Types of computer architecture (part 1)

"Computer architecture" could refer to any number of different things in the world of enterprise technology and computer engineering.

In the enterprise "computer architecture" is usually used to mean Instruction Set Architecture. Still no idea what i'm babbling on about? Let look at some examples of Instruction Set Architecture:

  1. x86
  2. x86-64
  3. ARM
  4. PowerPC
  5. RISC
  6. SPARC
  7. System 360/370 or Z/Architecture

At home, you'll find your PC is probably x86-64 architecture. Your phone is probably ARM based architecture. Your bank's mainframe is probably z/Architecture. The hardware in these devices will only support one particular Instruction Set Architecture. Any OS or software that is installed on this hardware will have been written for the particular Instruction Set Architecture. Windows is for the x86, x86-64 architecture (there is an ARM version of Windows now). Solaris is available in x86-64 and SPARC. 

This post is about awareness of Instruction Set Architecture (often called Computer Architecture). What is Instruction Set Architecture? What's the difference between these architectures? We look at this in "Types of computer architecture (advanced)"