A peripheral is a device that is connected to a host computer, but not part of it. It expands the host's capabilities but does not form part of the core computer architecture. It is often, but not always, partially or completely dependent on the host.

A peripheral is generally defined as any auxiliary device such as a computer mouse, keyboard, hard drive, etc. that connects to and works with the computer in some way. Other examples of peripherals are expansion cards, graphics cards, computer printers, image scanners, tape drives, microphones, loudspeakers, webcams, and digital cameras. RAM - random access memory - straddles the line between peripheral and primary component; it is technically a storage peripheral, but is required for every major function of a modern computer and removing the RAM will effectively disable any modern machine. Many new devices such as smartphones and tablet computers have interfaces which allow them to be used as a peripheral by a full computer, though they are not host-dependent as other peripheral devices are. According to the most technical definition, the only pieces of a computer NOT considered to be peripherals are the central processing unit, power supply, motherboard, and computer case.

Usually, the word peripheral is used to refer to a device external to the computer case, like a scanner, but the devices located inside the computer case are also technically peripherals. Devices that exist outside the computer case are called external peripherals, or auxiliary components. Examples: "Many of the external peripherals I own, such as my scanner and printer, connect to the peripheral ports on the back of my computer." Devices that are inside the case such as internal hard drives or CD-ROM drives are also peripherals in technical terms and are called internal peripherals, but may not be recognized as peripherals by laypeople.

There are three different types of peripherals:

  • Input, which provide input to the computer from the user (mice, keyboards, etc.)
  • Output, which provide ouput to the user from the computer (monitors, printers, etc.)
  • Storage, which store data (hard drives, flash drives, etc.)

Read more about Peripheral:  Common Peripherals

Other articles related to "peripheral":

Chromatolysis - Causes - Lithium
... Examination of the trigeminal and dorsal root ganglia revealed peripheral chromatolysis in these cells ... decreased numbers of Nissl bodies throughout the cell, especially at the peripheral cytoplasm were the Nissl bodies were completely absent ... Using lithium as a method to induce peripheral chromatolysis could be useful for future study of chromatolysis due to its simplicity and the fact it does not cause nuclear ...
Common Peripherals
... storage interface CD-ROM drive DVD-ROM drive Other Storage Devices Peripheral devices connect to the system unit through the ports on the computer ...
Peripheral Venous Catheter
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Peripheral Cycle
... In graph theory, a peripheral cycle (or peripheral circuit) in an undirected graph is, intuitively, a cycle that does not separate any part of the graph from any other part ... Peripheral cycles (or, as they were initially called, peripheral polygons) were first studied by Tutte (1963), and play important roles in the characterization of planar graphs ...
Slavic Microlanguages - Insular and Peripheral Microlanguages
... can be divided into insular and peripheral categories (the latter of which can also be called "regional languages.") The principal insular forms are Rusyn, Burgenland Croatian, Molise Croatian, Resian ... The main peripheral forms include Prekmurian, East Slovak, Lachian, Carpatho-Russian, West Polesian and others ...

Famous quotes containing the word peripheral:

    If we are to change our world view, images have to change. The artist now has a very important job to do. He’s not a little peripheral figure entertaining rich people, he’s really needed.
    David Hockney (b. 1937)