That Blue Square Thing

AQA Computer Science GCSE

May 2019: this area of the site is being built just now. I’m making progress but there are areas where there is no content yet. That will get added over the next 6 months or so.

Computer Systems - Systems Architecture

What goes on inside the box?

PDF iconThe Motherboard - slides from class

PDF iconMotherboard basics - notes on the main components on the motherboard

PDF iconMotherboard Image to label - photo to label

PDF iconTransistors as switches - slides from class

The original image of the motherboard can be found on Wikimedia Commons. The terms of use are: Rainer Knäpper, Free Art License (, You may want to look at the large version of the image (zoom in) to see more detail on the board.

There's a really interesting article about the supply chain for a Huawei motherboard that you might want to take a look at. It demonstrates the way that the component industry is globalised. (BBC, 21 May 2019)

The von Neumann Architecture and the CPU

PDF iconVon Neumann Architecture - slides from class

PDF iconThe von Neumann Architecture - notes and activities

You also need to know about some of the things inside the CPU:

PDF iconInside the CPU - slides from class