Dulawan, Fitz Edimar P.

1. What is a Computer System Architecture?
- Computer System Architecture is the discipline that defines the
conceptual structure and functional behavior of a computer system. It is
analogous to the architecture of a building, determining the overall
organization, the attributes of the component parts, and how these parts
are combined. It is related to, but different from, computer
implementation. Architecture consists of those characteristics which affect
the design and development of software programs, whereas
implementation focuses on those characteristics which determine the
relative cost and performance of the system. The architect's main goal
has long been to produce a computer that is as fast as possible, within a
given set of cost constraints. Over the years, other goals have been
added, such as making it easier to run multiple programs concurrently or
improving the performance of programs written in higher-level languages.
- A computer system consists of four major components (see illustration):
storage, processor, peripherals, and input/output (communication). The
storage system is used to keep data and programs; the processor is the
unit that controls the operation of the system and carries out various
computations; the peripheral devices are used to communicate with the
outside world; and the input/output system allows the previous
components to communicate with one another.
2. Computer Design:
a. Instruction Set Design:
- An instruction set, or instruction set architecture (ISA), is the part of the
computer architecture related to programming, including the native data
types, instructions, registers, addressing modes, memory architecture,
interrupt and exception handling, and external I/O. An ISA includes a
specification of the set of opcodes (machine language), and the native
commands implemented by a particular processor.
- Instruction set architecture is distinguished from the microarchitecture,
which is the set of processor design techniques used to implement the
instruction set. Computers with different microarchitectures can share a
common instruction set. For example, the Intel Pentium and the AMD
Athlon implement nearly identical versions of the x86 instruction set, but
have radically different internal designs.
- Instruction set implementation: Code density, Number of operands,
Register pressure.
b. Computer Hardware Design:
- Computer hardware architecture refers to the identification of a system's
physical components and their interrelationships. This description, often
called a hardware design model, allows hardware designers to understand
how their components fit into a system architecture and provides to
software component designers important information needed for software
development and integration. Clear definition of a hardware architecture
allows the various traditional engineering disciplines (e.g., electrical and

optoelectronic. especially the devices operated by or the electronic displays viewed by a user. surgical instrumentation. devices and components. The need to effectively model how separate physical components combine to form complex systems is important over a wide range of applications. personal digital assistants (PDAs). analog and hybrid devices. more rarely.Dulawan. and the process and discipline for effectively implementing the design(s) for such a system. Hence. AKA human computer interface. and the interface between the system and its external environment. cell phones.) Integrated circuit (IC) designers are driving current technologies into innovative approaches for new products. and new microelectromechanical hardware implementation.It is a discipline because a body of knowledge is used to inform practitioners as to the most effective way to design the system within a set of constraints. within the automation and software engineering disciplines. the mechanical) interfaces among the system's components or subsystems.It is a process because a sequence of steps is prescribed to produce or change the architecture. is known as the computer human interface. modern aircraft cannot function without running tens of millions of computer instructions embedded and distributed throughout the aircraft and resident in both standard computer hardware and in specialized hardward components such as IC wired logic gates. special interface. . . including computers. Also. and/or a design from that architecture. mechanical engineering) to work more effectively together to develop and manufacture new machines. need not simply be a computer of some sort. . or HCI.Hardware architecture is the representation of an engineered (or to be engineered) electronic or electromechanical hardware system. opening up opportunities for disruptive microelectronic. and device prototyping. and other digital components. formerly called the man-machine interface. . (This latter. of a hardware system within a set of constraints. A modern automobile runs vastly more software than the Apollo spacecraft. and the rules governing those relationships. But hardware. multiple layers of active devices are being proposed as single chip. Fitz Edimar P. and submarines. .It is a representation because it is used to convey information about the related elements comprising a hardware system. satellites. .A hardware architecture is primarily concerned with the internal electrical (and. . software. It is generally part of a larger integrated system encompassing information.Hardware is also an expression used within the computer engineering industry to explicitly distinguish the (electronic computer) hardware from the software that runs on it. the relationships among those elements.

unless you do timing comparisons. regardless of the form in which they receive their inputs. the basic organization remains the same for all computer systems. etc) and should not be used by the user while Cache is almost completely uncontrollable. However. but very fast.A register holds instructions or data that the processor is working on or will be working on shortly. they can be hierarchical and fairly large (comparatively to registers at least). by instruction i mean . However. subtracting or comparing stuff. . For example. so you don't even know whether it's working or not.Cache can contain instruction code whereas registers cannot. which is another type of input device. Input Unit Data and instructions must enter the computer system before any computation can be performed on the supplied data. Base Pointer. all input devices must provide a computer with data that are transformed into the binary codes that the primary memory of the computer is designed to accept. . The cache is used for storing information that does not need to be referred to as often. They form part of the processor and are capable of holding only one item at a time while a cache memory is an area in the computer where codes and instructions are stored.Registers are controllable. and this differs from the way in which data is entered through a mouse. This transformation is accomplished by units that called input interfaces. The following five units (also called "The functional units") correspond to the five basic operations performed by all computer systems: a. There are very few of them (on x86 at least).The internal architectural design of computers differs from one system model to another. You can invalidate it (INVD and WBINVD privileged instructions) but you cannot explicitly store or retrieve information from it. . Differentiate processor and cache? . Also.Processor register are much faster than cache memory. The input unit that links the external environment with the computer system performs this task.Dulawan. you can store and retrieve information from them. It is also placed between memory and the CPU. What are the 5 computer system components? . 4. and unlike cache memory that store data. Data and instructions enter input units in forms that depend upon the particular device used. the processor register store instructions that manipulate data. . It is intended to be completely transparent in operations. data is entered from a keyboard in a manner similar to typing. A lot of them have very particular uses (Instruction Pointer.Accessing registers is faster and more efficient than accessing cache. 3.The register is really fast and really freaking small memory used as temporary storage places when the processor is adding. Input interfaces are designed to match the unique physical or electrical characteristics of input devices to the requirements of the computer system. . Fitz Edimar P.

As computers work with binary code. the specific functions of the storage unit are to store: i. Moreover. iii. It converts these coded results to human acceptable (readable) form. It converts these instructions and data in computer acceptable format. it must be converted to human acceptable (readable) form.  Central Processing Unit (CPU) The main unit inside the computer is the CPU. ii. Similarly. iii.It supplies the converted instructions and data to the computer system for further processing.Dulawan. b. The instruction set is “hard wired” in the CPU and determines the machine language for the CPU. It supplied information and results of computation to the outside world. i. The operations a Microprocessor performs are called "instruction set" of this processor. space for intermediate results and also space for the final results. the following functions are performed by an output unit. iii. an input unit performs the following functions. It accepts the results produced by the computer which are in coded form and hence cannot be easily understood by us. Output Unit The job of an output unit is just the reverse of that of an input unit. Programs written for . ii. It accepts (or reads) the list of instructions and data from the outside world. The more complicated the instruction set is. Processors differed from one another by the instruction set. Thus it links the computer with the external environment. ii. Intermediate results of processing. Fitz Edimar P.It supplied the converted results to the outside world. It controls all internal and external devices. In short. If the same program can run on two different computer brands they are said to be compatible. the results produced by the computer after processing must also be kept somewhere inside the computer system before being passed on to the output units. the slower the CPU works. Hence. This task is accomplished by units called output interfaces. The Storage Unit or the primary / main storage of a computer system is designed to do all these things. the results produced are also in the binary form. All the data to be processed and the instruction required for processing (received from input devices). i. c.Final results of processing before these results are released to an output device. the intermediate results produced by the computer must also be preserved for ongoing processing. In short. Storage Unit The data and instructions that are entered into the computer system through input units have to be stored inside the computer before the actual processing starts. In short. This unit is responsible for all events inside the computer. before supplying the results to the outside world. performs "Arithmetic and Logical operations". It provides space for storing data and instructions.

No processing is done in the primary storage unit. After the completion of processing. In a human body. The control Unit and the Arithmetic and Logic unit of a computer system are jointly known as the Central Processing Unit (CPU). multiplication. All calculations are performed and all comparisons (decisions) are made in the ALU. all major calculations and comparisons are made inside the CPU and the CPU is also responsible for activating and controlling the operations of other units of a computer system. Intermediate results generated in the ALU are temporarily transferred back to the primary storage until needed at a later time. all major decisions are taken by the brain and the other parts of the body function as directed by the brain. Fitz Edimar P. the final results which are stored in the storage unit are released to an output device. d. subtraction. they are sent back to the main memory and registers are occupied by the new data used in the next instruction. Some of the registers are general purpose and some are reserved for certain functions. Registers are a group of cells used for memory addressing. IBM compatible computers will not run on Apple computers because these two architectures are not compatible. If these results are not needed for the next instruction. in a computer system. equal to. division over data received from memory and capable to compare numbers (less than. or greater than). The arithmetic and logic unit (ALU) is the part where actual computations take place.g. Similarly. The CPU is the brain of any computer system. It consists of circuits that perform arithmetic operations (e. Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU) The arithmetic and logic unit (ALU) of a computer system is the place where the actual execution of the instructions take place during the processing operations. All activities in the computer system are composed of thousands of individual steps. These intervals are generated by the Clock Unit.Dulawan. While performing these operations the ALU takes data from the temporary storage are inside the CPU named registers. stored in the primary storage prior to processing are transferred as and when needed to the ALU where processing takes place. Data may thus move from primary storage to ALU and back again as storage many times before the processing is over. It is a high-speed memory which holds only data from immediate processing and results of this processing. . data manipulation and processing. addition. The data and instructions. These steps should follow in some order in fixed intervals of time.

In older systems the clock unit is external to the microprocessor and resides on a separate chip.Dulawan. determines what data. It manages and coordinates the entire computer system. . where it is stored. the control unit acts as a central nervous system for the other components of the computer. interpreting. can be performed in less time than transpires between ticks of this clock. Larger systems are even faster. e. regardless of how simple. where to store the results of the operation. But some operations required more than one clock pulse. and issues signals that cause other units of the system to execute them. Control Unit How the input device knows that it is time for it to feed data into the storage unit? How does the ALU know what should be done with the data once it is received? And how is it that only the final results are sent to the output devices and not the intermediate results? All this is possible because of the control unit of the computer system. The faster the clock runs. It obtains instructions from the program stored in main memory. It interprets the instructions fetched into the computer. are needed. the faster the computer performs. In most modern microprocessors the clock is usually incorporated within the CPU. The control unit directs and controls the activities of the internal and external devices. Fitz Edimar P. interprets the instructions. Although. the control unit is able to maintain order and directs the operation of the entire system. and seeing to the execution of the program instructions. if any. By selecting. Every operation within the CPU takes place at the clock pulse. it does not perform any actual processing on the data. No operation. and sends the control signals to the devices involved in the execution of the instructions. The clock rate is measured in megahertz (Mhz) or Gigahertz (Ghz).