The purpose of this unit is to determine your grasp of prior knowledge related to this course. The units’ expectations are that the students have prior knowledge on basic architecture and
organization of computers. A recap of this course/s will prepare and enable the students have a grasp of computer architecture and organization.
Upon completion of this unit you should be able to:
- Explain how computer systems work & computer systems basic principles
- Analyze computer system performance.
- Describe concepts behind advanced pipelining techniques.
- Survey the current state of art in memory system design
- Describe how I/O devices are accessed and principles applied
Computer system: A term that describes the computer along with any software and peripheral devices that are necessary to make the computer function.
Computer Architecture: is the attribute which can be recognized by a programmer and which has a direct effect to program execution. Describes the capabilities and programming model of a computer but not a particular implementation
Computer organization: Term used to describe the way the hardware components operate and the way they are connected together to form the computer system. The various components are assumed to be in place and the task is to investigate the organizational structure to verify that the computer parts operate.
Computer performance: is characterized by the amount of useful work accomplished by a computer system or computer network compared to the time and resources used I/O: Accessories that allow computer to perform specific tasks; Receive information for processing, Return the results of processing, Store information
Memory: is a collection of cells, each with a unique physical address.
Check your understanding!
Learners are invited to read on basic computer architecture and organization which is the pre-requisite courses for this module.
The following questions will help gage how much you already know about basic architecture and organization of computers which are the pre-requisites of architecture and organization of advanced computers
- Define the following terms
a). Computer architecture
b). Computer organization
c). Peripheral devices
- What is the concept of layers in architectural design?
- What processor performs the fetching or decoding of different instruction during the execution of another instruction.
1. Define the following terms
(i). Computer architecture:- is concerned with structure and behavior of computer as seen by the user. It includes the information formats, the instruction set, and techniques for addressing the architectural design of a computer system. it is also concerned with the specifications
of the various functional modules, such as processors and memories and structuring them together into a computer system
(ii).Computer organization;- is concerned with the way the hardware components operate and the way they are connected together to form the computer system. The various components are assumed to be in place and the task is to investigate the organizational structure to verify that the computer parts operate.
(iii). Peripheral devices;- is defined as a computer device, such as a keyboard or printer, that is not part of the essential computer (i.e., the memory and microprocessor).
2. What is the concept of layers in architectural design?
The concepts of layers in architectural design is described as below:
- Complex problems can be segmented into smaller and more manageable form
- Each layer is specialized for specific functioning.
- Upper layers can share the services of a lower layer. Thus layering allows us to reuse functionality.
- Team development is possible because of logical segmentation. A team of programmers will build. The system, and work has to be sub-divided of along clear boundaries
3. Explain the processor that performs the fetching or decoding of different instruction during the execution of another instruction.
Explanation: Pipe-lining is the process of improving the performance of the system by processing different instructions at the same time, with only one instruction performing one specific operation
Unit Readings and Other Resources
The readings in this unit are to be found at the course-level section “Readings and Other Resources”.