- Hardcover: 965 pages
- Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 2 edition (August 15, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1558604286
- ISBN-13: 978-1558604285
- Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.7 x 1.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 49 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface 2nd Edition
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This textbook provides a basic introduction to the fundamentals of current computer designs. As the title suggests, the text skirts the border between hardware and software. After an overview of the subject and a discussion of performance, the book launches into technical matter such as instruction sets, how they are constrained by the underlying processor hardware, the constraints on their design, and more. An excellent critique of computer arithmetic methods leads to a high-level discussion on processor design. Following is a great introduction to pipelining, nice coverage of memory issues, and solid attention to peripherals. The book concludes with a brief discussion of the additional issues inherent in multiprocessing machines. The extremely lucid description is grounded in real-world examples. Interesting exercises help reinforce the material, and each section contains a write-up of the historical background of each idea. Computer Organization and Design is accessible to the beginner, but also offers plenty of valuable knowledge for experienced engineers.
"This book trains the student with the concepts needed to lay a solid foundation for joining this exciting field. More importantly, this book provides a framework for thinking about computer organization and design that will enable the reader to continue the lifetime of learning necessary for staying at the forefront of this competitive discipline."
John Crawford, Intel Fellow, Director of Microprocessor Architecture, Intel
Top customer reviews
As an introductory text on CA, the approach is different than the somewhat classical one.
Those who'd expect a few introductory chapters on logic design (as, e.g., Mano & Kime's chapters or Murdocca's long appendixes) will find instead a short appendix that describes basic components (gates, registers, clocks and so on) at a high level (never mention digital abstracion & co.).
The path then is not a survey of general concepts & principles of CA with eventually some real examples as application. Instead, the process is a strictly step-by-step constructive one: they build from scratch a new system funding the design with plenty of considerations and tips, even with warnings on most common "fallacies and pitfalls". All this done through a very straightforward and clear language and with lots of figures, well paced and presented. As a result, coping with the topics is pretty an easy task, and the most likely result is a thourough understanding of what they present.
So what they present ? Substantially, the MIPS, a well known (thanks to this book and their authors too, of course) and widely sold (thanks to its true qualities) RISC processor. The authors have been leaders in the development of the RISC architecture, which admittedly is by now the only good choice for CPU designs since even Intel in its newest architectures reduce all down to the execution of RISC instructions. Anyway, the attention is not only on RISC (and MIPS) architectures: it's "mostly" on these, but there's space for short disgressions in the PowerPC, 80x86 and Pentium Pro (the book is dated 1997) field. This is done through a section named "Real stuff" in each chapter, where after they've extensively developed the subpart of the MIPS (be it the ISA, the ALU or Datapath & Control, the Pipeline and so on), they summarily look at how the same concepts have been developed by PowerPC and 80x86 or Pentium.
All in all, if the book has been assigned as a textbook for a course, little integration is needed to understand it and made it useful for the course; or if it is used a self first introduction to computer architectures and especially RISC architecture, the book will prove a very good choice. And this happens simply because the transfer of knowledge is effective as probably the authors have intended it to be.
If what is needed is a reference, then perhaps the step-by-step approach would suggest other choices (e.g. Tanenbaum, Murdocca, Stallings or Mano & Kime).
The authors had the clever idea of introducing many of the concepts from a historical perspective, tracing the beginnings of ideas up to their current implementations. This makes the narrative much less dry than it could have been (let's face it, hardware design isn't exactly riveting material) but makes for a great introduction. The reader gets to see the concepts develop from simpler ideas into the more complicated set-ups of today. Putting the models into that context makes the more difficult concepts easier to grasp.
Some discussion concerning this text has revolved around its wordiness. Certainly the book goes into more detail than it probably needs to, and takes longer than necessary to explain certain topics. But to the student or reader encountering these details for the first time, this approach can be extremely rewarding. I found this book to be an excellent teacher. While it took a little bit of time for me to read, it was quite up to the task of clearly and simply explaining the concepts at hand. Each chapter has a section on Fallacies and Pitfalls, which I found particularly helpful. They take a number of the most commonly held misconceptions about the material in that chapter, and clearly and carefully explain why such things aren't true. I found that a lot of what they covered were things that I had either misconstrued or was unclear about so this section was invaluable for me.
As reference material, the book covers Processor Performance, Microinstructions, Arithmetic (covers binary and floating-point operations done on the MIPS processor), Processor Pipelining, I/O Interfaces, Multiprocessing, and various other MIPS related subjects. If you looking for something that's primarily reference material, you could probably find a text out there that's a bit more concise. But if you're a little rusty on some of these concepts or are encountering them for the first time, then you could do a lot worse than to teach yourself from this book.
Most recent customer reviews
This is too technical and extremely hard to follow.Read more
I recommend this book to everyone who have a basic Assembly Language programming background and want to understand...Read more