The Greatest Ideas in Computer Architecture

  • Moore’s Law – Integrated Circuits resources double every 18-24 months
    • Prediction in 1965 by Gordon Moore, Founder of Intel
    • Design with future of technology in mind vs present of technology
    • Represented by the graph below


      ‘up and to the right’ graph

  • Abstraction – Represent the design at different levels of representation
    • Increases productivity and decreases design time
    • Lower levels details are hidden to make it simple = higher level details

abstract painting

  • Common Case Efficiency – Enhance efficiency more than the efficiency of rare cases
    • Experimentation and measurement is required
    • Fast sport cars versus fast minivan?

Jaguar F-Type

  • Parallelism Efficiency – Performing operations in parallel
    • Increases performance
    • Represented by the jet engines on a plane below

Dual engines on jet

  • Pipelining Efficiency – Pattern of parallelism
    • Has a particular sequence with different stages
    • Represented by ventilation in data centers

Air ventilation of data centers

  • Prediction Efficiency – Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission
    • As long as prediction is not expensive and is accurate
    • Represented by the sky for weather forecasting

Weather forecasting based on clouds

  • Memory Structure – Required to be fast, large, and cheap
    • Memory speeds hinders performance while capacity limits unsolvable issues
    • Memory is one of the most expensive component in computers
    • Cache versus Random Access Memory (RAM) versus Hard  Disk Drive (HDD)
    • Represented by a pyramid with cache at the top and HDD at the bottom

Pyramid memory structure

  • Redundancy Dependency – Components for detecting  and resolving failures
    • Moral of the story is that any device can fail
    • Represented by emergency procedures when flying a plane

Emergency procedure for crashed plane


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