Computer Systems Architecture presents the subject in a progressive, incremental manner, bottom-upwards. Starting with digital logic and computer hardware, moving through the layers of software and leading on to an introduction to the field of networking and operating systems. It adopts a practical, hand-on approach, drawing upon areas of student interest and experience (the Internet, Pentium processors, GUIs, mobile communications) to stimulate the reader's enthusiasm for the subject. Throughout, system performance is analysed as jointly dependent on hardware and software features. Practical exercises demonstrate this fundamental aspect of hardware/software interaction.
Computer Systems Architectureis meant as an introduction in the first year to the subject for university students in Computer Science and related courses. It is planned as a two-semester introductory course in networked computer systems passing through digital logic, peripheral hardware, layers of software, networking, and operating systems.
Preface to the first edition
Recommended lab sessions
Part 1 Basic functions and facilities of a computer
1 Introduction: the hardware-software interface
2 The von Neumann inheritance
3 Functional units and the fetch-execute cycle
4 Building computers from logic: the control unit
5 Building computers from logic: the ALU
6 Building computers from logic: the memory
7 The Intel Pentium CPU
9 Simple input and output
10 Serial connections
11 Parallel connections
12 The memory hierarchy
Part 2 Networking and increased complexity
13 The programmer's viewpoint
14 Local area networks
15 Wide area networks
16 Other networks
17 Introduction to operating systems
18 Windows XP
19 Filing systems
20 Visual output
21 RISC processors: ARM and SPARC
22 VLIW processors: the EPIC Itanium
23 Parallel processing
Appendix: MS Visual Studo 8, Express Edition
Answers to end-of-chapter questions
Computer Systems Architecture
A Networking Approach
The new edition of Computer Systems Architecture has been brought up to date with extended descriptions of ARM and Itanium processors and an extended
introduction to the field of data communications. Its established approach emphasizes that the vast majority of modern computers are not stand-alone devices, but cooperate with others in a networked environment. Numerous practical exercises underline the importance of thoroughly understanding the hardware/software interaction to achieve optimum performance.
Highlights of the Second Edition include:
Ø A new chapter on Distributed Computing, introducing parallel, cluster and grid configurations including IBMs Cell processor;
Ø A separate chapter on Intels 64-bit Itanium processor, a key architecture for the post-RISC era;
Ø The ARM CPU is used as the primary example of microcontroller design;
Ø Updated and expanded coverage of USB communications and ADSL broadband equipment;
Ø New coverage of MPEG algorithms for audio and video compression in portable devices.
Computer Systems Architecture is an ideal introductory text for students of Computer Science or Engineering, laying the foundations for more detailed courses on Networking.
Dr Rob Williams is Head of the Computer Systems Technology School at the University of the West of England in Bristol, specializing in Real-Time systems. He has also worked as a Microprocessor Systems Engineer for GWE/GKN, Marconi Avionics and Nexos Office Systems.