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COMP25212 SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE Sergio Davies Sergio.Davies@manchester.ac.uk

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  1. COMP25212 SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE Sergio Davies Sergio.Davies@manchester.ac.uk COMP25212 Lecture 1

  2. COMP25212: System Architecture • Lecturers Javier.Navaridas@manchester.ac.uk Sergio.Davies@manchester.ac.uk • Lectures 22 (two per week) Mon 12pm Kilburn Theatre 1.1 Thu 2pm Kilburn Theatre 1.1 • Laboratories 5 x 2 hour sessions starting NEXT week (Thu 11am, Thu 3pm or Fri 1pm) Lab results is 20% of the course Final Mark 2 COMP25212 Lecture 1

  3. COMP25212: System Architecture • Recommended textbook • D.A. Patterson & J.L. Hennessy, “Computer Organization and Design. The Hardware/Software Interface”, Morgan Kaufmann, now in 4th Edition 3 COMP25212 Lecture 1

  4. Aims of the Course • To introduce architectural techniques which are used in modern processors and systems • To understand how the specification of systems affects their performance and suitability for particular applications • To understand how to design such systems COMP25212 Lecture 1

  5. COMP25212: Course Overview • Architectural techniques – making processors go faster • Caches • Pipelines • Multi-Threading • Multi-Core • How to make processors more flexible • Virtualization • The architecture of permanent storage COMP25212 Lecture 1

  6. Motivation for Performance • There is always a demand for increased computational performance • Current ‘microprocessors’ are several thousand times faster than when they were first introduced 30 years ago. • But still lots of things they can’t do due to lack of speed – e.g. HD video synthesis, realistic game physics COMP25212 Lecture 1

  7. Single Threaded Performance COMP25212 Lecture 1

  8. Architecture & the Future • Speed improvements due to technology have slowed since around 2004/5 • Physical production limits • Power Dissipation • Device Variability • Architecture plays a larger role in future performance gains – particularly parallelism (multi-core?) COMP25212 Lecture 1

  9. Architecture & Technology • A lot of performance improvements over 30 years have been due to technology • Mainly due to smaller faster circuits • But it isn’t that simple e.g. • CPU speed increased 1000x • Main memory speed < 10x • Need to tailor architecture to exploit technology – changes with time COMP25212 Lecture 1

  10. Processor Cache Memory • A very important technique in processors since about mid 1980s • Purpose is to overcome the speed imbalance between fast internal processor circuitry (e.g. ALU & registers) & main memory • No modern processor could perform anywhere near current speeds without caches COMP25212 Lecture 1

  11. Understand Caches:Prerequisites • Processor is a CPU connected to memory • CPU fetches a sequence of instructions from memory and executes them • Some instructions are loads or stores which read or write values from/to memory addresses Memory CPU COMP25212 Lecture 1

  12. What is a Cache? • Cache: “A secret hiding place” • General principle • If something is far away and/or takes a long time to access, keep a local copy • Usually limited fast local space • Not just processors • Web pages kept on local disc • Virtual Memory is a form of caching • Web Content Delivery Networks (e.g. akamai.com) COMP25212 Lecture 1

  13. What is a Processor Cache? • Small amount of very fast memory used as temporary store for frequently used memory locations (both instructions and data) • Relies on locality: • during any short period of time, a program uses only a small subset (working set) of its instructions and data. COMP25212 Lecture 1

  14. Processor Cache Memory Example: 2.8Ghz processor • 32k L1 data cache and 32k L1 instruction cache • 256k on-chip L2 cache (L2 cache is 4 way set associative) What does it mean? Why is it there? What is ‘good’? COMP25212 Lecture 1

  15. Why is Cache Needed? • Modern processor speed > 1GHz • > 1 instruction / nsec (10-9 sec) • Every instruction needs to be fetched from main memory. • Many instructions (1 in 3?) also access main memory to read or write data. • But RAM memory access time typically >50 nsec! (67 x too slow!) COMP25212 Lecture 1

  16. Facts about memory speeds • Circuit capacitance is the thing that makes things slow (needs charging) • Bigger things have bigger capacitance • So large memories are slow • Dynamic memories (storing data on capacitance) are slower than static memories (bistable circuits) COMP25212 Lecture 1

  17. Interconnection Speeds • External wires also have significant capacitance. • Driving signals between chips needs special high power interface circuits. • Things within a VLSI ‘chip’ are fast – anything ‘off chip’ is slow. • Put everything on a single chip? Maybe one day! Manufacturing limitations COMP25212 Lecture 1

  18. Basic Level 1 (L1) Cache L1 Cache CPU RAM Memory Registers On-chip Compiler makes best use of registers – they are the fastest. Anything not in registers – must go (logically) to memory. But is data (a copy!) in cache? COMP25212 Lecture 1

  19. Cache Requirements • Main memory is big e.g. potentially 232 bytes (4G bytes) if 32 bit byte address (or 248 if 48 – x64) • Cache is small (to be fast), e.g. 32k bytes, can only hold a very small fraction (x10-17 or x10-33) of all possible data. • But cache must be able to store and retrieve any one of 232 (or 248) addresses/data(in practice would not hold single bytes, but in principle ….) • Special structures needed – is not simple memory indexed by address. COMP25212 Lecture 1

  20. Memory hierarchy • Fast vs. slow • Small vs. large Fast Small Registers Cache L1 (~ 10 KB) Cache L2 (~ 100 KB) Cache L3 (~ 10 MB) RAM (~ GB) Hard Disk Drive (~ TB) Slow Large COMP25212 Lecture 1