Peripherals are hardware which are plugged into your computer. They are controlled by the CPU. If the input and output device are integrated into the device, i.e. a smart phone, they are not a peripheral

Peripherals connect to the processor hardware through the motherboard. External devices will connect via USB, RS-232, Parallel Printer Interface, E-SATA, etc.

Monitors usually connect via VGA, DVI, HDMI or DisplayPort Input/Output devices

Example Input Devices

  • Scanner

    • Converts 2D physical images into digital images
  • Light Sensor

    • Detects the presence and/or intensity of light
  • Touchpad

    • Detects movement of a finger on a flat surface to translate the position of a cursor on a computer
  • Web Cam

    • Captures images and/or video
  • Remote Control

    • An infrared based wireless input device
  • Keyboard

    • An input device for inserting text
  • Video Camera

    • Captures images and/or video
  • Graphics Tablet

    • A pen based device which translate the position of a cursor on a computer, and which may also record the intensity of the input pressure, which may be used to control brush intensity in an image manipulation program

Example Output Devices

  • Laser Printer

    • Converts digital images and/or text into physical images and/or text by using a heated drum and toner to fuse toner onto a page
  • Inkjet Printer

    • Converts digital images and/or text into physical images and/or text using ink
  • Dot-Matrix Printer

    • Converts digital text into physical text by pressing onto a special carbon strip to press text onto a page
  • Speaker
  • Display
  • Buzzer
  • Actuator Motor
  • Plotter
  • CRT Monitor
  • 3D Printer


CMOS stands for Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor. A camera sensor is covered with tiny light-sensitive cells. The sensor uses a Bayer filter to allow R, G and B colours to be recorded. Green cells are twice as commonnly found on the filter, as Green is the most sensitive colour in humans. By using a filter, the camera can interpolate the correct colour for individual pixels.

CMOS chips are not 100% sensor. In fact, most only have 50% of the surface as a sensor. To prevent loss of light, CMOS chips use micromirrors to "funnel" light into the sensor portions of the sensor.

Embedded Systems

Embedded systems is a part of a larger piece of equipment which are limited to a certain number of tasks, (unlike general desktop computers). For example, these have computers embedded within them:

  • Television
  • Washing Machine
  • DVD Player
  • Digital Camera
  • Mobile Phone
  • Lift
  • Car
  • Router
  • Network Switch
  • Automobile
  • Rugged Handheld
  • POS systems
  • Medical Devices Secondary Storage Devices

Example storage devices

  • Optical

    • CD
    • DVD
    • Blu-Ray
  • Magnetic

    • VHS
    • Hard Drive
    • Backup Tape Drives
    • Floppy Disk
  • Solid State

    • EMMC
    • SD
    • SSD
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