Computer Architecture: Components, Types, Examples | Spiceworks

  • Computer architecture is defined as the end-to-end structure of a computer system that determines how its components interact with each other in helping execute the machine’s purpose (i.e., processing data).
  • This article explains the components of computer architecture and its key types and gives a few notable examples.

What Is Computer Architecture?

Computer architecture refers to the end-to-end structure of a computer system that determines how its components interact with each other in helping to execute the machine’s purpose (i.e., processing data), often avoiding any reference to the actual technical implementation.

Examples of Computer Architecture: Von Neumann Architecture (a) and Harvard Architecture (b)

Source: ResearchGateOpens a new window

Computers are an integral element of any organization’s infrastructure, from the equipment employees use at the office to the cell phones and wearables they use to work from home. All computers, regardless of their size, are founded on a set of principles describing how hardware and software connect to make them function. This is what constitutes computer architecture.

Computer architecture is the arrangement of the components that comprise a computer system and the engine at the core of the processes that drive its functioning. It specifies the machine interface for which programming languages and associated processors are designed.

Complex instruction set computer (CISC) and reduced instruction set computer (RISC) are the two predominant approaches to the architecture that influence how computer processors function.

CISC processors have one processing unit, auxiliary memory, and a tiny register set containing hundreds of unique commands. These processors execute a task with a single instruction, making a programmer’s work simpler since fewer lines of code are required to complete the operation. This method utilizes less memory but may need more time to execute instructions.

A reassessment led to the creation of high-performance computers based on the RISC architecture. The hardware is designed to be as basic and swift as possible, and sophisticated instructions can be executed with simpler ones.

How does computer architecture work?

Computer architecture allows a computer to compute, retain, and retrieve information. This data can be digits in a spreadsheet, lines of text in a file, dots of color in an image, sound patterns, or the status of a system such as a flash drive.

  • Purpose of computer architecture: Everything a system performs, from online surfing to printing, involves the transmission and processing of numbers. A computer’s architecture is merely a mathematical system intended to collect, transmit, and interpret numbers.
  • Data in numbers: The computer stores all data as numerals. When a developer is engrossed in machine learning code and analyzing sophisticated algorithms and data structures, it is easy to forget this.
  • Manipulating data: The computer manages information using numerical operations. It is possible to display an image on a screen by transferring a matrix of digits to the video memory, with every number reflecting a pixel of color.
  • Multifaceted functions: The components of a computer architecture include both software and hardware. The processor — hardware that executes computer programs — is the
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