Concept

Computer architecture

Summary
In computer science, computer architecture is a description of the structure of a computer system made from component parts. It can sometimes be a high-level description that ignores details of the implementation. At a more detailed level, the description may include the instruction set architecture design, microarchitecture design, logic design, and implementation. The first documented computer architecture was in the correspondence between Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace, describing the analytical engine. While building the computer Z1 in 1936, Konrad Zuse described in two patent applications for his future projects that machine instructions could be stored in the same storage used for data, i.e., the stored-program concept. Two other early and important examples are: John von Neumann's 1945 paper, First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC, which described an organization of logical elements; and Alan Turing's more detailed Proposed Electronic Calculator for the Automatic Computing Engine, also 1945 and which cited John von Neumann's paper. The term "architecture" in computer literature can be traced to the work of Lyle R. Johnson and Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., members of the Machine Organization department in IBM's main research center in 1959. Johnson had the opportunity to write a proprietary research communication about the Stretch, an IBM-developed supercomputer for Los Alamos National Laboratory (at the time known as Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory). To describe the level of detail for discussing the luxuriously embellished computer, he noted that his description of formats, instruction types, hardware parameters, and speed enhancements were at the level of "system architecture", a term that seemed more useful than "machine organization". Subsequently, Brooks, a Stretch designer, opened Chapter 2 of a book called Planning a Computer System: Project Stretch by stating, "Computer architecture, like other architecture, is the art of determining the needs of the user of a structure and then designing to meet those needs as effectively as possible within economic and technological constraints.
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