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10CS74 Advanced Computer Architecture
B.E. Degree Examination
Seventh Semester

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1 Define Computer Architecture. Illustrate the seven dimensions of an ISA?(10 marks) (June 2012) (Dec 2012)(June 2011)(June 2013)(Dec 2013)(Jan 2014)
The computer designer has to ascertain the attributes that are important for a new computer and design the system to maximize the performance while staying within cost, power and availability constraints. The task has few important aspects such as Instruction Set design, Functional organization, Logic design and implementation.
Instruction Set Architecture (ISA)
ISA refers to the actual programmer visible Instruction set. The ISA serves as
boundary between the software and hardware. Th e seven dimensions of the ISA are:
i)Class of ISA: Nearly all ISAs today ar e classified as General-Purpose-
Register architectures. The operands are either Registers or Memory locations.
The two popular versions of this class are:
Register-Memory ISAs : ISA of 80x86, can access memory as part of many
Load -Store ISA Eg. ISA of MIPS, can access memory only with Load or
Store instructions.
ii)Memory addressing: Byte addressing scheme is most widely used in all
desktop and server computers. Both 80x86 and MIPS use byte addressing.
Incase of MIPS the object must be aligned. An access to an object of s b yte at
byte address A is aligned if A mod s =0. 80x86 does not require alignment.
Accesses are faster if operands are aligned.
iii) Addressing modes:Specify the address of a M object apart from register and constant
MIPS Addressing modes:
•Register mode addressing
•Immediate mode addressing
•Displacement mode addressing
80x86 in addition to the above addressing modes supports the additional modes of addressing:
i. Register Indirect
ii. Indexed
iii,Based with Scaled index
iv)Types and sizes of operands:
MIPS and x86 support:
•8 bit (ASCII character), 16 bit(Unicode character)
•32 bit (Integer/word )
•64 bit (long integer/ Double word)
•32 bit (IEEE-754 floating point)

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