City architecture and computer architecture have many similarities in their form and function--how they are physically built, how their parts connect, and how these connected parts operate. Some of the similarities are evident from their sharing of words; "gate", "port", "pipeline", and "architect" are used to describe computer architectures and the people who design them, but these words and concepts are derived from ancient cities.
Soon after young people growing up in cities begin exploring their homes the storage places (drawers and and cupboards), controlled openings (doors and windows), and hallway connections inside their homes -- they begin to understand how these parts work and what can be done with them. By the time they begin driving a car, their understanding expands to their city's road network which gives access to much bigger and more complex forms and functions. This understanding of how cities work can illuminate details about how computers and microprocessors work.
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About the speaker:
|Forrest Warthman was educated as an architect and city planner, but he has worked as a writer in the computer and semiconductor industries for most of his career. He is the founder and Principal Writer of Warthman Associates, a technical writing group serving computer and semiconductor manufacturers. He has written hundreds of technical documents describing the architecture of computer systems and microprocessors, the grammar of computer languages and circuit-design tools, and the methods of operating semiconductor-fabrication equipment.|
|Martin Morf is an expert in the theory of information, control, estimation, and computer architecture. He has been a Visiting Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, Co- Director of the Stanford Computer Architecture and Arithmetic Group, Professor of Computer Science at ETH Zurich, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Yale University, and Visiting Professor at NASA/Ames Research Center, Stanford University's Center for Integrated Systems, Xerox PARC, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, and ETH Zurich's Institutes for Control, Biomedical Engineering, and Mathematics.|
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