The computer architecture
designed in part by John von Neumann
, and which is used for almost all modern computer
s. The interesting
thing about it is that code
— that is, program
s are stored in the same sort of memory
and other data are.
In the earliest digital computers, such as ENIAC, programs had to be hard-wired with banks of switches or plugs. Accumulators — the forerunner to both memory and registers — could be used to store data only. The von Neumann architecture placed code and data in the same place, accessible via the same bus.
Not all modern computers have the von Neumann nature. For instance, many microcontrollers follow the Harvard architecture.