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What is the difference between Harvard Architecture and von Neumann Architecture?


The name Harvard Architecture comes from the Harvard Mark I relay-based computer. The most obvious characteristic of the Harvard Architecture is that it has physically separate signals and storage for code and data memory. It is possible to access program memory and data memory simultaneously. Typically, code (or program) memory is read-only and data memory is read-write. Therefore, it is impossible for program contents to be modified by the program itself.

The von Neumann Architecture is named after the mathematician and early computer scientist John von Neumann. von Neumann machines have shared signals and memory for code and data. Thus, the program can be easily modified by itself since it is stored in read-write memory.


Last Reviewed: Monday, January 5, 2009

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