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Unformatted text preview: products, the power consumption of digital circuits is of increasing importance. At the end of the chapter we will look at the principles of low-power high-performance design. 1 2 An Introduction to Processor Design 1.1 Processor architecture and organization
All modern general-purpose computers employ the principles of the stored-program digital computer. The stored-program concept originated from the Princeton Institute of Advanced Studies in the 1940s and was first implemented in the 'Baby' machine which first ran in June 1948 at the University of Manchester in England. Fifty years of development have resulted in a spectacular increase in the performance of processors and an equally spectacular reduction in their cost. Over this period of relentless progress in the cost-effectiveness of computers, the principles of operation have changed remarkably little. Most of the improvements have resulted from advances in the technology of electronics, moving from valves (vacuum tubes) to individual transistors, to integrated circuits (ICs) incorporating several bipolar transistors and then through generations of IC technology leading to today's very large scale integrated (VLSI) circuits delivering millions of field-effect transistors on a single chip. As transistors get smaller they get cheaper, faster, and consume less power. This win-win scenario has carried the computer industry forward for the past three decades, and will continue to do so at least for the next few years. However, not all of the progress over the past 50 years has come from advances in electronics technology. There have also been occasions when a new insight into the way that technology is employed has made a significant contribution. These insights are described under the headings of computer architecture and computer organization, where we will work with the following interpretations of these terms: Computer architecture Computer organization Computer architecture describes the user's view of the computer. The instruction set, visible registers, memory management table structures...
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- Spring '09