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Two Open-Access Computer Architecture Textbooks Released

November 25, 2023

Basic Computer Architecture
Next-Gen Computer Architecture

Prof. Smruti Sarangi has released two of his computer architecture textbooks along with PowerPoint slides, supplementary material, software and YouTube videos. The books (in PDF format) are free to read and download.

The first book, Basic Computer Architecture, is for 2nd year undergraduate students. It starts from number systems, basic logic gates and assembly language programming -- simpleRISC, ARM, x86 and RISC-V (to be added soon). Students are then introduced to basic processor design, pipelining, caches, memory systems, multiprocessors, storage systems and I/O.
Website: http://www.basiccomparch.com

The second book, Next-Gen Computer Architecture, is for final year undergrad. and early-stage post-graduate students. It starts with a detailed explanation of many variants of out-of-order processors and GPUs (with ample introduction to CUDA). The second part of the book focuses on caches, NoCs, multiprocessor memories and the main memory (detailed explanation of DDR-4 and NVMs). The last part talks about advanced topics: reliability, security, process variation, power and temperature management/modelling and processors for AI/ML. Two more chapters will be added soon: one on on-chip photonics and the other on quantum computing.
Website: http://www.nextgencomparch.com

A distinguishing feature of these two books is the novel pedagogic approach. A sincere attempt has been made to mathematically explain as many concepts as possible from first principles especially memory consistency, power modelling, security, ML hardware and process variation. Given that students are primed with a conventional training in mathematics, physics, electronics, algorithms and discrete math, they have found it easy to relate to these textbooks in at least the few countries in which courses based on these books have been taught.

The material in the PPT slides and screenshots from the books’ PDFs can be used in classes and in other presentations that are even for a commercial purpose (no permissions required as long as the source is acknowledged/cited).

The author (Smruti R. Sarangi) would love to receive suggestions and error reports via e-mail. The online versions will be periodically updated as and when bug reports and suggestions (technical or editorial) are received. The print versions are also available for both the books on Amazon in all major geographies.