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Special Feature: Developments and Directions in Computer Architecture

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131347D
Original Publication Date: 1978-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-10
Document File: 24 page(s) / 81K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

G. Jack Lipovski: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

[Figure containing following caption omitted: The microprocessor revolution is impacting con Neumann computer organization, as well as parallel and distributed processing. Herewith a perspective on where we are and where we are going in computer architecture.] The term ";computer architecture"; was coined in the early 60's by a group of computer designers at IBM. It was used to refer to the programmer's common model of the IBM 360 family of computers at the assembly language level. Although each computer in the family must appear identical at that level, the details of the hardware invisible to the programmer were not specified. These were to be determined by the various model designers operating under different speed and cost constraints. This idea of designing a family of computers with the same ";architecture,"; utilizing basically the same software, has been successfully copied by several manufacturers. The architecture of a machine, then, is the ";blueprint"; used to build it. Strictly speaking, it is the instruction set and the I/O connection capabilities. Machines with the same architecture can execute the same programs and can have the same I/O devices connected to them. The organization of a machine is usually shown by a block diagram. For example, the Data General Nova 1200 and Nova 800 have the same architecture because they have the same instruction set and can utilize the same I/O devices. Internally, however, they have different hardware organizations. Incidentally, the organization of a computer is sometimes called the implementation of it. The realization of a computer is the actual hardware interconnection and construction of the machine with a given technology. It is entirely reasonable for a company to change the realization of one of its computers by replacing a hardware subsystem with a functionally equivalent one using a newer technology. The implementation or organization remains the same while the realization is different. The original concept of machine architecture, then, is one of the three aspects of its hardware design -- architecture, implementation, and realization. Computer architecture has now become a popular term and some computer architects have expanded its meaning to include studies in machine organization, network structure, system evaluation, and system software. This less strict interpretation of architecture concerns itself with implementation techniques and computer oganization. Among these are fault tolerant organizations, and techniques for fault diagnosis at the computer organization level. Computer arithmetic, microprogramming, memory, and I/O structures are areas of interest as they relate to the architecture or organization of machines. Performance measurement techniques, hardware description languages, and simulation languages are also developed and utilized by architects as machine design aids.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1978 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

Special Feature: Developments and Directions in Computer Architecture

G. Jack Lipovski

University of Texas at Austin

Keith L. Doty

University of Florida

     (Image Omitted: The microprocessor revolution is impacting con Neumann computer organization, as well as parallel and distributed processing. Herewith a perspective on where we are and where we are going in computer architecture.)

The term "computer architecture" was coined in the early 60's by a group of computer designers at IBM. It was used to refer to the programmer's common model of the IBM 360 family of computers at the assembly language level. Although each computer in the family must appear identical at that level, the details of the hardware invisible to the programmer were not specified. These were to be determined by the various model designers operating under different speed and cost constraints. This idea of designing a family of computers with the same "architecture," utilizing basically the same software, has been successfully copied by several manufacturers.

The architecture of a machine, then, is the "blueprint" used to build it. Strictly speaking, it is the instruction set and the I/O connection capabilities. Machines with the same architecture can execute the same programs and can have the same I/O devices connected to them. The organization of a machine is usually shown by a block diagram. For example, the Data General Nova 1200 and Nova 800 have the same architecture because they have the same instruction set and can utilize the same I/O devices. Internally, however, they have different hardware organizations. Incidentally, the organization of a computer is sometimes called the implementation of it. The realization of a computer is the actual hardware interconnection and construction of the machine with a given technology. It is entirely reasonable for a company to change the realization of one of its computers by replacing a hardware subsystem with a functionally equivalent one using a newer technology. The implementation or organization remains the same while the realization is different. The original concept of machine architecture, then, is one of the three aspects of its hardware design -- architecture, implementation, and realization.

Computer architecture has now become a popular term and some computer architects have expanded its meaning to include studies in machine organization, network structure, system evaluation, and system software. This less strict interpretation of architecture concerns itself with implementation techniques a...