Computer Accessories

How do most keyboards work?
Answered by Science Channel
  • Science Channel

    Science Channel

  1. A computer's keyboard is a small computer in its own right, complete with a processor and other circuitry to interpret your keystrokes. Most of this circuitry runs the computer's key matrix, which is the grid of circuits beneath the keys. In most keyboards, these circuits are incomplete under each key. When you press a key, it completes the circuit and allows an electrical current to pass through. The processor detects that completed circuit and compares its location on the key matrix with the character map, or lookup table, which tells the processor what that keystroke represents.

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