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The field of digital computers is one of the fastest growing fields, a new computer with higher performance being introduced every one or two years. One of the purposes of writing this book is to show how computers have evolved over the years with a continual growth in their performance so as to satisfy the ever increasing demand from users. An attempt is made in this book to demystify the field of computer architecture. The techniques used over the years to obtain nearly a linear improvement in computer system performance are clearly explained. About 30 years back, it was believed that uniprocessors (digital computer with a single central processor unit) had reached their performance limits and the only way to achieve a higher performance was to use parallel computers. But, then a reduction in cost of hardware allowed techniques, which were used in supercomputers and other high-performance machines of 1970s, to be integrated into low-cost digital computers such as desktop and laptop computers. This brought about a revolution in the performance of digital computers. These techniques and a knowledge about their development give an insight into the important field of computer architecture. Moreover, such knowledge would help readers to effectively approach and solve any problem in a related field. The salient features of the book are as follows:
- This book is not comprehensive in nature. At the same time, it does not leave out any of the
important topics which a student needs to learn to master the subject.
- Includes relevant case studies to show how the concepts learned are used in practice.
- A performance model is derived for each type of computer architecture discussed in the book. These models can be used to evaluate the performance of corresponding architectures.
- It includes a number of examples and questions of different varieties, including multiple-choice
questions, short answer type questions and problems. These help to further clarify the concepts
- Most importantly, the book is believed to be student-centric.