Computer architecture

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Computer architecture is a branch of technical informatics that deals with the design of computers and especially with their organization as well as their external and internal structure (which is also referred to as 'computer architecture').


Gene Amdahl , Gerrit A. Blaauw and Frederick P. Brooks introduced the term architecture in 1964 to distinguish the common properties of all models of the IBM System / 360 from their very different designs in terms of technology, capacity and operating speed. This common ground should facilitate the exchange of computer parts and programs if the customer's needs change.

So it was an abstraction similar to the mathematical concept of an algebraic structure . In it, for example, arithmetic is abstracted through the rules for ordering and interchanging operands or the resolution of brackets in such a way that it applies to various basic sets and links, such as natural numbers with addition or sets with union.

The authors avoided the word abstraction by attempting a definition by enumeration in a footnote: “The term architecture is used here to describe the attributes of a system as seen by the programmer, ie the conceptual structure and functional behavior as distinct from the organization of the data flow and controls, the logical design and the physical implementation. "

Later authors such as Peter Stahlknecht and Ulrich Hasenkamp detailed, supplemented and changed this list, but lost sight of the aspect of commonality and abstraction. The term computer architecture lost its essential character and became a demanding catchphrase for any design.


Just as an architect of a building defines the principles and goals of a building project as the basis for the draftsman's plans, just as a computer architect defines the computer architecture as the basis for the actual design specifications.

The term is used for different meanings:


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gene M. Amdahl, Gerrit A. Blaauw, Fred P. Brooks: Architecture of the IBM System / 360 . In: IBM Journal of Research and Development, Volume 8, Issue 2, April 1964.
  2. Peter Stahlknecht, Ulrich Hasenkamp: Introduction to Business Information Systems . 11th edition, Springer, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-540-01183-8 .