, transfer of control addressing modes, instruction pipelining, memory organization, machine and assembly language, instruction cycle, interrupts, ISA, ALU, I/O interfaces, DMA(Direct Memory Access), and more.


In this blog, we learned about Computer Organization and Architecture. We covered computer architecture, computer organization, and what is their combination i.e. computer organization and architecture. We also looked at the difference between Computer Architecture and Computer Organization.  

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