## Saturday, March 26, 2011

### Computer Architecture # 02 : Data Representation : CONVERSIONS AMONG RADICES(6)

In the previous section, we saw an example of how a base 2 number can be converted into a base 10 number. A conversion in the reverse direction is more involved. The easiest way to convert ﬁxed point numbers containing both integer and fractional parts is to convert each part separately. Consider converting (23.375)10 to base 2. We begin by separating the number into its integer and fractional parts:
(23.375)10 = (23)10 + (.375)10.
Converting the Integer Part of a Fixed Point Number—The Remainder Method
As suggested in the previous section, the general polynomial form for representing a binary integer is: ...

## Friday, March 25, 2011

### Computer Architecture # 02 : Data Representation : RADIX NUMBER SYSTEMS(5)

In this section, we learn how to work with numbers having arbitrary bases, although we will focus on the bases most used in digital computers, such as base 2 (binary), and its close cousins base 8 (octal), and base 16 (hexadecimal.)

The base, or radix of a number system deﬁnes the range of possible values that a digit may have. In the base 10 (decimal) number system, one of the 10 values: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 is used for each digit of a number. The most natural system for representing numbers in a computer is base 2, in which data is represented as a collection of 1’s and 0’s.

### Computer Architecture # 02 : Data Representation : THE ASSOCIATIVE LAW OF ALGEBRA DOES NOT ALWAYS HOLD IN COMPUTERS(4)

2.2.2 THE ASSOCIATIVE LAW OF ALGEBRA DOES NOT ALWAYS HOLD IN COMPUTERS
In early mathematics, we learned the associative law of algebra:
a + (b + c) = (a + b) + c
As we will see, the associative law of algebra does not hold for ﬁxed point numbers having a ﬁnite representation. Consider a 1-digit decimal ﬁxed point representation with the decimal point on the right, and a range of [-9, 9], with a = 7, b=4, and c=–3. Now a + (b + c) = 7 + (4 + –3) = 7 + 1 =8. But (a + b) + c = (7 + 4) + –3 = 11 + –3, but 11 is outside the range of our number system! We have overﬂow in an intermediate calculation, but the ﬁnal result is within the number system. This is every bit as bad because the ﬁnal result will be wrong if an intermediate result is wrong.

### Computer Architecture # 02 : Data Representation : RANGE AND PRECISION IN FIXED POINT NUMBERS(3)

2.2.1 RANGE AND PRECISION IN FIXED POINT NUMBERS
A ﬁxed point representation can be characterized by the  range of expressible numbers (that is, the distance between the largest and smallest numbers) and the precision (the distance between two adjacent numbers on a number line.) For the ﬁxed-point decimal example above, using three digits and the decimal point placed two digits from the right, the range is from 0.00 to 9.99 inclusive of the endpoints, denoted as [0.00, 9.99], the precision is .01, and the error is 1/2 of the difference between two “adjoining” numbers, such as 5.01 and 5.02, which have a difference of .01. The error is thus .01/2 = .005. That is, we can represent any number within the range 0.00 to 9.99 to within .005 of its true or precise value.

### Computer Architecture # 02 : Data Representation : Fixed Point Numbers (2)

2.2 Fixed Point Numbers
In a ﬁxed point number system, each number has exactly the same number of digits, and the “point” is always in the same place. Examples from the decimal number system would be 0.23, 5.12, and 9.11. In these examples each number has 3 digits, and the decimal point is located two places from the right. Examples from the binary number system (in which each digit can take on only one of the values: 0 or 1) would be 11.10, 01.10, and 00.11, where there are 4 binary digits and the binary point is in the middle.

## Friday, March 11, 2011

### Computer Architecture # 06 : Data Path and Control

In the earlier chapters, we examined the computer at the Application Level, the High Level Language level, and the Assembly Language level (as shown in Figure 1-4.) In Chapter 4 we introduced the concept of an ISA: an instruction set that effects operations on registers and memory. In this chapter, we explore the part of the machine that is responsible for implementing these operations: the control unit of the CPU. In this context, we view the machine at the microarchitecture level (the Microprogrammed/Hardwired Control level in Figure 1-4.) The microarchitecture consists of the control unit and the programmer-visible registers, functional units such as the ALU, and any additional registers that may be required by the control unit. A given ISA may be implemented with different microarchitectures. For example, the Intel Pentium ISA has been implemented in different ways, all of which support the same ISA. Not only Intel, but a number of competitors such as AMD and Cyrix have implemented Pentium ISAs.....

## Tuesday, March 8, 2011

### Computer Architecture # 05 : Languages and The Machine

In the last chapter we looked at the relationship between the ISA, the assembly language, and machine language. We also saw in some detail how instructions effected register transfers and the movement of data between memory and the CPU, but we touched only brieﬂy on the actual process of assembly and program
linking and loading. In this chapter we widen our view of the relationships between computer languages and the machine.
We begin by discussing compilation, the process of translating a program written in a high level language into a functionally equivalent program in assembly language. Following that, we discuss the process of assembly, the translation of an assembly language program into a functionally equivalent machine language program. We then discuss  linking, the process of linking together separately assembled modules into a single program, and  loading, the process of moving programs into memory and preparing them for execution.

### Computer Architecture # 04 : The Instruction Set Architecture

In this chapter we tackle a central topic in computer architecture: the language understood by the computer’s hardware, referred to as its machine language. The machine language is usually discussed in terms of its  assembly language, which is functionally equivalent to the corresponding machine language except
that the assembly language uses more intuitive names such as Move, Add, and Jump instead of the actual binary words of the language. (Programmers ﬁnd constructs such as “Add r0, r1, r2” to be more easily understood and rendered without error than 0110101110101101.).

We begin by describing the  Instruction Set Architecture  (ISA) view of the machine and its operations. The ISA view corresponds to the Assembly Language/Machine Code level described in Figure 1-4: it is between the High Level Language view, where little or none of the machine hardware is visible or of concern, and the Control level, where machine instructions are interpreted as register transfer actions, at the Functional Unit level.

## Sunday, March 6, 2011

### Computer Architecture # 03 : Arithmetic

3.1 Overview
In the previous chapter we explored a few ways that numbers can be represented in a digital computer, but we only brieﬂy touched upon arithmetic operations that can be performed on those numbers. In this chapter we cover four basic arithmetic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. We
begin by describing how these four operations can be performed on ﬁxed point numbers, and continue with a description of how these four operations can be performed on ﬂoating point numbers.
Some of the largest problems, such as weather calculations, quantum mechanical simulations, and land-use modeling, tax the abilities of even today’s largest computers. Thus the topic of high-performance arithmetic is also important. We conclude the chapter with an introduction to some of the algorithms and techniques used in speeding arithmetic operations.