Input and Output

Input and output devices give a link between the computer and the user. Input devices allow users to enter information into the computer while output devices give the result of information processed by the computer.

Examples of Input devices

  • Keyboard
  • Scanner
  • Microphone
  • Mouse
  • Barcode Scanners
  • Digital Camera

Examples of Output devices

  • Monitor
  • Printer
  • Speakers
  • Headphones
  • Lights


Devices in this area interprete, decode and execute information and instructions sent from input devices etc.


  • Graphics Co-processor
  • CPU
  • Maths Co-processor

Storage (temporary and permanent)

Storage comes in two forms, temporary and permanent. Temporary devices such as RAM (Random Access Memory) will only store data while the computer is on. When switched off, it will be erased unlike a permanent storage device such as a Harddrive or ROM (Read only Memory).

RAM and ROM are the main memory, also known as primary memory as they are directly linked to the CPU. The ROM holds permanent instructions for the computer such as how to turn on, without the ROM being permanent the computer would not work. RAM stores active data which is in use. It is also the link between secondary memory and the CPU as it cannot directly access secondary storage devices.

Secondary memory is any storage device which is not linked to the CPU, this includes the harddrive and removable devices such as CDs or Floppy disks. These are all permanent storage devices.


  • RAM
  • ROM
  • Hardrive
  • CDs
  • USB
  • Floppy Disks

Input/output devices

Input/output devices both recieve information from the user and output information


  • Fax Machine
  • Smart Board
  • Force feed joysticks
  • Virtual reality goggles and gloves
  • Touch screen monitors

Useful links