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computer - UniMAP Portal
DKT217/3
CHAPTER1:
Introduction to
Computer System
Computer Architecture

Just like an architect designs buildings, a
computer architect designs computers.

So computer architecture is the study of
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how computers are designed,
why they are designed that way and
what are the effect of different designs on their
performance.
It isn't just computer architects who need this
knowledge: it is anybody who really needs a
computer to do work for them, or needs to write
software for that computer
Computer Architecture
Of course, any of us can use a computer
or computer related devices but ….
to use them very efficiently,
or for high performance
computation we need to really
understand what is happening
inside.
Computer Architecture –
An Embedded Approach

Embedded systems are computers (usually very
small) that are fitted inside a system to act as its
'brains': often, users of that system might not
realise there is a computer inside...

Some examples:
● A 'smart' electronic toaster or rice cooker
● A microwave oven
● iPod/Tablets
● Your car (probably contains 40 or more
embedded computers)
Computer Architecture –
An Embedded Approach

Embedded systems need to be small, low
power and efficient.

Although there are many Computer
Architecture techniques from the old days that
we can learn from and use, we need new
techniques and a very different emphasis to
build effective embedded systems.

But first, let us review that history...
The Evolution of Computing

1834, Cambridge, UK
Charles Babbage built the Difference Engine, and
then the Analytical Difference Engine.

This was a fully programmable digital computer, but
was mechanical rather than electronic. This was an
incredibly ambitious, advanced design
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1940, Germany
Konrad Zuse used a similar mechanical approach,
but controlled by electrical relays.
The Evolution of Computing
The Difference Engine, as drawn in Harper's
new monthly magazine. Vol. 30, Issue 175,
p.34, 1864.
The Evolution of Computing

1943, Bletchley Park, UK
Tommy Flowers, working with Alan Turing, built
Colossus as a codebreaking machine.

There were 10 separate machines built, all were
electronic and programmable. However these
remained a secret until the year 2000.

1944, USA
ENIAC had a similar design to Colossus, and
although it was only operational after Colossus,
ENAIC wasn't secret so was incorrectly hailed for
many years as the world's first electronic computer.
The Evolution of Computing
A Colossus computer in use during WWII, courtesy of
the Bletchley Park Trust
http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk
The Evolution of Computing
1948, Manchester. The SSEM (Baby) was the first stored
program computer (i.e. an architecture like a modern
machine).
1953, Manchester. The transistor computer was (as the
name suggests) the worlds first transistor computer.
Manchester was also the home of the worlds first
commercial computer, in 1951.
By the mid 1950s, the focus of computer development was
shifting from the UK to the USA:
1951, USA MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
built the worlds first real-time computer
1964, USA IBM enters the picture with the revolutionary
System/360..
The Evolution of Computing
IBM System/360 photograph, courtesy of Ben Franske, Wikipedia.
The Evolution of Computing

1971, California, USA. Intel releases the Intel 4004 mass
market single chip CPU. Consider some of its
descendants: 8008, 8080, 8085, 8086, 8088, 80186,
80286, 80386, 80486, Pentium, Pentium II, Pentium III ,
Pentium IV, Celeron, Core, Atom...

1977, Massachusetts, USA - Digital Equipment
Corporation release the VAX11/780; a pioneering
computer for one of the greatest American
computing companies of all time.

By the late 1970s, computers were becoming small
and cheap enough that small companies could own
one!

Then came home computers...
The Evolution of Computing
A Colossus computer in use during WWII,
courtesy of the Bletchley Park Trust
http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk
The Evolution of Computing

The PC world was dominated by Intel CPU
machines, such as:
- IBM PC,
- Compaq portable

The home computer world used Zilog or
Rockwell CPUs such as:
- ZX Spectrum (used the Zilog Z80 processor)
- Apple Lisa (used the Rockwell 6502)
The Evolution of Computing

Meanwhile in 1978 Acorn Computers is formed in
Cambridge, UK.

Their first machines use Rockwell 6502 processors:
Acorn Systems 1, 2 & 3, Atom, BBC Micro, Electron

Acorn, as a company, had a rollercoaster financial
ride throughout its existence from being the most
successful startup company ever, to ceasing trading
in November 2000. However as a technical innovator
of computers, they were unsurpassed.

But 1987, Acorn had given the world the
ARM.
The Evolution of Computing
Although designed to power Acorn's own
computers1 (the Archimedes, A400
series, A4, A3000, A4000, A5000, RiscPC,
A7000 etc...), the ARM eventually came
to be used everywhere. The first
nonAcorn and nonUK user of ARM
processors was probably Apple.
The rest is history...!
1990 2001: ~ 1 billion ARMs sold
2001 2006: ~ 6 billion sold
In 2010 : ~ 10 billion sold
alone
The Evolution of Computing

So today, what is a computer?
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It's an iPad, an iPhone, your netbook, desktop PC.
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But also the server farms
operated by companies such
as Google, Facebook,
Amazon.com and others.
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Huge clusters of computers,
all operating together to
solve computing problems.
The Evolution of Computing

1st Generation
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Based on vacuum tubes
Short MTBF – only few minutes
Used based 10-arithmetic
Programming by switch or cable/hardwired
No programming language above basic
machine code
Many were stored program. Introduction of
von Neumann architecture
ENIAC, Collossus
The Evolution of Computing

2nd Generation
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Transistor based, still large and heavy
Much better reliability
Used binary logic
Punched card or tape used for program entry
Support for early high-level language
Often bus-based system
PDP-1 by DEC
The Evolution of Computing

3rd Generation
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Utilised IC
Good reliability
Microprograms
Multi-programming, multi-tasking and time
sharing
High level languages, attempts at UI design
Use of virtual memory and OS
IBM System/360
The Evolution of Computing

4th Generation
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Used VLSI
High reliable and fast
Possible to integrate the entire CPU on a single
chip
DOS and CP/M OS and beyond
Today’s computer
The Evolution of Computing

5th Generation
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Natural interaction between humans and
computers
Very high-level programming languages – may
be even programming in English
May appear intelligent to the user
Apple Imac, iPAD
The Evolution of Computing
Year
1941
1945
1949
1951
1961
1964
1968
1975
1987
1992
1993
1997
2000
2007
2009
Floating point operations per second, FLOPS
1
100
1,000 (1 KiloFLOPS, kFLOPS)
10,000
100,000
1,000,000 (1 MegaFLOPS, MFLOPS)
10,000,000
100,000,000
1,000,000,000 (1 GigaFLOPS, GFLOPS)
10,000,000,000
100,000,000,000
1,000,000,000,000 (1 TeraFLOPS, TFLOPS)
10,000,000,000,000
478,000,000,000,000 (478 TFLOPS)
1,100,000,000,000,000 (1.1 PetaFLOPS)
The Evolution of Computing
The Future of Computing

Everyone reading this will use a computer;
 Your mobile phone...
 Your netbook...
 Your desktop computer...

But also, embedded in almost every consumer
electronic device, home product, vehicle, medical
equipment, GPS, audio system, camera, digital
watch.

Many of you will program a computer, or add a
peripheral.

But how many of you will design your own
computer?
The Future of Computing
To design your own “computer”:
Up to 1900
1900 1940
1940 1940
1940 1980
1980 today
1990 today
1990 future
You needed to be wealthy
Also have a lot of space to work in, and time to do it!
Working for the military?
Employed by large computer company in UK/USA.
In the electronics industry, using off-the-shelf CPU
device.
Start with a single chip micro (PIC, LPC, MSP series, etc.)
You can design your own CPU and implement it on a
programmable logic device such as an FPGA
For the first time in computing history, individuals can now easily and
quickly design new computers, implement and test them with free tools,
and inexpensive hardware, and use them in their own designs.
The Future of Computing
You may not build the world’s
fastest supercomputer but
hopefully you will be designing or
programming some amazing
embedded systems in future…
End of Chapter 1

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