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Computer Architectures


Sabanci University

[email protected]

Erkay Savas


  • The IEEE/ACM Computer Curricula 2001, prepared by the Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula of IEEE Computer Society and ACM lists computer architecture as one of the core subjects that should be in the curriculum of all students in computer science and engineering.

  • The computer lies at the heart of the computing. Without it most of the computing disciplines today would be a branch of theoretical mathematics. To be a professional in any field of computing today, one should NOT regard the computer just a black box that executes program by magic. All students of computing should acquire some understanding and appreciation of a computer system’s functional components, their characteristics, their performance and their interactions. There are practical implications as well. Students need to understand computer architecture in order to structure a program so that it runs more efficiently on a real machine. In selecting a system to use, they should to able to understand the tradeoff among various components, such as CPU clock speed vs. memory size.

Erkay Savas


  • Dr. Erkay Savaş

  • Office: FENS 1098

  • e-mail: [email protected]

  • url:

  • class webpage:

  • Phone: x9606 (not a preferred way of communication)

    • Use sucourse

  • Office hour: Tuesday (09:40-11:30)

    • or by appointment

Erkay Savas


  • Midterm: 30%

    • After the term break

    • In lab/recitation session

  • Final: 40%

  • No official lab sessions

    • homework assignments will do

  • Homework assignments: 4-5 per term

    • 15%

  • Project: 10%

  • Participation & attendance: 5%

    • Quiz & in-class questions

Erkay Savas

En i ac

world’s first general-purpose computer

Erkay Savas

Eniac by eckert mauchly
ENIAC by Eckert & Mauchly

  • Electronic Numerical Integrator And Calculator

  • Technology: Vacuum tubes (19000+)

  • Cost like 300 million USD.

  • The main components

    • 20 registers (each 10-digit wide, 60 cm long), addition/subtraction and temporary storage

    • Initiator: powering up/shutting down the computer, starting computation

    • Master programmer: controls the execution of programs

Erkay Savas


  • Multiplier

    • multiplication of a 10-digit number by a d-digit number (for d up to 10) took d+4 cycles, so a 10by 10-digit multiplication took 14 cycles, or 2800 microseconds—a rate of 357 per second

  • Function tables: used for programming

  • Programming: by wiring the cables and setting 3000 switches manually. Done for every program.

  • Energy Consumption: 200 Kilo Watt

  • 30 tons

  • Purpose: Used for calculation of missile trajectories.

  • Erkay Savas


    • The English also claimed that the world’s first general-purpose computer was built in England

      • COLOSSUS in 1943

      • The problem was about the definition of general-purpose computer.

    • Also by British, EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator)

      • by Maurice Wilkes of Cambridge Universityin 1949

      • Stored-program computer

    • Non-electronic computers

      • Harvard Mark I – IBM ASCC (1944), Zuse Z3 (1941)

    Erkay Savas

    Difference engine
    Difference Engine

    • By Charles Babbage in 1850s

    Erkay Savas

    What about now

    What about now?

    What are the capabilities of contemporary computers?

    Intel centrino tm architecture
    Intel CentrinoTM Architecture

    • CPU

    • Chipset

    • Wireless Network Interface

    Erkay Savas


    Erkay Savas

    Intel core 2
    Intel Core 2

    • Core 2 brand refers to a range of Intel's consumer 64-bit dual-core and MCM quad-core CPUs with the x86-64 instruction set,

      • Produced: From 2006

      • MaxCPUclock: 1.06 GHz to 3.20 GHz

      • FSBspeeds: 0533 MT/s to 1600 MT/s

      • Process:65 nm to 45 nm

      • Instruction set: x86, MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, x86-64, SSE4 (SSE4 is for only Penryn-based processors)

      • Microarchitecture: Intel Core microarchitecture

      • Cores: 1, 2, or 4 (2x2)

    Erkay Savas

    Yorkfield xe processor
    Yorkfield XE Processor

    • Core 2 Extreme QX9650:

      • On November 11, 2007

      • The first Intel desktop processor to use 45 nm technology and high-k metal gates.

      • Features a dual-die quad core design

      • Two unified level-two (L2) caches, with a total of 12 MiB (2 × 6144 KiB).

      • Features a 1333 MHz FSB

      • clock speed of 3 GHz.

      • The processor incorporates SSE4.1 instructions

      • total of 820 million transistors on 2x107 mm² dies.

    Erkay Savas

    Mobile processors merom
    Mobile Processors: Merom

    • Core 2 Duo ULV U7700

    • Clock speed: 1333 MHz

    • Second level Cache Size: 2048 KiB

    • Front Side Bus Speed: 533 MT/s

    • Voltage: 0.80 - 0.975 V

    • Power: 10 W

    • Release Date: December 30, 2007

    • Price: $289

    • Technology: 65 nm

    • Die Size: 111 mm2.

    • Virtualization and Trusted Execution Technology

    Erkay Savas

    How is this progress possible?

    What is the key technology behind it and what is the law that is governing the progress in this technology?

    Erkay Savas

    Semiconductor technology
    Semiconductor Technology

    • Transistors: tiny devices that can be realized easily(!) in silicon which is abundant on earth.

    • A transistor is basically a switch that can be used to implement some logical operations.

    • A collection of transistor which implement a logical operation is called as gate.

    • A gate implements a logic primitive (AND, OR)

    • Using logical gates we can realize millions of useful operations we can think of.

    Erkay Savas

    Moore s law
    Moore’s Law

    • The observation made in 1965 by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel,

      • the number of transistors/in2 on IC had doubled every year since the IC was invented.

      • Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future.

    • The pace slowed down a bit,

      • transistor density doubles approximately every 18 months,

      • and this is the current definition of Moore’s Law.

    • Most experts expect Moore’s Law to hold for at least another one or two decades

    Erkay Savas

    Architecture organization
    Architecture & Organization

    • More transistors and better process technology  faster processors

    • It is important to know what to do with these resources

      • more memory

      • larger cache

      • another cache level

      • a powerful multiplier unit

      • unit for networking operations

      • new instructions

    Erkay Savas

    Extremes fastest computer s
    Extremes: Fastest Computers

    • Earth Simulator Computer (ESC)

      • Built by NEC

      • Fastest from 2002 to 2004

    • Claimed Applications

      • high resolution global models

        • predictions of global warming.

      • high resolution regional models

        • predictions of el Niño, monsoon.

      • Simulation of earthquake generation process

    • Suspected Application

      • Simulation of nuclear weapon explosions

    Erkay Savas

    Fastest computer esc
    Fastest Computer: ESC

    • Processor technology: NEC SX

      • vector processor

    • Multiprocessor system

      • 5120 processors in total

    • 10 TB of memory

    • 700 TB of disk

      • 450 TB  system

      • 250 TB  users

    • 1.6 PB of mass storage in tape drivers

    • Area of the computer: 4 tennis courts, three floors

    • 35.86 trillion calculations per second (TFLOPS)

    Erkay Savas

    New esc facilities
    New ESC Facilities

    Erkay Savas

    Wiring of esc
    Wiring of ESC

    Erkay Savas

    Blue gene l
    Blue Gene/L

    • The first computer in the Blue Gene series

      • 2004

      • Linpack benchmark: 36.01 TFLOPS

      • 8-cabinet system, with each cabinet holding 1,024 compute nodes

      • On October 27, 2005, reaching 280.6 TFLOPS on Linpack,

        • 65,536 "compute nodes" (i.e., 216 nodes)

        • an additional 1024 "I/O nodes" in 64 air-cooled cabinets.

        • a 900TB filesystem.

      • During an upgrade in 2007 (LLNL BlueGene/L the performance increased to 478 TFLOPS sustained.

    Erkay Savas

    Other extreme smallest
    Other Extreme: Smallest

    • Sensor Nodes

      • Berkeley Mote:

    • 8-bit RISC processor

    • 4 MHz clock

    • 8 Kbytes Flash Memory for programs

      • OS code space: 3500 bytes

      • Available code space: 4500 bytes

    • 512 bytes RAM Data Memory

    • 10 Kbps radio

    Erkay Savas

    Other extreme smallest1

    what it needs to be (smart dust)

    commercially available

    in development



    Kris Pister (University of California at Berkeley)

    Other Extreme: Smallest

    • Cost:

      • today ~ $100

      • need to be < $1

    • Size:

    Erkay Savas

    New ideas concepts
    New Ideas, Concepts

    • Ubiquitous computing

      • Everywhere but not too visible,

      • Easy to interact

      • Real, the opposite of VR (virtual reality).

    • Pervasive computing

      • Numerous, casually accessible, often invisible computing devices

      • Frequently mobile or embedded in the environment

      • Connected to an increasingly ubiquitous network structure

    • Wearable computer

    • Embedded processors

    Erkay Savas

    Embedded processors
    Embedded Processors

    • Today, large majority of computation devices are not in desktop computers or workstations but embedded in video games, laser printers, automobiles, etc.

    • Tomorrow, computation devices will be definitely and literally everywhere;

    • watches, roads, our clothes, our desk, and any small household item, walls of your house will have some sort of computational capacity if not certain type of intelligence.

    Erkay Savas

    Embedded processors1
    Embedded Processors

    Erkay Savas