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An address bus is a computer bus architecture used to transfer data between devices that are identified by the hardware address of the physical memory (the physical address), which is stored in the form of binary numbers to enable the data bus to access memory storage.
The address bus is used by the CPU or a direct memory access (DMA) enabled device to locate the physical address to communicate read/write commands. All address busses are read and written by the CPU or DMA in the form of bits.
An address bus is part of the system bus architecture, which was developed to decrease costs and enhance modular integration. However, most modern computers use a variety of individual buses for specific tasks.
An individual computer contains a system bus, which connects the major components of a computer system and has three main elements, of which the address bus is one, along with the data bus and control bus.
An address bus is measured by the amount of memory a system can retrieve. A system with a 32-bit address bus can address 4 gibibytes of memory space. Newer computers using a 64-bit address bus with a supporting operating system can address 16 exbibytes of memory locations, which is virtually unlimited.