Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach explores the ways that software and technology in the cloud are accessed by digital media, such as cell phones, computers, tablets, and other mobile devices. The book became a part of Intel's 2012 recommended reading list for developers, and it covers the revolution of mobile computing. The text also highlights the two most important factors in architecture today: parallelism and memory hierarchy. The six chapters that this book is composed of follow a consistent framework: explanation of the ideas in each chapter; a ""crosscutting issues"" section, which presents how the concepts covered in one chapter connect with those given in other chapters; a ""putting it all together"" section that links these concepts by discussing how they are applied in real machine; and detailed examples of misunderstandings and architectural traps commonly encountered by developers and architects. The first chapter of the book includes formulas for energy, static and dynamic power, integrated circuit costs, reliability, and availability. Chapter 2 discusses memory hierarchy and includes discussions about virtual machines, SRAM and DRAM technologies, and new material on Flash memory. The third chapter covers the exploitation of instruction-level parallelism in high-performance processors, superscalar execution, dynamic scheduling and multithreading, followed by an introduction to vector architectures in the fourth chapter. Chapters 5 and 6 describe multicore processors and warehouse-scale computers (WSCs), respectively. This book is an important reference for computer architects, programmers, application developers, compiler and system software developers, computer system designers and application developers.

Key Features

  • Part of Intel's 2012 Recommended Reading List for Developers
  • Updated to cover the mobile computing revolution
  • Emphasizes the two most important topics in architecture today: memory hierarchy and parallelism in all its forms.
  • Develops common themes throughout each chapter: power, performance, cost, dependability, protection, programming models, and emerging trends ("What's Next")
  • Includes three review appendices in the printed text. Additional reference appendices are available online.
  • Includes updated Case Studies and completely new exercises.


Computer Architects, Computer System Designers, Compiler and System Software Developers, Programmers, Application Developers

Table of Contents

In Praise of Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach Fifth Edition




Why We Wrote This Book

This Edition

Topic Selection and Organization

An Overview of the Content

Navigating the Text

Chapter Structure

Case Studies with Exercises

Supplemental Materials

Helping Improve This Book

Concluding Remarks


Contributors to the Fifth Edition

Contributors to Previous Editions

1. Fundamentals of Quantitative Design and Analysis

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Classes of Computers

1.3 Defining Computer Architecture

1.4 Trends in Technology

1.5 Trends in Power and Energy in Integrated Circuits

1.6 Trends in Cost

1.7 Dependability

1.8 Measuring, Reporting, and Summarizing Performance

1.9 Quantitative Principles of Computer Design

1.10 Putting It All Together: Performance, Price, and Power

1.11 Fallacies and Pitfalls

1.12 Concluding Remarks

1.13 Historical Perspectives and References

Case Studies and Exercises by Diana Franklin

2. Memory Hierarchy Design

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Ten Advanced Optimizations of Cache Performance

2.3 Memory Technology and Optimizations

2.4 Protection: Virtual Memory and Virtual Machines

2.5 Crosscutting Issues: The Design of Memory Hierarchies

2.6 Putting It All Together: Memory Hierachies in the ARM Cortex-A8 and Intel Core i7

2.7 Fallacies and Pitfalls

2.8 Concluding Remarks: Looking Ahead

2.9 Historical Perspective and References

Case Studies and Exercises by Norman P. Jouppi, Naveen Muralimanohar, and Sheng Li

3. Instruction-Level Parallelism and Its Exploitation

3.1 Instruction-Level Parallelism: Concepts and Challenges

3.2 Basic Compiler Techniques for Expos


No. of pages:
© 2012
Morgan Kaufmann
eBook ISBN:
Print ISBN:


Intel Recommended Reading List for Developers, 1st Half 2013 – Books for Software Developers, Intel
Intel Recommended Reading List for Developers, 2nd Half 2013 – Books for Software Developers, Intel
Intel Recommended Reading List for Developers, 1st Half 2014 – Books for Software Developers, Intel


"What has made this book an enduring classic is that each edition is not an update, but an extensive revision that presents the most current information and unparalleled insight into this fascinating and fast changing field. For me, after over twenty years in this profession, it is also another opportunity to experience that student-grade admiration for two remarkable teachers." — From the Foreword by Luiz André Barroso, Google, Inc.

"This is an academic textbook that is also suitable for a far broader readership. Each chapter is organised in the same structure, with the main content supported by case studies and exercises… Having read this book I now have a far better understanding of why processors from all the different designers and manufacturers are so different. Memory hierarchies, multicore architectures and compiler optimisation are all covered in great detail. I was particularly interested in their discussion of graphical processing units and how they are suitable for far more than just graphical workloads… What is great about this book is that it moves with the times. There is a lot of content on processors for mobile computing, and power usage is a pervasive theme. At the other extreme there is an excellent chapter on warehouse scale computers, which offers tremendous insight into the cloud computing infrastructure provided by Google, Amazon and others. If your job has anything to do with IT infrastructure then I recommend this book as a must-read. As an academic text book it has both depth and breadth. And if you're just interested in the topic you'll gain a huge amount of insight into the fundamentals of computer architecture."--The Chartered Institute for IT