Ever wonder exactly what your CPU is doing? Or what the first computer bug was? Give it a watch.
Intel has started releasing a series of explainer videos as part of a new series called Architecture All Access, and it's actually a good way to learn more about your PC. In each video, senior Intel leaders will go deep on a particular facet of how computers work, starting with, unsurprisingly, the CPU. With the competition between AMD and Intel so fierce right now, it's a great time to learn about the brain of a modern PC.
This week's two-part course is Modern CPU Architecture hosted by Boyd Phelps, the CVP of client engineering at Intel. Phelps has worked on Intel CPUs dating back to Nehalem in 2008, up through the recent Tiger Lake chips.
Tʜᴇre's a ʟᴏᴛ ᴛᴏ ᴛᴀᴋᴇ ɪɴ ꜰʀᴏᴍ tʜᴇse videos, ʙᴜᴛ ɪꜰ ʏᴏᴜ ʜᴀᴠᴇ sᴏᴍᴇ tiᴍᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴋɪʟʟ tʜɪs ᴡᴇekᴇɴᴅ, ʏᴏᴜ cᴀɴ lᴇᴀʀn ᴀʙᴏᴜᴛ tʜᴇ ʜɪstᴏʀy ᴏꜰ CPUs, ᴀɴd ɢᴇᴛ ᴛᴏ ᴛᴀᴋᴇ sᴏᴍᴇ ᴅᴇᴇᴘ dives ɪɴᴛᴏ tʜᴇ ᴍᴏʀᴇ advᴀɴced CPU arcʜɪᴛecture cᴏɴcepts. Pᴀʀᴛ ᴏɴe ᴄᴏᴠᴇʀs tʜᴇ ʙʀᴏᴀᴅ strokes ᴏꜰ whᴀᴛ CPUs ᴀʀᴇ ᴀɴd whᴀᴛ tʜᴇy ᴅᴏ, ᴀɴd ᴀʟsᴏ hᴀs a greᴀᴛ stᴏʀy ᴀʙᴏᴜᴛ tʜᴇ ꜰɪʀsᴛ comᴘᴜᴛer bug. (Spᴏɪʟers: It wᴀs ᴀɴ ᴀᴄᴛual bug.) Pᴀʀᴛ ᴛᴡᴏ ᴄᴏᴠᴇʀs tʜᴇ ᴋᴇʏ pᴀʀᴛs ᴏꜰ a CPU ɪɴ a "microarcʜɪᴛecture ᴅᴇᴇᴘ dive" ᴀɴd ɢᴏes ɪɴᴛᴏ tʜᴇ future ᴏꜰ comᴘᴜᴛɪɴg ɪɴ tʜᴇ comɪɴg yᴇᴀʀs.
Phelps does a great job explaining complex topics like branch prediction and CPU microarchitecture in a digestible way. The series doesn't require a doctorate in computer engineering to understand, which is always a plus.