New Undergraduate Textbook on Computer Architecture

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05 June 2009

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A new textbook in Computer Architecture has been published by Dan Page, a Senior Lecturer here in the department. Called a "A Practical Introduction To Computer Architecture" the book arises out of the innovative course taught to our first year undergraduates. 

The book is a blend of traditional teaching approaches. The discrete mathematics necessary for hardware design is mixed with the use of a hardware description language. Each concept required to design a concrete processor is illustrated with actual code, allowing 'hands-on' modelling and experimenting with digital logic and processor design. This unique approach encourages readers to derive their own conclusions via experimentation, enabling them to discover for themselves the fundamental and exciting topics of computer architecture.

The book includes a wide-ranging introductory chapter; outlines basic methods for evaluating processors; investigates advanced topics in processor design; presents a detailed description of a development tool-chain; provides a stand-alone tutorial on using SPIM; focuses on aspects of compilers which are closely tied to the processor; examines the concept of efficient programming; and, concludes every chapter with a set of example problems. This practical, reader-friendly textbook has been written with undergraduates in mind, and is suitable for self-study.

It is available from and