Fundamentals of Computer Design
And now for something completely different.
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
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Introduction The Task of a Computer Designer Technology Trends Cost, Price and their Trends Measuring and Reporting Performance Quantitative Principles of Computer Design Putting It All Together: Performance and Price-Performance Another View: Power Consumption and Efficiency as the Metric Fallacies and Pitfalls Concluding Remarks Historical Perspective and References Exercises
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Computer technology has made incredible progress in the roughly 55 years since the ﬁrst general-purpose electronic computer was created. Today, less than a thousand dollars will purchase a personal computer that has more performance, more main memory, and more disk storage than a computer bought in 1980 for $1 million. This rapid rate of improvement has come both from advances in the technology used to build computers and from innovation in computer design. Although technological improvements have been fairly steady, progress arising from better computer architectures has been much less consistent. During the ﬁrst 25 years of electronic computers, both forces made a major contribution; but beginning in about 1970, computer designers became largely dependent upon integrated circuit technology. During the 1970s, performance continued to improve at about 25% to 30% per year for the mainframes and minicomputers that dominated the industry. The late 1970s saw the emergence of the microprocessor. The ability of the microprocessor to ride the improvements in integrated circuit technology more closely than the less integrated mainframes and minicomputers led to a higher rate of improvement—roughly 35% growth per year in performance.
Chapter 1 Fundamentals of Computer Design
This growth rate, combined with the cost... [continues]
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