From P. Sivaramakrishna Das: I express my gratitude to the chairperson, Dr. Elizabeth Varghese and the directors of KCG College of Technology for giving me an opportunity to write this book.
From P. Sivaramakrishna Das and C. Vijayakumari: We are grateful to the members of our family for lending us their support for the successful completion of this book. Special thanks are due to our daughter S. Sathiyapriya, our niece V. S. Anushanthi and our student J. Jayalakshmi for their help in proofreading the chapters.
We are obliged to Sojan Jose and M. Balakrishnan of Pearson Education for their diligence in bringing this work out to fruition. We thank King D. Charles Fenny, R. P. Mathivathani and Badari Vishal Adavikolanu for evincing keen interest in this book.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS TO THE SECOND EDITION
In this second edition, I have added a few more chapters to the book. I would like to acknowledge the support and help received for this endeavour from many quarters. I profusely thank Sajana Ranjit (Learning Links, Bangalore) and Sumeet Verma (Intel, India) for getting me acquainted with the Intel University Alliance program. The program gave me an opportunity to know more about Intel’s x86 processors, especially the Atom processor, which I have written about, in Chapter 18. I am deeply indebted to Mr Shrikant Shah, Principal Design Engineer at Intel, Arizona, USA, for reviewing the material on the Atom processor and giving many helpful suggestions.
My students in NIT, Calicut, have always been my inspiration. The doubts and queries they asked, when I taught the course ‘Advanced Processor Architecture’, encouraged me to write Chapter 15, in which I have delved into the microarchitecture of the most recent processors. In addition, Muhammed Yazar (Amazon, India), when he was a final year Computer Science student, reviewed the chapter and offered many useful suggestions and revisions. I am extremely thankful to him. I also thank Arvind
E. Vijayan, final year Electronics Engineering student, who helped me with the online resources for the use of MASM in the latest versions of Windows.
I am also obliged to my colleague Dhanraj K. J., who helped in clarifying the theoretical concepts of multicore processors. This has definitely made Chapter 16 more attractive. I appreciate the efforts of the team at Pearson, especially Sojan Jose, Vijay Pritha and Ramesh M. R, with whom I interacted continuously in the process of this work.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS TO THE FIRST EDITION
As I complete writing this book, I realize, with a sense of deep humility that I have a lot of people to thank. I first thank Sojan Jose, editor at Pearson Education, who discovered the author in me. It was only his enthusiasm, encouragement and support that gave me the courage to embark upon this venture. Ramesh, Thomas and other team members of this project at Pearson Education have impressed me with their professionalism and I thank them wholeheartedly for all the work they have put in to complete this book.
After I finished writing the first few chapters, I used the material to teach a course to the fourth-semester students (B070EC batch). I remember that many students participated actively in the teaching–learning process, which, in effect, gave me tips and suggestions on how this book should be. I thank them all and place on record my appreciation of their curiosity and determination to delve into the subject beyond mere superficiality.
Many of my colleagues were instrumental in helping me in this venture. The discussions I had with Jagandand, EED, and Saidalvi, CSED, were fruitful and helped to evolve some of the topics discussed in this book. I am grateful to Anand, senior mechanic at the Embedded Systems laboratory, who assisted me in carrying out the hardware work associated with interfacing, and his expertise has indeed made the work easier for me. I thank Dr Lillykutty Jacob, former head of the department of electronics and communications engineering, who reduced the quantum of topics that I had to teach for one semester and enabled me to speed up the writing of this book. I am indebted to Kishore, who shared my duties at the microprocessor lab so that I could find time to complete the last few chapters as scheduled. I am obliged to my M.Tech students, Shiny and Shaeen, for their help in reading through some of the chapters, and to Sneha, Nitin, Venkat and Divya for their assistance in a few hardware experiments that were conducted in the course of writing this book.
It was Dr Mohamed Rafiquzzaman (Professor, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, USA) who introduced me to the MASM32 assembler and the Olly debugger that have been discussed in Chapter 15. I am indebted to him. I also thank Dr Krishna Vedula who was the chief organizer of the IUCEE workshop, where I got the opportunity to meet Prof. Rafi.
This book contains a lot of diagrams, and I was lucky to find a few people who could draw really well. I thank Shelitha, Beljith and Ranjusha for their help with the illustrations.
The last chapter of this book contains information on how the modern PC works. I thank Sajth, of Dot Computers, Calicut, for clarifying my doubts and queries on this topic and also for lending me the motherboard and components, which I have used for generating the images presented in that chapter. I appreciate the contribution of Rajesh of Raja Studio, Kattangal, who photographed the chips, boards and other components that feature in the opening pages of each chapter.
I acknowledge the support of my friends Dr Elizabeth Elias, Dr Sally George, Dr Jeevamma Jacob, Dr Sathidevi, Dr E. Gopinathan, Dr Suresh Babu, Dr Sreelekha and Dr Deepthi whose companionship has always been a source of great encouragement to me.
My department colleagues have always been helpful and I think I am lucky to be a part of this group of motivated individuals. I am deeply indebted to my institution for nurturing me for the past twenty-five years (almost) and giving me the freedom to grow.
I am happy that my family has always been a source of solace for me.
Last, but not the least, I thank my students. All these years, I have been inspired by them. I have wanted to learn and know more, only on account of their ‘demand’. I hope I will continue to have such students in the future as well.
Lyla B. Das