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Device on a computer's motherboard that provides a data path between the CPU and attached devices (keyboard, mouse, disk drives, video cards, etc.). Like a vehicular bus that stops at designated stations to pick up or drop off riders, a computer bus receives a data signal from the CPU and drops it off at the appropriate device (for example, the contents of a file in RAM are sent, via the bus, to a disk drive to be stored permanently). Conversely, data signals from devices are sent back to the CPU. On a network, a bus provides the data path between the various computers and devices. See alsoUSB.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on bus, visit Britannica.com.