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Evolution of Computer Technology
Computer Technology has come a long way from the first computer. Therefore, we now have much smaller and light weight objects such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets, etc… Technology makes thing more efficient and quicker. In today’s era technology had played a crucial role in our society. However, computer technology is always evolving and being updated to fit our current society needs and wants. The evolution of technology has enhanced the system performance with concept such as RISC, Pipelining, Cache memory, and Virtual memory.
The first thing we going to discuss is RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) architecture. According the class book “RISC is a design philosophy in which each computer instruction performs only one operation, instruction is all the same size, they have only a few different layouts, and all the arithmetic operations must be performed between registers.”(Lobur, 2015, pg. 823) The first RISC project came in the late 70’s and early 80’s from studies at Stanford, IBM, and UC- Berkeley. The idea of RISC architecture comes from CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer) architecture. “CISC architecture was the norm, the goal of CISC was to complete a task in as few lines of assembly code as possible. In this design, the compiler had to do very little work to translate a high-level language statement into assembly language.” (RISC Architecture, 2003) In contrary, RISC architecture reduces the number of cycles that an instruction takes to perform but have more instructions. “An instruction in RISC machines will take only one CPU cycle.” (Chatterjee, A Beginner’s…) Characteristics of RISC architecture reduced and restricted number of instructions, fewer number of addressing mode, only load and store instructions have access to memory, and has a pipeline architecture. RISC architecture has advanced and become more powerful than its predecessor. (Chatterjee, A Beginner’s…) “Almost all smartphone manufacturers use RISC devices as they are faster and less resource and power hungry.” Using a RISC processors performance is better due to simple instruction set, less chip space is used to reduce the instruction set, can be easily designed as compared to CISC, and lastly it cheaper because it uses smaller chips.
Next is Pipelining. Pipelining is a technique used for RISC processors. (Lobur, 2015) “Pipelining is the process of breaking down the fetch-decode-execute cycle into smaller steps (pipeline stages), where some of these smaller steps can be performed in parallel.” The overlapping in pipelining speeds up the execution. Instruction enter at one end and goes through various stages and exit the other end. This technique is used to increase the throughput of the computer system. Instruction pipeline reads instruction from the memory while previous instructions are being executed in other segments of the pipeline. Thus, we can execute multiple instruction simultaneously. (Chen, 2000) “The pipeline will be more efficient if the instruction cycle is divided into segment and the time is balanced by each pipeline stage.” Pipelining development has made the technique pipelining faster refers to super pipelining. “Super pipelining divides the pipeline into more steps. The more pipe stages there are, the faster pipeline is because each stage is then shorter.” (Chen, 2000) This mechanism has improved the computer performance much better because it makes it faster and simpler for one to understand.
Next is Cache memory. There are so many different types of computer memory because new technologies continue to be introduced to match the improvements in CPU design the speed of the memory must keep pace with the CPU. “Cache memory is a small, high-speed type of memory that serves as a buffer for frequently accessed data. Cache memory is high-speed memory it also comes at a high cost.” (Lobur, 2015, pg. 347). There are two basic types of memory Random Access Memory (RAM) and Read-Only Memory (ROM). “RAM is the main memory. RAM is used to store programs and data that the computer needs when executing programs, but RAM loses that data once the power is off. While on the other hand, ROM always retains data and stores critical information necessary to operate the system.” (Lobur, 2015, pg. 343). The cache memory is connected to a much larger main memory…where data from frequently used location maybe temporarily stored.” This better the computer performance because if data is found in cache, it can be loaded quickly in the CPU.
Lastly, is Virtual memory. Virtual Memory is a nonsystematic, memory that acts as an extension to main memory. The virtual memory is typically implemented using a hard dive. Virtual memory increases the available memory your computer can use by extending address space from RAM to hard drive. However virtual memory is always evolving. Something that has became very popular now for virtual memory is the use of USB flash drive and SD card. They both have very fast access time. “These solid-state device service requests up to 100 times faster than traditional hard drives.” (Lobur, 2015, pg. 345). The technological advancement of this device makes the computer performance enhancement great because the more memory you have the better for the user. According to a journal from Yale University by Li, K. states “Virtual memory has proven benefits. Today, almost every high-performance sequential computer has one.” Having other objects to use for memory can help save a lot of your space and memory from your desktop, laptop, etc…
RISC, Pipelining, Cache memory, and Virtual memory have all enhanced over the last 25 years to improve the system performance. Each adding their own attribute to the system and helpful to the user. Being a college student the concept that seems most important to me is the growing of virtual memory. Being that I used USB’s and SD card very often for my many classes and projects created in those classes. It allows me to save space on my computers and it also ley add fold on the USB where you can organize. Also, I love taking pictures and vide capturing moments, so the SD card is very important. Also, those things are smaller and easier to carry around and access data from anywhere. You can hook the up to any systems and be fine.
Chatterjee, Soham. A Beginners’ Guide to RISC and CISC Architectures. Retrieved fromhttps://medium.com/@csoham358/a-beginners-guide-to-risc-and-cisc-architectures-fc9af424db3b
Chen. C., Novick, G., & Shimano, K. (2000) Pipelining Stanford University Retrieved from
Li K. Shared virtual memory on loosely coupled multiprocessors. United States.
Lobur, J., & Null, L. (2015) Computer Organization & Architecture (4th ed.)
Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning
RISC Architecture. 2003. Retrieved from