This is an engineering discipline concerned with the construction of computing systems from the logical level.
The central processing unit (CPU) is the nerve center of the computer. It is the chip that governs all major operations and either directly performs or coordinates the complex symphony of calculations that allow a computer to perform its intended tasks. It is the responsibility of the operating system and compilers to translate the high-level programming languages used to design the software into simple assembly language that the CPU understands.
Computation speeds are measured in MIPS (million instructions per second).
As computer advanced in processing power, users demanded more advanced features that enabled the system to process information at a greater rate and manage more than one function simultaneously. Thus we have
- Multitasking (many tasks performed simultaneously by the processor)
- Multiprocessing (many processors used to performed tasks)
- Multiprogramming (similar to multitasking but scheduling organized by program rather than operating system)
- Multithreading (many concurrent tasks performed within a single process).
This domain includes:
- Fundamental concepts of security models
- Capabilities of information systems (e.g. memory protection, virtualization)
- Countermeasure principles
- Vulnerabilities and threats (e.g. cloud computing, aggregation, data flow control)
[more coming up...]