From the Back Cover
In this remarkable book on computer design, long-known in the field and widely used in manuscript form, Gerrit A. Blaauw and Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. provide a definitive guide and reference for practicing computer architects and for students. The book complements Brooks' recently updated classic, The Mythical Man-Month, focusing here on the design of hardware and there on software, here on the content of computer architecture and there on the process of architecture design. The book's focus on architecture issues complements Blaauw's early work on implementation techniques. Having experienced most of the computer age, the authors draw heavily on their first-hand knowledge, emphasizing timeless insights and observations.
Blaauw and Brooks first develop a conceptual framework for understanding computer architecture. They then describe not only what present architectural practice is, but how it came to be so. A major theme is the early divergence and the later reconvergence of computer architectures. They examine both innovations that survived and became part of the standard computer, and the many ideas that were explored in real machines but did not survive. In describing the discards, they also address why these ideas did not make it.
The authors' goals are to analyze and systematize familiar design alternatives, and to introduce you to unfamiliar ones. They illuminate their discussion with detailed executable descriptions of both early and more recent computers. The designer's most important study, they argue, is other people's designs. This book's computer zoo will give you a unique resource for precise information about 30 important machines. Armed with the factors pro and con on the various known solutions to design problems, you will be better able to determine the most fruitful architectural course for your own design.
About the Author
Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., was born in 1931 in Durham, NC. He received an A.B. summa cum laude in physics from Duke and a Ph.D. in computer science from Harvard, under Howard Aiken, the inventor of the early Harvard computers.
At Chapel Hill, Dr. Brooks founded the Department of Computer Science and chaired it from 1964 through 1984. He has served on the National Science Board and the Defense Science Board. His current teaching and research is in computer architecture, molecular graphics, and virtual environments.
He joined IBM, working in Poughkeepsie and Yorktown, NY, 1956-1965. He is best known as the "father of the IBM System/360", having served as project manager for its development and later as manager of the Operating System/360 software project during its design phase. For this work he, Bob Evans, and Erick Block were awarded and received a National Medal of Technology in 1985.
Dr. Brooks and Dura Sweeney in 1957 patented a Stretch interrupt system for the IBM Stretch computer that introduced most features of today's interrupt systems. He coined the term computer architecture . His System/360 team first achieved strict compatibility, upward and downward, in a computer family. His early concern for word processing led to his selection of the 8-bit byte and the lowercase alphabet for the System/360, engineering of many new 8-bit input/output devices, and providing a character-string datatype in PL/I.
In 1964 he founded the Computer Science Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and chaired it for 20 years. Currently, he is Kenan Professor of Computer Science. His principal research is in real-time, three-dimensional, computer graphics-"virtual reality." His research has helped biochemists solve the structure of complex molecules and enabled architects to "walk through" buildings still being designed. He is pioneering the use of force display to supplement visual graphics.
Brooks distilled the successes and failures of the development of Operating System/360 in The Mythical Man-Month: Essays in Software Engineering, (1975). He further examined software engineering in his well-known 1986 paper, "No Silver Bullet." He is just completing a two-volume research monograph, Computer Architecture, with Professor Gerrit Blaauw. Now, 20 years after the initial publication of his book, Brooks has revisited his original ideas and added new thoughts and advice within The Mythical Man-Month, Anniversary Edition.
Brooks has served on the National Science Board and the Defense Science Board. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received the the IEEE John von Neumann Medal, the IEEE Computer Society's McDowell and Computer Pioneer Awards, the ACM Allen Newell and Distinguished Service Awards, the AFIPS Harry Goode Award, and an honorary Doctor of Technical Science from ETH-Zürich.
Gerrit A. Blaauw is Professor of Computer Science emeritus at Twente University of Technology in the Netherlands. A well-known pioneer in computer architecture, he participated first in the design of the Mark III and Mark IV calculators at Harvard University, and then the ARRA and FERTA computers. He later was one of the architects of the Stretch computer and of System/360 at IBM. He is a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and is the author of Digital System Implementation.