Samuel Fuller
CTO Emeritus of Analog Devices, Inc. Ph.D. - Stanford.

Computer architecture is the study of the organization, design, and implementation of computer systems. It involves the selection of the hardware and software components that make up a computer system and the interactions between these components. It also includes the design of the memory hierarchy, the organization of the processor, and the interconnection of the various components in a computer.

One of the main components of computer architecture is the central processing unit (CPU), also known as the processor. The CPU is responsible for executing instructions and performing arithmetic and logical operations. It is the “brain” of the computer, and its design and performance are critical to the overall performance of a computer system.

Another important component of computer architecture is memory. Memory is used to store data and instructions that the CPU can access quickly. There are different types of memory, such as RAM and ROM, each with its own characteristics and uses. The memory hierarchy, which is the organization of memory in a computer system, is also an important aspect of computer architecture.

Computer architecture also includes the design of the input/output (I/O) subsystem, which is responsible for communication between the computer and the outside world. This includes devices such as keyboard, mouse, and display, as well as storage devices such as hard drives and solid-state drives.

Computer architecture also encompasses the design of the interconnection network, which is responsible for communication between the different components of a computer. This includes the bus, which connects the CPU to memory, and the network interface, which connects the computer to other computers or networks.

Computer architecture also includes the design of computer systems, such as multi-core processors, distributed systems, and parallel systems. Multi-core processors have more than one CPU core, which allows for better performance and improved power efficiency. Distributed systems involve multiple computers working together, while parallel systems involve multiple processors working together to solve a single problem.