Physical Architecture (glossary)

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(1) A physical architecture is an arrangement of physical elements (system elements and physical interfaces) which provides the design solution for a product, service, or enterprise, and is intended to satisfy logical architecture elements and system requirements. It is implementable through technologies. (ISO/IEC 2010)

(2) An arrangement of physical elements which provides the design solution for a consumer product or life-cycle process intended to satisfy the requirements of the functional architecture and the requirement baseline. (ISO/IEC 2007)


(1) Adapted from ISO/IEC. 2010. Systems and Software Engineering, Part 1: Guide for Life Cycle Management. Geneva, Switzerland: International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), ISO/IEC 24748-1:2010.

(2) ISO/IEC. 2007. Systems and Software Engineering -- Recommended Practice for Architectural Description of Software-Intensive Systems. Geneva, Switzerland: International Organization for Standards (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), ISO/IEC FDIS 42010:2007.


Definition (1) comes from the terms "design architecture" provided in ISO/IEC/IEEE 24748 - 4. It is adapted here to be consistent current terminology, in particular with logical architecture.

Definition (2) comes from ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010:2007 that is replaced by version 2011 in which this definition has been withdrawn.

For a full discussion of the role and importance of physical architecture in systems engineering see the Physical Architecture Model Development article.

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