A computer processes the physical conditions that represent information (data). Hie operation of the computer is divided into four basic functions:
- Input: A voltage signal sent from an input device. This device can be a sensor or a switch activated by the driver or technician.
- Processing: The computer uses the input information and compares it to programmed instructions. Hie logic circuits process the input signals into output demands.
- Storage: The program instructions are stored in an electronic memory. Some of the input signals are also stored for later processing.
- Output: After the computer has processed the sensor input and checked its programmed instructions, it will put out control commands to various output devices. These output devices may be the instrument panel display or a system actuator. The output of one computer can also be used as an input to another computer.
Understanding these four functions will help today’s technician organize the troubleshooting process. When a system is tested, the technician will be attempting to isolate the problem to one of these functions.