controller(k&n-trōl´er) (n.) A device that controls the transfer of data from a computer to a peripheral device and vice versa. For example, disk drives, display screens, keyboards, and printers all require controllers.
In personal computers, the controllers are often single chips. When you purchase a computer, it comes with all the necessary controllers for standard components, such as the display screen, keyboard, and disk drives. If you attach additional devices, however, you may need to insert new controllers that come on expansion boards.
Controllers must be designed to communicate with the computer's expansion bus. There are three standard bus architectures for PCs -- the AT bus, PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect), and SCSI. When you purchase a controller, therefore, you must ensure that it conforms to the bus architecture that your computer uses.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »20 Ways to Shorten a URL
If you need to shorten a long URL try this list of 20 free online redirection services. Read More »Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015
The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »The Five Generations of Computers
Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the current devices that we use today. Read More »