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System Bus Design

  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 22 Mar, 2021


The electrically conducting path along which data is transmitted inside any digital electronic device. A Computer bus consists of a set of parallel conductors, which may be conventional wires, copper tracks on a PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD, or microscopic aluminum trails on the surface of a silicon chip. Each wire carries just one bit, so the number of wires determines the largest data WORD the bus can transmit: a bus with eight wires can carry only 8- bit data words, and hence defines the device as an 8-bit device. 

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  • The bus is a communication channel.
  • The characteristic of the bus is shared transmission media.
  • The limitation of a bus is only one transmission at a time.
  • A bus which is used to provide communication between the major components of a computer is called a System bus.



System bus contains 3 categories of lines used to provide the communication between the CPU, memory and IO named as: 

1. Address lines (AL)
2. Data lines (DL)
3. Control lines (CL) 

1. Address Lines: 

  • Used to carry the address to memory and IO.
  • Unidirectional.
  • Based on width of a address bus we can determine the capacity of a main memory




2. Data Lines: 

  • Used to carry the binary data between the CPU, memory and IO.
  • Bidirectional.
  • Based on the width of a data bus we can determine the word length of a CPU.
  • Based on the word length we can determine the performance of a CPU.




3. Control Lines: 

  • Used to carry the control signals and timing signals
  • Control signals indicates type of operation.
  • Timing Signals used to synchronize the memory and IO operations with a CPU clock.


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