Imagine you are the CEO of a large technology company whose primary products include microprocessors and operating systems

Imagine you are the CEO of a large technology company whose primary products include microprocessors and operating systems. You have three engineering departments. Each is headed by a passionate technologist in the role of chief engineer. Here are their proposals for introducing the next “killer” product:

 

1. The chief of microprocessor engineering wants to introduce the next generation of the instruction set architecture (ISA). She wants to offer a new ISA that revolutionizes the instructions set the way RISC did to CISC.

 

2. The chief of motherboard engineering wants to make radical changes to the peripheral component interconnect (PCI) interface for hardware that will double PCI transfer speeds of the company’s motherboards without negatively impacting compatibility with the existing PCI standard.

 

3. The chief of portability engineering wants to make the company’s portable operating system interface (POSIX) interface for system calls more compliant so that millions of Linux and Windows developers will have the same operating system interface.

 

· Describe which of these plans would you (as the CEO) approve and why? Be sure to justify your selection with technical details.

 

· Support the position of the original post or constructively offer a counterpoint that identifies some of the engineering tradeoffs that could result from the decision.

 

Resources:

 

Textbook: Modern Operating Systems, Chapter 1 (Sections 1.6–1.8)

 

Article:  A Backgrounder on IEEE Std 1003.1, 2003 Edition opens in new window This article provides some information about the history of POSIX, its intended audience, and its purpose.

 

Article:  RISC vs. CISC opens in new window This article provides information on how the two major ISAs compare.

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