Aim and purpose This unit introduces how information is represented in a computer and an awareness of communication processes in networks and distributed systems. It also involves knowledge and use of an operating environment. Unit introduction All computer systems share the same underlying computer architecture principles. This unit examines these principles and explores the fundamentals of how computer systems work. Learners will explore how various types of data can be represented and then stored within computer systems. This is followed by a study of the low-level system components. It includes the processor, buses and memory incorporating an analysis of how these components interact to manipulate data using the fetch-execute cycle. Learners will then look at how operating systems, including network versions, are used to interact with and control computer systems. Finally, learners will examine the operation of distributed operating systems and computer networks, learning how communications are established and maintained between in distributed systems.