Device controller

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A device controller is a block of electronic hardware which is an intermediary between a computer (usually connecting to its bus, although possibly to the CPU directly) and some external peripheral device (often secondary storage).

The canonical pairing is a disk controller and a disk drive, although controllers are also found with magnetic tape drives, paper tape readers and/or punches, and numerous other kinds of devices.

Usually a single controller is able to handle multiple identical devices, thereby amortizing the controller's cost, since the external devices often include mechanical components, and are thus slower than the all-electronic controller.