Difference between Computer Architecture and Computer Organization

We know that a computer system is made up of several components. If you want to explore in-depth, just someday open the CPU box and see what it contains and how the components are arranged beautifully. You will come to know that each component is further divided into its subcomponent and have their particular function and structure.

Not only technical students but each one of us should be known to the working of the computer.  To understand the functions, characteristics, and performance of the computer system we study computer architecture and computer organization. Let us see the key difference between computer architecture and computer organization.

Difference between Computer Architecture and Computer Organization in tabular form

Computer Architecture
Computer Organization
Computer Architecture is the way hardware and software interact with one another to form a computer system, (what it does) Computer Organization is related to the structure and behaviour of a computer system (how it does)
Computer Architecture acts as an interface between hardware and software Computer Organization handles the connection components of the system
Firstly, computer architecture is considered while designing a computer Computer Organization is built after considering computer architecture
It provides us the functionalities of the computer system It helps us to understand how all the units in the system are interconnected
All the high-level design issue are handled by the computer architecture All the low-level design issue are handled by the computer organization
It comprises logical units (instruction set, registers, addressing modes, data types) It comprises physical units (peripherals, adders, circuit design)
Instruction set architecture also means computer architecture Microarchitecture also means computer organization

What is meant by Computer Architecture?

Let us easily understand this term. What do we understand by the word Architecture? We have seen many architects at the construction site who build buildings. Architecture is the art and style of building physical structures. Similarly, the computer system also has architecture. Through the design of architecture, we understand where what is located.

Computer architecture is the science that is related to designing computer systems. It deals with the structure and behaviour of the computer device.

Now, as discussed above the task of the building architect is to construct a building that is suitable for living, safe, and cost-efficient. Similarly, the computer architect aims to build and design the system in such a way that it is safe, comfortable to use, and cost-efficient, and is affordable to maximum users.

Computer architecture provides various attributes to the computer system that are required by the system software programmer to develop and modify the program. This architecture includes various instruction sets, information, formats, and techniques for addressing the memory.

Three main categories are considered while considering computer architecture.

System design, Instruction set architecture, and microarchitecture.

• System Design: System design consists of all the hardware components that are used to build the system. They can be CPU, data processors, direct memory access, multiprocessors. It is the actual part of the computer system.

• Instruction set architecture: As per its name, this set includes all the instructions provided to the system. It consists of the CPU’s functions and capabilities, its programming language, register types.

• Microarchitecture: it gives the minute detail about the data path or storage element and how the data should be implemented into the instruction set architecture.

Computer architecture handles all the high-level design issues and it is considered first while designing a computer.

Now let us dive into computer organization.

What is meant by Computer Organisation?

Computer organization gives an in-depth picture of the computer functionalities. It includes computer hardware and explains the interconnections between various functional blocks. If two computer systems have the same organizations they may have different architecture.

Computer organization deals with the way the hardware components are arranged and how they work to smoothly run the computer system. It gives detailed information about the hardware structure, such as control signals, peripherals, and various attributes. We need to understand that when designing a computer first the computer architecture is considered then the computer organization is decided.

The organization of the computer reveals the performance of the computer and describes the way it performs. It deals with the low-level issue regarding the design of the computer.

The CPU organization is of three types:

  1. Single Accumulator organization
  2. General register organization
  3. Stack organization

In a Single Accumulator organization, an operation is performed using the special register called the accumulator. General register organization uses multiple registers for computational purposes. The third, Stack organization, there is a use of stack as it does not contain any address field. It is not necessary that only one type can be used at a time. Nowadays, a blend of all these three types of organization is used.

We have seen the basic difference between computer architecture and computer organization. Also, we have dived into each concept individually.

Shraddha Changune
SVKM’s Institute of Technology, Dhule


1. https://electronics-club.com/difference-between-computer-organization-and-computer-architecture/
2. http://www.tutorialsspace.com/Computer-Architecture-And-Organization/01-Difference-Between-Computer-Architetcure-and-Organization.aspx
3. https://www.tutorialspoint.com/differences-between-computer-architecture-and-computer-organization

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