Computer Architecture

Computer Architecture


Hello, my name is David Wentzlaff. I am a
professor at Princeton University, in the Electrical Engineering department. Before
becoming a professor, I was the lead architect of two of the world’s fastest multicore microprocessors. I am passionate about computer architecture, not only from an academic perspective, but
I love designing and building processors, thereby pushing the frontiers of computing.
In this course, we are going to investigate computer architecture. I see computing as
a key tool for fueling human innovation. Faster and more powerful computing drives human innovation
in drug discovery, designing better rockets, which will take us to faraway worlds, human
communication, such as the internet, and increases the understanding of our world through, for
example, weather modeling. I see computer architecture as the engine which drives the
rest of computing, because without faster, more power efficient, and more secure microprocessors, we are going to stunt this innovation. This course begins where Computer Organization
course leaves off. In this course, we learn not about how to design a basic microprocessor,
but rather, we will learn how to design advanced, modern-day processors, such as those found
in your computer. We learn how to utilize increasing numbers of transistors that we
have in each new silicon fabrication generation, and focus on exploiting different forms of
parallelism in programs, such as instruction-level parallelism, data-level parallelism, and thread-level
parallelism. We will develop and learn to design in detail processors such as superscalar
processors, which can execute multiple instructions at a time, processors which can execute instructions
out of order, processors which can operate on data in parallel, such as on matrices,
and processors which can execute multiple programs or threads at a time. I am glad to
have you join me for this exploration of computer architecture.

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