University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

**Topic: Definition of a Computer**

**March 17,
2016**

A computer is defined by its components and capabilities:

1. Circuitry that can do simple arithmetic and basic logic (called the Arithmetic/Logic Unit or ALU)

2. Circuitry that can sequentially read numbers representing commands and activate the circuits that implement those commands

3. Commands that can compare two numbers and possibly jump to another part of the program depending on the results

4. Memory to store the numbers representing the commands, and the data they process

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign