Computer Architecture Assignment help

In computer science and computer engineering, computer architecture or digital computer organization is the conceptual design and fundamental operational structure of a computer system. It's a blueprint and functional description of requirements and design implementations for the various parts of a computer, focusing largely on the way by which the central processing unit (CPU) performs internally and accesses addresses in memory. It may also be defined as the science and art of selecting and interconnecting hardware components to create computers that meet functional, performance and cost goals.

Computer architecture comprises at least three main subcategories:

  • Instruction set architecture, or ISA, is the abstract image of a computing system that is seen by a machine language (or assembly language) programmer, including the instruction set, word size, memory address modes, processor registers, and address and data formats.
  • Microarchitecture, also known as Computer organization is a lower level, more concrete and detailed, description of the system that involves how the constituent parts of the system are interconnected and how they interoperate in order to implement the ISA. The size of a computer's cache for instance, is an organizational issue that generally has nothing to do with the ISA.
  • System Design which includes all of the other hardware components within a computing system such as:
    • System interconnects such as computer buses and switches
    • Memory controllers and hierarchies
    • CPU off-load mechanisms such as direct memory access (DMA)
    • Issues like multiprocessing.

Once both ISA and microarchitecture have been specified, the actual device needs to be designed into hardware. This design process is called the implementation. Implementation is usually not considered architectural definition, but rather hardware design engineering.

Implementation can be further broken down into three (not fully distinct) pieces:

  • Logic Implementation — design of blocks defined in the microarchitecture at (primarily) the register-transfer and gate levels.
  • Circuit Implementation — transistor-level design of basic elements (gates, multiplexers, latches etc.) as well as of some larger blocks (ALUs, caches etc.) that may be implemented at this level, or even (partly) at the physical level, for performance reasons.
  • Physical Implementation — physical circuits are drawn out, the different circuit components are placed in a chip floorplan or on a board and the wires connecting them are routed.

Computer organization:

Computer organization helps optimize performance-based products. For example, software engineers need to know the processing ability of processors. They may need to optimize software in order to gain the most performance at the least expense. This can require quite detailed analysis of the computer organization. For example, in a multimedia decoder, the designers might need to arrange for most data to be processed in the fastest data path and the various components are assumed to be in place and task is to investigate the organisational structure to verify the computer parts operates. Computer organization also helps plan the selection of a processor for a particular project. Multimedia projects may need very rapid data access, while supervisory software may need fast interrupts. Sometimes certain tasks need additional components as well. For example, a computer capable of virtualization needs virtual memory hardware so that the memory of different simulated computers can be kept separated. The computer organization and features also affect the power consumption and the cost of the processor

Computer architectures:

  • Quantum computer
  • Scalar processor
  • Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) computers
  • Register machine vs Stack machine
  • Harvard architecture vs von Neumann architecture
  • Cellular architecture

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