Computer Systems Design and Architecture (Hardcover)

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The text has up-to-the-minute coverage of the latest developments in microprocessors, including ALU, pipelining, memory hierarchy, networks and the Internet. And, rather than focusing on a single type of architecture, Heuring and Jordan examine both CISC and RISC models at the ISA level using the unambiguous language of RTN (Register Transfer Notation), allowing for a more in-depth appreciation of different machine structures and functions.

Back Cover

A Balance of Art & Science

Desktop computers have evolved from simple, stand alone units into complex systems attached to high-speed networks and internetworks. This book is a systems oriented approach to modern computer architecture that is shaped by the design experience of the two engineers who built the first stored program optical computer. Emphasis is on the techniques used to achieve high performance in computer construction while describing the real-world tradeoffs involved in designing for optimal performance at an acceptable cost.


The design focus is from three perspectives: the gate level, the instruction-set-architecture level, and the computer system level. These views are used throughout the text stressing interrelationships, and showing the tasks, responsibilities, and tools used by computer design team members working at each level.


  • In-depth coverage of state-of-the-art topics such as pipelined processor design, memory hierarchy, networking, and the Internet.
  • Understandable, step-by-step explanation of the design process for a model architecture, from the instruction set design level to the processor design level.
  • A simple formal description language (RTN)used throughout to describe machine structure and function.
  • Clear, effective 2 color illustrations.
  • A comprehensive tutorial on digital logic design, providing background material for readers without previous digital design experience.
  • Extensive instructional support materials, including over 600 electronic lecture transparencies, and a complete solutions manual available for instructors. Software support tools include an assembler and simulator for the model architecture written in ANSI C.


Computer Systems Design and Architecture is a practical introduction and discussion of some common commercial architectures, created with a strong electrical and computer engineering perspective. It is suitable for an introductory course on computer design, and as a reference for the practicing computer engineer.
With a contribution by Miles Murdocca

Product Details
ISBN: 9780805343304
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Publication Date: November 1st, 1996
Pages: 600