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Questions tagged [computer-architecture]

Questions about the organization and design of computer hardware.

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Why do computers become slow over time (HW PoV)?

I'm a SW engineer. I'm just curious why computers become slow over time. "Slow" here I mean from a usual user PoV: It takes more time to launch an application. Application UI takes longer ...
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Is kernel essentially an implementation of system calls?

In essence, is kernel basically the code that implements a set of system calls?
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Execution Time in Stage Pipeline

Exam Question: A five-stage pipeline has stage delays of 150,120,150,160 and 140 nanoseconds. The registers that are used between the pipeline stages have a delay of 5 nanoseconds each. The total time ...
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compute cache miss rate by given code

I have been trying to solve questions like this before but I have stumbled in difficulty to track the the space of the cache. so there is an example of a question like this: Given the code: ...
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Is the executable always loaded to the same place in the text segment?

I am reading a book about data architecture, and I am wondering about the text segment and the memory adresses. In one example(assembly using ARM) where the code was compiled there were adresses to ...
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Reference/notes for introduction to (von Neumann) architecture

I am interested in understanding what we mean by a von Neumann architecture and need something at a very introductory level. Does anyone know of any good and readable references or notes that will ...
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What does it mean to have the processor ignore interrupt request line?

I was reading a textbook on COA, it says If the processor is going to ignore the interrupt request line till the execution of the first instruction of the ISR, how will it know which device to ...
Jacob P.J's user avatar
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Page fault question

How many page faults are there in the following accesses of pages in case of FIFO mechanism where page frame size is 8? $$11,21,23,53,8,7,10,3,3,38,3,37,7$$ Soln: This question appeared in one of my ...
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Are really only ~1% of the physical CPU space used for computing

In a Talk by Herb Sutter C++ and Beyond 2012: Herb Sutter - atomic Weapons 1 of 2 at 46:30 the point is made that only around 15% of the physical space (or the transistors) on a CPU do actual ...
alektron's user avatar
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How do we run programs which are bigger than RAM itself

I know that whenever click on .exe, it will be moved into RAM so cpu can execute machine code line by line. But what if .exe is bigger than RAM? for eg: I play games which take up more space than my ...
Rambal heart remo's user avatar
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Belt-based mechanical computers

I've seen a lot of mechanical computers based on gears and rigid rods, but none so far that consequently use belts (not chains) for transmission of information. Belts allow for easy negation (by ...
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Resources to learn about the fundamentals of computers? [duplicate]

I have been wanting to learn more about how computers work. Getting way ahead of myself, but as in would it be possible to build a computer from scratch by myself? I mean build the individual parts ...
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Why do we rely on computers in critical fields?

I assume that computers make many mistakes (like errors, bugs, glitches, etc.), which can be observed from the amount of questions asked everyday on different communities (like Stack Overflow) showing ...
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Do all computers use parity checking? When does it happen?

I know that parity checking is testing for accurate data transmission between nodes in a communication network. When does this parity checking happen on a computer? Does it happen every time data is ...
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What kind of data does L1, L2, L3 cache hold?

I understand that caches are the smallest and fastest memory that is integrated into the CPU. However, what I am confused about is the information that it holds. From what I know, the capabilities of ...
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Is there any video where I can see how different data rates impact daily activities?

I've been learning about data speed and width and the rate of the bus where information is transmitted between components. But I can't see or understand how fast is the transmission. For example, in ...
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Are GPU's only a fraction of the cost of supercomputers?

According to wikipedia, the Frontier supercomputer is the largest supercomputer in the world, at 1 exaFLOPS, and cost 600 million USD. I am quite surprised that the largest supercomputer only has 1 ...
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What does interface and peripheral functions mean?

I know that interface means a point where any two things meet and interact, but I can't seem to wrap my head around the term when they use it in computers. A chipset performs interface and peripheral ...
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Finding bits per address in memory

I dont know if this is any important IRL, but I am trying to understand lines below. 4K words of main memory (this implies 12 bits per address). 4M X 16 means the memory is 4M long (4M = $2^2 \times ...
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Computer Architecture MIPS assembler with predictors

This MIPS code is given: ...
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What can be the topic of my assignment for presentation about overall computing performance?

I have received the below question for presentation. It was random assignment, its not my field. What is this specifically in Computer Architecture? how CPU and GPU architecture, memory bandwidth/...
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Are all CPU computations done using registers?

From my understanding, a CPU register is a temporary storage or working location built into the CPU itself. The CPU includes some functional units such as the ALU (which is part of the chip, as far as ...
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Does cache hit time include both time to read a cache and time to write a cache?

For example, if it takes 1 cycle to read the cache and 3 cycles to write the cache, is the hit time equal to 4 cycles? Also, does this vary based on whether the cache is an instruction cache or a data ...
LuminousStar's user avatar
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Can computers only add?

So recently I've been involved in a discussion and I was told that literally the only thing computer can do is addition. Is that true? What about logic operations? Aren't they performerd by physical ...
Marcin Belicki's user avatar
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How can this MIPS processor execute one instruction in one cycle?

I'm reading section 7.3 (SINGLE CYCLE PROCESSOR) of Digital Design and Computer Architecture, Second Edition by David Money Harris. At the end of the section the autor shows this MIPS processor and ...
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What does it mean unambiguously that a number is value 0 up to numerical precision?

I was reading that a quantity $x$ is $0$ upt to numerical precision. What does this statement formally mean -- especially in the context of numerical methods or real computers. I looked up in google ...
Charlie Parker's user avatar
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Difficulty understanding how federation increases cache performance for databases?

I am studying system design for distributed systems and in this page (https://github.com/donnemartin/system-design-primer), one of the following advantages was mentioned for federation for databases ...
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Von Neumann mixed with Havard in modern CPU?

Modern CPUs (for a very wider range of "modern") use separate data- and instruction-caches. So at the core they (probably) have separate busses for data and instructions. Does that make the &...
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What is the difference between clock cycle and clock period?

I'm reading Computer Organization and Design Sixth edition by Patterson and they define clock speed as this: Almost all computers are constructed using a clock that determines when events take place ...
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Performance of CPU with two caches

I was very confused how to solve the problem when there are two levels of cache, My doubt is how does we quantify the performance when there are two caches. Consider a problem like this Cache L1 ...
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preprocessing or real time for magnification of portions of video

Im new at CS and would like to gather preliminary information to approach an interactive art project. I want to construct a grid of videos - think about a matrix M = m x n where Mi,j is a video that ...
user305883's user avatar
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How bits translated into text on the screen?

recently i started studying computer science and computer graphics, and one question really haunts me. Mby someone can explain this. How bit patterns become translated into (for example ) text. I know ...
Artyom Vorontsov's user avatar
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In Programming data types size are depends upon what?

In Programming there is different data types (int , cahr , bool , float ) and they have different sizes (1,2,4,8 .. Bytes) , and the size of data type are depends upon hardware or architecture of ...
Hamza's user avatar
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4 answers
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Why is C still the fastest? Critique my take

A friend and I were surprised that C still has near-best performance among languages. I thought about why this is, and I wrote up a few paragraphs. I wonder if the friendly folks on CS stack could ...
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Assembly language addressing mode instructions

I am studying assembly language. I feel very difficult in understanding few instruction. ADD R1,R2,[R3] ADD R1, R2, R3 What is the difference between these two instructions. I think second instruction ...
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How are instructions from software sent to digital circuit in cpu?

I am studying computer architecture in my university and there is something that's troubling me. I get the bigger picture of how instructions are executed in the fetch - execute cycle and the complete ...
Ali Ahmed's user avatar
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Why place of MA in MB then copy from MB to IR rather than going straight from MA to IR

During the fetch stage of the fetch-execute cycle, why are the contents of the cell whose address is in the MA (memory address register) placed in MB (memory buffer) then copied to IR (instruction ...
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Max RAM capacity on modern cpus

I am wondering why modern consumer cpu usually has 128GB memory limit when server cpu supports terabytes. 128GB is really not that much. Do they really can't handle more RAM? How wide is their address ...
T k's user avatar
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Why do we not use continuous real quantities to represent continuous numbers

I've just been doing some pondering, and given the fact that computers already operate on fundamentally continuous physical quantities, and then we have to use transistors to turn those real ...
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8-bit binary to bcd converter Verilog

We have been given task to write a 8-bit binary to bcd converter Verilog code, using structural code NOT behavioural, is it possible to guide us how can we create 8-bit binary to bcd converter using ...
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Addition in One's Complement

It is my belief that addition in one's complement is done the same way as unsigned addition except that if there is a carry out in the most significant bit then that carry is added to the last ...
Bob's user avatar
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Calculate memory size given address and its value

Given the address 00011001111011101111101011011111 and it save a value 0x1FA0CBB7. Calculate the memory size in KB What i try: the address has 32 bits so the memory size is 2^32 = 4294967296 bytes ...
Huỳnh Nguyễn Ngọc Hải's user avatar
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3 answers
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Why is a 4 KB alignment requirement imposed on Intel Core i7 page tables for Linux

I'm reading CSAPP and couldn't wrap my head around this part: Summary of what the section says: Intel Core i7 support a 48-bit virtual address space and 52-bit physical address space. Core i7 uses a ...
Nicholas Humphrey's user avatar
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Superscalar design on SimpleScalar simulation

I've learnt theoretically Computer Architecture at uni.However I can't wrap my head around it in practice. I am using Simple Scalar tool to simulate a benchmark program with configurable computer ...
ankakusu 's user avatar
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Is there a meta-analysis of this concept anywhere?

In a textbook on systems and networks, it states "Stated broadly, a program tends to access a relatively small region of memory irrespective of its actual memory footprint in any given interval ...
Neel Sandell's user avatar
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How the data is transferred from main memory to hard disk?

I understand that data is transferred from the main memory to the CPU and vise versa using the data bus. But, I am unable to understand, how the data is being transferred from the main memory to the ...
Twinkle's user avatar
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Which part of the CPU is responsible for executing instructions

I was reading about the machine cycle. Everything was clear until I started with the execution of instructions. I know how an ALU and a CU work. I'm also aware of the process of fetching and decoding. ...
salluc 1's user avatar
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How does a CPU do function calls?

Besides basic instructions for a general-purpose computer (binary arithmetic, move instruction, and jump on condition), it seems you can't implement a universal turing machine (is that even the right ...
theDoctor's user avatar
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Alu architecture of a Hack Computer

I'm currently studying the ALU architecture (of a Hack computer) and how it works. As part of my assignments, I have been asked the following question: If we want the ALU to compute the function y-1, ...
Hynisel's user avatar
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2 answers
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Is it possible to build a computer whose "ALU" is a single NAND gate?

I am not asking about if it is possible to build a computer using only NAND gates, since that question has been asked infinite times. I wonder if it is possible to replace the “ALU” in the cpu of a ...
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