Computer Interfacing

About computer interfacing

The input-output interface connects the computer to the outside world, and is therefore an essential part of the computer system. When the CPU puts the address of a peripheral on to the address bus, the input-output interface decodes the address and identifies the unique computer peripheral with which a data transfer operation is to be executed. The interface also has to interpret the command on the control bus so that the timing of the data transfer is correct. One further very important function of the input-output interface is to provide a physical electronic highway for the flow of data between the computer data bus and the external peripheral.


In many computer applications, including their use within intelligent instruments, the external peripheral requires signals to be in analog form. Therefore the input-output interface must provide for conversion between these analogue signals and the digital signals required by a digital computer. This is satisfied by analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion elements within the input-output interface.

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