Computers generate heat when they work. Is it a result of information processing or friction (resistance)? Are these just different ways to describe the same thing? Or does some definite part of the heat "come from each explanation"?
I often read that it's a necessary byproduct of information processing. There are irreversible operations such as AND gates and the remaining information goes to heat.
But so many other things generate heat as well! A light bulb, electric hotplates, gears, etc. (These probably don't process information the way the computer does, but I may be wrong from a physical perspective.) Earlier I had always assumed the computer is like this as well. It basically has small wires in the processor and the resistance could explain the heat.
Maybe these are parallel explanations. The information processing aspect may say that there has to be some heat as byproduct in some way in any realization of an abstract computer, and the friction aspect could then describe how this actually happens in this concrete wires-and-transistors-type physical implementation of the abstract computer.
But maybe the two explanations account for separate amounts of the heat. Or maybe one accounts for a subset of the other, again in a partially parallel explanation way.
Can someone clarify?