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Saturday, 26th of January 2008 (26-01-2008)

Machine Structures

Overview Lecture 1

Lecture Type-td Video Webcast-trSchool-td UC Berkeley-trCost-td Free-trTeacher-td John Wawrzynek-trField-td Computer Science-trVideo URL-tdberkeley webcast-trClass Site-td ~cs61c-trCourse ID-tdCS 61C-trDuration-td 47m 34s
John Wawrzynek Berkeley
John Wawrzynek Berkeley -te

Course Goals

The course aims at teaching students the C programming language and giving them an understanding of how the software interacts with the hardware and how things work at a very fundamental level.

Instructor John Wawrzynek

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Books Needed




Some sites have ebooks. Peer 2 peer networks like emule seem to have the books but beware because that would be illegal to download.

Other Requirements

You're going to need a compiler. Try compiler portal. Wawrzynek says he doesnt use windows. You can try downloading a linux distribution for easier development. Only have one computer? No problem download knoppix and you can run linux on windows without deleting or unconfiguring anything. Cygwin and minigw also have gcc compiler. Review


  • Free Berkeley Course
  • Teacher Speaks Clearly


  • Terrible lighting on slides the teacher primarily relies on to teach
  • Goes over what most people already know
  • The projector is covering up the title on many slides
  • Pretty soft sound
  • You can't participate in the labs

Lecture Notes

Machine Layers

Software: Compiler, Assembler
Hardware: Processor | Memory | IO Systems
.id. Datapath & Control
.id. Digital Design
.id. Circuit Design
.id. Transistors

This is a coordination of the many "(layers | levels) of abscraction". It doesnt matter if it's an MP3 player computer or a microwave, this basic design applies to most devices.

Levels of Representation

  • High Level Language
  • Assembly Language Program e.g. :
  • Machine Language Program
  • Machine Interpretation
  • Architecture Implementation (logical Circuit Description[Circuit Schematic Diagrams[[gates]]])

Anatomy: 5 Components of Any Computer

Processor: Control, Datapath

Memory: Open Programs and Data storage

Devices: Input (keyboard, mouse, network), Output (LCD, Printer)

Overview of Physical Implementations

Integrated Circuits

Combinational logic circuits, memory elements, analog interfaces.

Printed Circuits (PC) Boards

Substrate for ICs and Interconnection, distribution of CLK,Vdd, and GND signals, heat dissipation.

Carrier for the chips. Suppy power into the integrated circuits. Provide heat dissipation.

Power Supplies

Converts line AC voltage to regulated DC low voltage levels.


Holds boards, power supply, provides physical interface to user or other systems.

Connectors and Cables

Integrated Circuit

  • Primarily Crystalline Sillicon.
  • 90nm is the size of the smallest transistor
  • contains 100-250M transistors 25-100M :
    w2logic gates
  • 3-10 Conductive layers
  • CMOS Complimentary metal OXide Semiconductor

The package the chip is in helps to spread the heat, and spread signal paths to board level. It's usually made of Ceramic or plastic with gold wires.

Printer Circuit Board

  • Fiberglass or ceramic
  • 1-20 Conductive layers
  • 1-20 on a side
  • IC packages are soldered down
  • Provides
    • mechanical support
    • Distribution of power

Technology Trends for Single Chip DRAM Capacity

Memory now increases 1.4 times it's capacity every year or 2 times every 2 year (?).

It is 8000 times more than its 1980s value.

Evolution of Intel Micro Processors

Moores Law says that we'll have 2 times more transistors per chip every two years. Gordon Moore said this initially, that the number of transistors would double every year. He then updated it every 18 months. It's actually 24 months.

Shrinking number of companies making micro processors (Writer Note: AMD RULES SO MUCH MORE. DIE DELL DIE).

Any other kind of technology hasn't grown anywhere near comparible. Teacher compares it to cars.

At some point the exponential increase is going to stop. The limit is how small the media can be the devices use and function properly. The teacher predicts within the next 10 years the growth will slow and we'll be looking for a new technology to continue the growth.

The new techology provides us with applications we've never had before. For example, in games very fast processing is required for the lifelike graphics processing so we can see very realistic looking graphics. With faster processors we can also have better, cheaper servers which make new services and features available for the world wide web.

Faster Processes

Shows a graph of how processors have gotten faster. Processors have slowed down slightly recently to 29% growth per year. It's harder and harder to take advantage of the transistors.



2x faster every 1.5 years since 85. 100 times increase in the last decade.


DRAM capacity 2x every 2 years since 96. 64 times increase in the last decade.

Disk (including cds and removable??)

Capacity 2x every 1 year since 97. 250 times increase in the last decade. They are not made out of integrated circuits but use similar technology.

This course hasn't changed much in 20 years

The way computers are built are basically the same.

Plots Ray Kurtzwell's graph from MIT

The graph shows technology since 1900 based on how many computerations per second per dollar. The graph is plotted dots showing a relatively straight line. When one technology runs out of steam something faster comes out to replacement. Sillicon will be replaced by something else once it's growth has slowed.

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