Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach

Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach

by John L. Hennessy, David A. Patterson
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Elsevier Science & Technology Books

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Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach

This best-selling title, considered for over a decade to be essential reading for every serious student and practitioner of computer design, has been updated throughout to address the most important trends facing computer designers today. In this edition, the authors bring their trademark method of quantitative analysis not only to high performance desktop machine design, but also to the design of embedded and server systems. They have illustrated their principles with designs from all three of these domains, including examples from consumer electronics, multimedia and web technologies, and high performance computing.

The book retains its highly rated features: Fallacies and Pitfalls, which share the hard-won lessons of real designers; Historical Perspectives, which provide a deeper look at computer design history; Putting it all Together, which present a design example that illustrates the principles of the chapter; Worked Examples, which challenge the reader to apply the concepts, theories and methods in smaller scale problems; and Cross-Cutting Issues, which show how the ideas covered in one chapter interact with those presented in others. In addition, a new feature, Another View, presents brief design examples in one of the three domains other than the one chosen for Putting It All Together.

The authors present a new organization of the material as well, reducing the overlap with their other text, Computer Organization and Design: A Hardware/Software Approach 2/e, and offering more in-depth treatment of advanced topics in multithreading, instruction level parallelism, VLIW architectures, memory hierarchies, storage devices and network technologies.

Also new to this edition, is the adoption of the MIPS 64 as the instruction set architecture. In addition to several online appendixes, two new appendixes will be printed in the book: one contains a complete review of the basic concepts of pipelining, the other provides solutions a selection of the exercises. Both will be invaluable to the student or professional learning on her own or in the classroom.

Hennessy and Patterson continue to focus on fundamental techniques for designing real machines and for maximizing their cost/performance.


  • Presents state-of-the-art design examples including:
    • IA-64 architecture and its first implementation, the Itanium
    • Pipeline designs for Pentium III and Pentium IV
    • The cluster that runs the Google search engine
    • EMC storage systems and their performance
    • Sony Playstation 2
    • Infiniband, a new storage area and system area network
    • SunFire 6800 multiprocessor server and its processor the UltraSPARC III
    • Trimedia TM32 media processor and the Transmeta Crusoe processor
  • Examines quantitative performance analysis in the commercial server market and the embedded market, as well as the traditional desktop market. Updates all the examples and figures with the most recent benchmarks, such as SPEC 2000.
  • Expands coverage of instruction sets to include descriptions of digital signal processors, media processors, and multimedia extensions to desktop processors.
  • Analyzes capacity, cost, and performance of disks over two decades. Surveys the role of clusters in scientific computing and commercial computing.
  • Presents a survey, taxonomy, and the benchmarks of errors and failures in computer systems.
  • Presents detailed descriptions of the design of storage systems and of clusters.
  • Surveys memory hierarchies in modern microprocessors and the key parameters of modern disks.
  • Presents a glossary of networking terms.

About the Author: David A. Patterson has been teaching computer architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, since joining the faculty in 1977, and holds the Pardee Chair of Computer Science. His teaching has been honored by the ACM and the University of California. In 2000 he won the James H. Mulligan, Jr. Education Medal from IEEE "for inspirational teaching through the development of creative curricula and teaching methodology, for important textbooks, and for effective integration of education and research missions." Patterson has also received the 1995 IEEE Technical Achievement Award for contributions to RISC and shared the 1999 IEEE Reynold B. Johnson Information Storage Award for contributions to RAID. In 2000 he shared the IEEE John von Neumann Medal with John Hennessy "for creating a revolution in computer architecture through their exploration, popularization, and commercialization of architectural innovations." Patterson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is a fellow of both the ACM and the IEEE. In the past, he has been chair of the CS division in the EECS department at Berkeley, the ACM SIG in computer architecture, and the Computing Research Association.

At Berkeley, Patterson led the design and implementation of RISC I, likely the first VLSI Reduced Instruction Set Computer. This research became the foundation of the SPARC architecture, currently used by Sun Microsystems, Fujitsu, and others. He was a leader of the Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks (RAID) project, which led to high-performance storage systems from many companies. He was also involved in the Network of Workstations (NOW) project, which led to cluster technology used by Internet companies. These projects earned three dissertation awards from the ACM. His current research project is called Recovery Oriented Computing (ROC), which is developing techniques for building dependable, maintainable, and scalable Internet services.

John L. Hennessy is the President of Stanford University, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1977 in the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Hennessy is a fellow of the IEEE and ACM, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received the 2001 Eckert-Mauchly Award for his contributions to RISC technology, shared the John von Neumann award in 2000 with David Patterson, and received the 2001 Seymour Cray Computer Engineering award.

Hennessy's original research group at Stanford developed several of the techniques now in commercial use for optimizing compilers. In 1981, he started the MIPS project at Stanford with a handful of graduate students. After completing the project in 1984, he took a one-year leave from the university to co-found MIPS Computer Systems, which developed one of the first commercial RISC microprocessors. After being acquired by Silicon Graphics in 1991, MIPS Technologies became an independent company in 1998, focusing on microprocessors for the embedded marketplace. As of 2001, over 200 million MIPS microprocessors have been shipped in devices ranging from video games and palmtop computers to laser printers and network switches.

Hennessy's more recent research at Stanford focuses on the area of designing and exploiting multiprocessors. He helped lead the design of the DASH multiprocessor architecture, the first distributed shared-memory multiprocessors supporting cache coherency, and the basis for several commercial multiprocessor designs, including the Silicon Graphics Origin multiprocessors.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781558604094
Publisher: Elsevier Science & Technology Books
Publication date: 08/28/1995
Pages: 282

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Fundamentals of Computer Design
Chapter 2 - Instruction Set Principles and Examples
Chapter 3 - Instruction-Level Parallelism and Its Dynamic Exploitation
Chapter 4 - Exploiting Instruction-Level Parallelism with Software Approaches
Chapter 5 - Memory Hierarchy Design
Chapter 6 - Multiprocessors and Thread-Level Parallelism
Chapter 7 - Storage Systems
Chapter 8 - Interconnection Networks and Clusters
Appendix A - Pipelining: Basic and Intermediate Concepts
Appendix B - Solutions to Selected Exercises

Online Appendices
Appendix C A Survey of RISC Architectures for Desktop, Server, and Embedded Computers
Appendix D An Alternative to RISC: The Intel 80x86
Appendix E Another Alternative to RISC: The VAX Architecture
Appendix F The IBM 360/370 Architecture for Mainframe Computers
Appendix G Vector Processors Revised by Krste Asanovic
Appendix H Computer Arithmetic by David Goldberg
Appendix I Implementing Coherence Protocols



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