Von Neumann machine(pronounced von noi-man) An early computer created by Hungarian mathematician John von Neumann (1903-1957). It included three components used by most computers today: a CPU; a slow-to-access storage area, like a hard drive ; and secondary fast-access memory (RAM ). The machines stored instructions as binary values (creating the stored program concept) and executed instructions sequentially - the processor fetched instructions one at a time and processed them. Today "von Neumann architecture" often refers to the sequential nature of computers based on this model.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.