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Definition: von Neumann architecture

Hungarian-born John von Neumann (1903-1957), an internationally renowned mathematician, promoted a theoretical design for a computer in the 1940s. He envisioned the stored program concept, whereby instructions would be fed into the computer's internal memory (RAM), and they would be executed to process the data that were also fed into the same memory. Contrast with Harvard architecture.

John Luis von Neumann
Von Neumann's name is perhaps mentioned more than any other early computer pioneer because the subject of sequential operations versus parallel operations is often discussed. (Image courtesy of The Computer History Museum, www.computerhistory.org)