1
$\begingroup$

I have multiple questions actually..

a)What is a System bus? Is there any other buses in the computer?

b)Is it always the case that , the processor access the memory via the system bus?

c) I read that " another master requests the access ".. What are these masters exactly? Is processor the bus master by default?

P.S. I am reading in the context of 8086 microprocessor

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ The usual rule is one question per post. The first question is answered in Wikipedia. Perhaps the others are answered on that page as well. $\endgroup$ – Yuval Filmus May 16 '17 at 7:20
1
$\begingroup$

(a) "System bus" was a common aggregation term for "data bus" and "address bus". There are a lot of other buses depending on your machine, e.g. between RAM and video card, or between SCSI controller and devices (hard disks, scanner, whatever).

(b) There's no such thing as "the" memory, it's a whole hierarchy of different memory systems, varying in speed/size/cost. For example, the fastest memory part are the on-processor registers. You can transport their content from and to the data or address bus (to move values to and from RAM), but for example the ALU won't access the registers via "system bus".

(c) Other devices which are able to "drive" the bus. For example, consider a SCSI controller, a scanner or a network card wanting to write something (a disk block, a scanned image, a received packet) to a previously assigned RAM area. Of course, the controller has to harmonize it's RAM access with the CPU. So the device will ask (via an extra control wire) to grant the bus, and wait. After the CPU acknowledges with a signal, the device becomes temporarily bus master and may use data and address bus exclusively (at least for some time), before it has to hand back control. As the CPU is present in every system, but (for example) a network card is not, it's a sensible design choice to make the CPU bus master.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.