Thursday Apr 30, 2009

Computer organization and design

Just returned from Europe - customer visits and the OpenSPARC workshop in Brussels. Since I was doing a fair amount of air travel I took a number of books. With good timing, I'd just got a copy of Patterson & Hennessy's Computer Organisation and Design.

The book is certainly an interesting read. Although there are various ways you might read the book - or various lessons you might extract from it, I took it as basically a book that describes how to build a MIPS processor. Much of the work I do is at the hardware-software border, so I found it useful to read around the domain a bit more. The book is a relatively easy read, lots of detail (which I didn't need to memorise), and a nice pace that builds up from a simple core into a more complete implementation of a processor. The book has a chapter on multicore, but this was not treated to the same depth. There's also some material about GPUs, and that also didn't fit very well.

About

Darryl Gove is a senior engineer in the Solaris Studio team, working on optimising applications and benchmarks for current and future processors. He is also the author of the books:
Multicore Application Programming
Solaris Application Programming
The Developer's Edge

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