In computer terms an 'architecture' is a way of defining how something is put together such as a hardware or software system.

An architecture is not hardware as such - more like the functions needed to put together a system. The 'architecture' is then 'implemented' in some hardware (or software) form.

For example, an extremely common computer architecture is the 'Von Neumann' machine. This describes the idea of storing programs and data in the same memory so that sequential instructions can be carried out. Thousands of computer makers follow this architecture that has been around for more than fifty years.

Software 'architects' will put together a plan for the main sections of a large software program. Developers then follow this architecture to write the actual code.

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