What is the Evolution of Computer Architecture?

The term ‘computer architecture’ was coined in 1964 by the ‘chief architects’ of the IBM System/360 in a paper announcing the most successful family of computers ever built. The interpretation includes the definitions of the registers, memory, the instruction set, instruction formats, addressing modes, and the actual coding of the instructions excluding implementation and realization.

In 1947, with the creation of transistors, which were a fraction of the estimate of the vacuum tubes and exhausted less power, using transistors for evaluating became simpler, but still, the complex circuits were not simple to manage.

The creation of Integrated Circuits in 1958, transformed the game. The concept was to take the whole circuit, with all its elements and the relations between them, and regenerate the entire thing in an imperceptible tiny structure on the area of an element of silicon.

Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce created the Integrated Circuit at the equivalent time. How ridiculous this is, two men, create similar technology, at a similar time, while not understanding each other.

In 1968, Robert Noyce co-founded Intel Electronics organization which is the worldwide market leader in IC producing, research, and development. IC is also referred to as an integrated circuit. It is a complete electronic circuit including more than one single element including transistors, diodes, resistors, capacitors, and the conductive pathways that linked all the elements, all made from an individual element of silicon crystal.

Bell and Newell made an important contribution to the concept of computer architecture by introducing a hierarchical, multilevel description (Bell and Newell, 1970). They identified four levels that can be used for describing a computer. These are the electronic circuit level, the logic design level, the programming level, and the processor-memory-switch (PMS) level.

The fourth level is a top-level description of a computer system based on the specification of the basic units like the processor, memory, etc., and their interconnections. The next step in refining the concept of computer architecture was to extend the concept of computer architectures equally to both the functional specification and the hardware implementation.

The elementary computer requires about eight electronic switches to save an individual byte (character) of data. Therefore if we design to construct a simple computer with sufficient memory to save this paragraph. It has about 450 characters, therefore it would need 450 x 8, about 3600 electronic switches.

Updated on: 24-Jul-2021

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