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Computer Architecture and Organization: From Software to
University of Maryland, College Park
c Manoj Franklin 2007
Welcome! Bienvenidoes! Bienvenue! Benvenuto! This book provides a fresh introduction
to computer architecture and organization. The subject of computer architecture dates back
to the early periods of computer development, although the term was coined more recently.
Over the years many introductory books have been written on this fascinating subject, as the
subject underwent many changes due to technological (hardware) and application (software)
changes. Today computer architecture is a topic of great importance to computer science,
computer engineering, and electrical engineering. It bridges the yawning gap between highlevel language programming in computer science and VLSI design in electrical engineering.
The spheres of influence exercised by computer architecture has expanded significantly in
recent years. A fresh introduction of the subject is therefore essential for modern computer
users, programmers, and designers.
This book is for students of computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, and any others who are interested in learning the fundamentals of computer architecture
in a structured manner. It contains core material that is essential to students in all of these
disciplines. It is designed for use in a computer architecture or computer organization
course typically offered at the undergraduate level by computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, or information systems departments. On successful completion
of this book you will have a clear understanding of the foundational principles of computer
architecture. Many of you may have taken a course in high-level language programming
and in digital logic before using this book. We assume most readers will have some familiarity with computers, and perhaps have even done some programming in a high-level
language. We also assume that readers have had exposure to preliminary digital logic design. This book will extend that knowledge to the core areas of computer architecture,
namely assembly-level architecture, instruction set architecture, and microarchitecture.
The WordReference dictionary defines computer architecture as “the structure and organization of a computer’s hardware or system software.” Dictionary.com defines it as “the
art of assembling logical elements into a computing device; the specification of the relation between parts of a computer system.” Computer architecture deals with the way in
which the elements of a computer relate to each other. It is concerned with all aspects of