Each time a (particular) microprocessor company announces its latest and greatest CPU, headlines sprout across the globe heralding this latest leap forward in technology. Cyberphiles the world over would agree that such advances are laudable and deserving of fanfare. However, when similar advances are made in I/O technology, the story is apt to appear on page 29 of some obscure trade magazine. Under the glare of media hype, it is easy to lose sight of the integrated nature of computer systems. A 40% speedup for one component certainly will not make the entire system 40% faster, despite media implications to the contrary.

In 1967, Gene Amdahl recognized the interrelationship of all components with the overall efficiency of ...

Get Essentials of Computer Organization and Architecture, 5th Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.