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CPU Architecture books?

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April 23, 2012 8:05:55 AM

I want to start learning whats going on inside the CPU and its basic structure. Does anyone know any good websites, videos, or books that can help me understand CPU Architecture?

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a c 170 à CPUs
April 23, 2012 8:54:03 AM

"Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface"

Great textbook used in a lot of university computer engineering classes
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a b à CPUs
April 23, 2012 12:31:16 PM

No one book is going to get you there. There are a few concepts you need to really understand what's going on. There were three classes I had in college that addressed this kind of stuff.

Predicate Logic, which forms the basis of binary systems. Pretty easy stuff, could probably knock it out in an afternoon or two with the relevant Wikipedia articles.

Digital Logic Circuits, which is about building systems out of logic gates (ultimately how CPUs are designed and built). Much less easy stuff if you do more than just read the Wikipedia page. There are some free programs out there you can use to design and test virtual systems you built out of the various logic gates. Just building something like a simple 8 bit adder can teach you a surprising amount about how this all works.

Finally, Computer Architecture, which is about the actual problems involved in producing complex, efficient processors. Senior level class, one of the hardest I've ever had. Teaching yourself this is about on par with teaching yourself Calculus, I'd say. Not impossible, but most people who claim to have done so are full of crap or think reading a couple Wikipedia articles and remembering one or two terms counts as knowing the subject.
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April 27, 2012 6:49:03 AM

willard said:
No one book is going to get you there. There are a few concepts you need to really understand what's going on. There were three classes I had in college that addressed this kind of stuff.

Predicate Logic, which forms the basis of binary systems. Pretty easy stuff, could probably knock it out in an afternoon or two with the relevant Wikipedia articles.

Digital Logic Circuits, which is about building systems out of logic gates (ultimately how CPUs are designed and built). Much less easy stuff if you do more than just read the Wikipedia page. There are some free programs out there you can use to design and test virtual systems you built out of the various logic gates. Just building something like a simple 8 bit adder can teach you a surprising amount about how this all works.

Finally, Computer Architecture, which is about the actual problems involved in producing complex, efficient processors. Senior level class, one of the hardest I've ever had. Teaching yourself this is about on par with teaching yourself Calculus, I'd say. Not impossible, but most people who claim to have done so are full of crap or think reading a couple Wikipedia articles and remembering one or two terms counts as knowing the subject.


Interesting. Do you know any of those free programs you mentioned about Digital Logic Circuits?
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April 27, 2012 10:13:26 PM

willard said:
I used AUSIM, it's a tool developed by Auburn University to simulate logic circuits. Was easy to use, not a ton of features.

http://www.eng.auburn.edu/~strouce/ausim.html



I know for graphics cards they use different architecture for NVIDEA and AMD, so I was wondering, are there any books or programs that will actually let me see what those architectures are and possibly even let me change them to see what affects happen? Maybe even design my own system through a program?
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a b à CPUs
April 27, 2012 10:38:40 PM

You're talking about really high level stuff in really complex systems. Billions of transistors, well outside the reach of novices. You'd probably need a master's degree in computer engineering to be effective in any capacity, as well as a massively powerful system to simulate the circuitry. Plus, I'm sure all the information you'd need to even try are closely guarded trade secrets.

AUSIM and other similar tools work at the level just above transistors, logic gates. These are the things that you send ones and zeroes through to get out either a one or a zero. Put a bunch together and you can perform arithmetic, store data and all the other neat stuff computers do.

Higher level than that and you're not going to have much luck without formal training.
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April 28, 2012 4:42:04 AM

Ok, thank you. Helped a bunch
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April 28, 2012 4:42:21 AM

Best answer selected by PC Beginner.
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a b à CPUs
April 28, 2012 10:24:56 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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