Input, process and output

Learning Intentions

  • Understand the concept of input, process and output

Success Criteria

  • I am able to correctly identify and describe certain input, process and output devices
  • I can explain the IPO cycle

IPO cycle

  • Computers require something to happen to allow them to process. They aren’t smart like humans and await an input before they do anything.

  • What they give us back is called the output.

  • What they do to give us the output is process the input – hence Input Process Output or IPO.


  • There are many methods of input to a computer system. We call devices that provide an input, input devices.

  • Anything that provides the computer with data is an input device.


  • When input data needs to be processed, it is processed in the processor.

  • The processor, also called a Central Processing Unit (CPU), is often considered the brain of the computer because it does all the processing of the instructions.

Output devices

  • An output device gives the user back some data. The data will have been processed. Data could be:

    1. What is displayed on the monitor

    2. A sound from the computer

    3. A vibration on a controller

    4. A page printed using a printer


Complete all Activities up to the Components of a computer system page.
Continue with your posters when you are finished


Computer Hardware : 2.1 Input, process and output
© J Balfour