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0
votes
1answer
124 views

Why are floats called “real numbers” in some languages?

Some programing languages, notably Pascal, have a type of numbers called "real". However, mathematically speaking, these types aren't real. For them to be "real", these types have to be able to ...
5
votes
2answers
344 views

Are there alternatives to stack+heap+static memory model?

All programs I have seen organize their data memory into one or more call stacks (usually fixed size, but sometimes not), the heap, and static memory. Lately thread-local static storage has been ...
5
votes
2answers
370 views

Why isn't exponentiation hardware-implemented?

Why is there no exponentiation operation in hardware, even though many languages have builtin operators for it? Is it because even hardware implementations would need to use the same algorithm as ...
4
votes
2answers
599 views

How long is a typical modern microprocessor pipeline?

I learnt some about pipelining but those were 4-stage and 5-stage and I think that modern pipelining typical is much longer and more complicated in practice. How long are typical pipelines and how ...
-5
votes
2answers
115 views

Calculate transfer time while accounting for loss of conductivity and speed over circuits [closed]

So based on my limited understand of how computers work I derived the following question. As you transfer things over circuits the circuits heat up. As they heat up they lose conductivity and ...
2
votes
2answers
712 views

Flat addressing vs. segmented addressing

Is flat addressing model generally superior to a segmented one? If so, why? If not, what instances would call for each over the other and why? My understanding of memory models surrounds the ...
2
votes
1answer
323 views

Can we illustrate a CPU pipeline with a UML sequence diagram?

I study multicore pipelining and the diagrams are not UML sequence diagrams for instance Why not remake this diagram like an UML sequence diagram, would not that be more clear so that we can see ...
6
votes
1answer
216 views

Hardware that accelerates pointer dereferencing?

Most modern languages make a heavy use of pointers / references: a typical OOP language uses VMT lookups, a typical functional language builds key data structures out of pointers, etc. Even typical C ...
2
votes
1answer
223 views

Is a CPU a computer?

I read that a computer is made up of the CPU and the memory. I also read that the CPU itself contains a cache which is memory. So if the CPU itself contains the memory, isn't the CPU a computer? ...
2
votes
1answer
206 views

Why did Aiken decided to separate data and instructions in the Harvard Mark I?

When Aiken devised the Mark I, why did he decided to separate data and instructions? It was not mentioned in Wikipedia (or in any other searches I've looked) on how or why Aiken separated data and ...
2
votes
1answer
250 views

Is there genetic relationship between ARM and PDP-11 architectures?

Reading about ARM architecture I found many similarities to PDP-11 architecture which did not exist between ARM and x86. For example, General-purpose registers named Rx compared to AX, BX,... for ...
10
votes
9answers
3k views

How does understanding computer architecture help a programmer? [duplicate]

It is said, by Mike P. Wittie, in the course curriculum of computer architecture that, Students need to understand computer architecture in order to structure a program so that it runs more ...
7
votes
1answer
695 views

How are operating systems compiled and booted the very first time?

I'm interested in how operating systems work. I've been reading some articles about Linux and seem to understand how it all generally comes together, but I feel like there's a chicken and egg dilemma ...
1
vote
2answers
315 views

How Do Computers Process Conditional/Input/ Event Based Code?

I understand that computers are basically a complex system of electrical signatures that can calculate based on logic boards, and some sort of gate mechanism, but how do computers process something ...
7
votes
3answers
566 views

Why isn't DSM for unstructured memory done today?

Edit: Comments suggested, that DSM just faded out by being not used recently. What were the reasons for this, what are DSMs drawbacks? Literature lists many positive aspects like easy to port ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Instruction vs data cache usage

Say I've got a cache memory where instruction and data have different cache memories ("Harvard architecture"). Which cache, instruction or data, is used most often? I mean "most often" as in time, not ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

How many bits' address is required for a computer with n bytes of memory?

How many bits of address is required (for the program counter for example) in a byte-addressed computer with 512 Mbyte RAM? What does the formula look like? How is this connected with the fact that ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I tell whether my computer is Harvard or von Neumann architecture?

I understand the difference between the two architectures is the separation of instructions from data in the Harvard architecture. But how do I know which type of system I'm on? Is it possible to ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Has Little Endian won?

When teaching recently about the Big vs. Little Endian battle, a student asked whether it had been settled, and I realized I didn't know. Looking at the Wikipedia article, it seems that the most ...
2
votes
1answer
216 views

List structures in memory

Could anyone give an overview of how list structures which are composed of a head and a tail which references the rest of the list i.e linked list are represented in memory of the computer? Does the ...
1
vote
1answer
222 views

When to distinguish OS versions in canonical names for target platforms

I would like to organize my company's software releases by platform. I've looked at how Mozilla, Perforce, and Apache organize their releases, and it seems that I should partition by OS and processor ...
5
votes
2answers
766 views

Why do computer architecture textbooks prefer MIPS architecture?

I have read a lot of computer architecture textbooks, and I wonder why most of them (if not all) used MIPS as the architecture to teach. Why MIPS and not Intel or AMD or something else? What makes the ...
2
votes
3answers
448 views

Computers that operate exclusively on boolean algebra

I was wondering if there are any computers that operate exclusively on boolean operations. For example, no add, sub, mult, or div in the instruction set (although these could be emulated with the ...
2
votes
3answers
153 views

Making a basic computer that adds number passed by the user [closed]

What are the things that I should be familiar with to make my own computer that can add two numbers, in the same way that happens in a calculator? Can anyone please give me links that teach these ...
6
votes
4answers
587 views

Low Level Exercises [closed]

I'm pretty comfortable with high-level languages and application development. However, although I have learned about low level topics such as the ones listed below, I have never done anything with ...
3
votes
1answer
520 views

Is it possible to take a binary compiled for ARMv7 architecture and convert it to ARMv6?

Is it possible to take a binary compiled for ARMv7 architecture and convert it to ARMv6 ? Are there any tools that can do this?
9
votes
8answers
4k views

Learning computer architecture as a programmer [closed]

I typically run across gurus at SO and other places (instructors, book authors etc.) that would say something along the lines "This will cause alignment issues" or other low level tidbits. I want to ...
13
votes
4answers
426 views

Can increased usage of higher and higher programming languages lead to a deficit of programmers with computer architecture knowledge?

Quote from Wikipedia of the article "High-level programming language": A high-level programming language is a programming language with strong abstraction from the details of the computer. In ...