Processors and Computation
Students need a solid understanding of the theoretical models for computation. They must also show knowledge of the many factors affecting the performance of processors. This includes a range of contemporary and historically relevant architectures, as well as the low-level processes common to them.
‘Unplugged’ resources, metaphorical models and detailed technical information can be found here. Topic requirements may vary between awarding bodies and their specifications.
Links and Resources
A range of activities for students to carry out, a good introduction to RISC and CISC architectures and develop and understanding of CPU and their characteristics.
A card game based on the classic game of Snap. This activity helps to cement the link between key terms and their meaning and reinforces links.
Supercomputers represent the pinnacle of computer performance. This resource from the University of York provides a fascinating history for students and will consolidate the key concepts that they have learned about high-performance computer architecture.
This document compares the Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) and Complex Instruction Set Computer (CISC) approaches. It provides a useful background and can be used as a reference or for producing revision resources.