Introduction to Advanced Computer Architecture and Parallel Processing

Computer architects have always strived to increase the performance of their computer architectures. High performance may come from fast dense circuitry, packaging technology, and parallelism. Single-processor supercomputers have achieved unheard of speeds and have been pushing hardware technology to the physical limit of chip manufacturing. However,

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Computer architects have always strived to increase the performance of their computer architectures. High performance may come from fast dense circuitry, packaging technology, and parallelism. Single-processor supercomputers have achieved unheard of speeds and have been pushing hardware technology to the physical limit of chip manufacturing. However, this trend will soon come to an end, because there are physical and architectural bounds that limit the computational power that can be achieved with a single-processor system. In this book we will study advanced computer architectures that utilize parallelism via multiple processing units.

Parallel processors are computer systems consisting of multiple processing units connected via some interconnection network plus the software needed to make the processing units work together. There are two major factors used to categorize such systems: the processing units themselves, and the interconnection network that ties them together. The processing units can communicate and interact with each other using either shared memory or message passing methods. The interconnection network
for shared memory systems can be classified as bus-based versus switch-based. In message passing systems, the interconnection network is divided into static and dynamic. Static connections have a fixed topology that does not change while programs are running. Dynamic connections create links on the fly as the program executes.

 

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