Input/output device

16GB SanDisk Cruzer Micro USB Flash DriveAlternatively referred to as an IO device, an input/output device is any hardware used by a human operator or other systems to communicate with a computer. As the name suggests, input/output devices are capable of sending data to a computer, receiving data from a computer, or both. For instance, a keyboard can send physical information of the user's keystrokes, which the CPU accepts as input. That data is the processed and displayed on a computer monitor as output. Good examples of devices that do both are floppy diskette drives, CD-R/RW drives, Modems, USB thumb drives, and hard drives.

Tip: See our input device and output device definitions for a more comprehensive listing of examples.

Related pages

Also see: CPU, Keyboard, Device, Hardware terms, Input, Output