By the end of this sub-unit, you should be able to

  • use logic gates to create electronic circuits
  • understand and define the functions of NOT, AND, OR, NAND, NOR and XOR (EOR) gates, including the binary output produced from all the possible binary inputs (all gates, except the NOT gate, will have 2 inputs only)
  • draw truth tables and recognise a logic gate from its truth table
  • recognise and use the following standard symbols used to represent logic gates: NOT AND OR NAND NOR XOR
  • produce truth tables for given logic circuits
  • produce a logic circuit to solve a given problem or to implement a given written logic statement, such as IF (switch A is NOT on) OR (switch B is on AND switch C is NOT on) then alarm, X, sounds

By the end of this sub-unit, you should be able to

  • show understanding of the basic Von Neumann model for a computer system and the stored program concept (program instructions and data are stored in main memory and instructions are fetched and executed one after another)
  • describe the stages of the fetch-execute cycle

By the end of this sub-unit, you should be able to

  • describe the principles of operation (how each device works) of a range of input devices including 2D and 3D scanners, barcode readers, digital cameras, keyboards, mice, touch screens, microphones
  • describe how these principles are applied to real-life scenarios, for example: scanning of passports at airports, barcode readers at supermarket checkouts, and touch screens on mobile devices
  • describe how a range of sensors can be used to input data into a computer system, including light, temperature, magnetic field, gas, pressure, moisture, humidity, pH/acidity/alkalinity and motion/infra-red
  • describe how these sensors are used in real-life scenarios, for example: street lights, security devices, pollution control, games, and household and industrial applications

By the end of this sub-unit, you should be able to

  • describe the principles of operation of a range of output devices, including: inkjet, laser and 3D printers; 2D and 3D cutters; speakers and headphones; actuators; flat-panel display screens, including Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and Light-Emitting Diodes (LED); and LCD projectors and Digital Light Projectors (DLP)
  • describe how these principles are applied to real-life scenarios for example: printing single items on demand or in large volumes; banks of digital displays; use of small screens on mobile devices; smart boards

By the end of this sub-unit, you should be able to

  • show understanding of the difference between: primary, secondary and off-line storage and provide examples of each, such as, primary: Read Only Memory (ROM), Random Access Memory (RAM) and DVD-RAM; secondary: hard disk drive (HDD) and Solid State Drives (SSDs); off-line: Digital Versatile Disks (DVDs), Compact Disks (CDs), Blu-ray, USB flash memory and removable disks.
  • describe the principles of operation of a range of types of storage devices and media including magnetic, optical and solid state 
  • describe how these principles are applied to currently available storage solutions, such as SSDs, hard disk drives, USB flash memory, DVDs, CDs and Blu-ray 
  • calculate the storage requirement of a file

By the end of this sub-unit, you should be able to

  • describe the purpose of an operating system 
  • show understanding of the need for interrupts

By the end of this sub-unit, you should be able to

  • show understanding of the need for both high-level and low-level languages
  • show understanding of the need for compilers when translating programs written in a high-level language
  • show understanding of the use of interpreters with high-level language programs
  • show understanding of the need for assemblers when translating programs written in assembly language