Computer Organization And Design The Hardware Software Interface


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Computer Organization And Design The Hardware Software Interface

  1. 1. 1 Fundamentals of Computer Design And now for something completely different. Monty Python’s Flying Circus
  2. 2. 1.1 Introduction 1 1.2 The Task of a Computer Designer 3 1.3 Technology and Computer Usage Trends 6 1.4 Cost and Trends in Cost 8 1.5 Measuring and Reporting Performance 18 1.6 Quantitative Principles of Computer Design 29 1.7 Putting It All Together: The Concept of Memory Hierarchy 39 1.8 Fallacies and Pitfalls 44 1.9 Concluding Remarks 51 1.10 Historical Perspective and References 53 Exercises 60 1.1 Introduction Computer technology has made incredible progress in the past half century. In 1945, there were no stored-program computers. Today, a few thousand dollars will purchase a personal computer that has more performance, more main memo- ry, and more disk storage than a computer bought in 1965 for $1 million. This rapid rate of improvement has come both from advances in the technology used to build computers and from innovation in computer design. While technological improvements have been fairly steady, progress arising from better computer architectures has been much less consistent. During the first 25 years of elec- tronic computers, both forces made a major contribution; but beginning in about 1970, computer designers became largely dependent upon integrated circuit tech- nology. During the 1970s, performance continued to improve at about 25% to 30% per year for the mainframes and minicomputers that dominated the industry. The late 1970s saw the emergence of the microprocessor. The ability of the microprocessor to ride the improvements in integrated circuit technology more closely than the less integrated mainframes and minicomputers led to a higher rate of improvement—roughly 35% growth per year in performance.
  3. 3. 2 Chapter 1 Fundamentals of Computer Design This growth rate, combined with the cost advantages of a mass-produced microprocessor, led to an increasing fraction of the computer business being based on microprocessors. In addition, two significant changes in the computer marketplace made it easier than ever before to be commercially successful with a new architecture. First, the virtual elimination of assembly language program- ming reduced the need for object-code compatibility. Second, the creation of standardized, vendor-independent operating systems, such as UNIX, lowered the cost and risk of bringing out a new architecture. These changes made it possible to successively develop a new set of architectures, called RISC architectures, in the early 1980s. Since the RISC-based microprocessors reached the market in the mid 1980s, these machines have grown in performance at an annual rate of over 50%. Figure 1.1 shows this difference in performance growth rates. 350 DEC Alpha 300 250 1.58x per year 200 SPECint rating DEC Alpha 150 IBM Power2 DEC Alpha 100 1.35x per year HP 9000 50 MIPS IBM MIPS Power1 R3000 SUN4 R2000 0 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 8 8 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 9 9 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 Year FIGURE 1.1 Growth in microprocessor performance since the mid 1980s has been substantially higher than in ear- lier years. This chart plots the performance as measured by the SPECint benchmarks. Prior to the mid 1980s, micropro- cessor performance growth was largely technology driven and averaged about 35% per year. The increase in growth since then is attributable to more advanced architectur