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Take free online computer architecture courses from top schools and institutions on edX today!

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Learn on the go with the new edX mobile app. You can stream or download course videos and watch directly from your iPhone or Android device.

What is Computer Architecture?

A building isn't just a collection of materials haphazardly thrown together. It's carefully designed to withstand problems, provide long-lasting infrastructure, and give high-performance functionality. Even though computer hardware and a building don’t look that similar on the surface, computer systems are actually no different. Just like construction codes, computer architecture is a set of rules and systems that govern how a computer system operates. Without computer architecture, computer science is just a random set of algorithms with no overarching mission. Computer architecture encompasses a variety of things, including instruction set architecture, microarchitecture, and implementation. The operating system depends on this infrastructure, which begins with the work of thinkers like von Neumann, Babbage, Lovelace, and others. Now, modern computers can take advantage of the systems that house their organizational parts.

Learn about Computer Architecture

You may not consider most things in your house “computers, but in reality, we have a multitude of computers around our homes and offices. Everything from cell phones, smart washing machines, and network-enabled office devices houses some kind of computer system, all of which require computer architecture for clarity and consistency. Smart homes and offices require creative use of computer architecture. As a computer architect, you could provide data paths for both computers and supercomputers, facilitating pipelining, and ensuring consistency. Computer hardware is a critical part of advances we're making in computer science, so you could set yourself up to break through the barriers we have now for our processing power.

Computer Architecture Courses and Certifications

Some of the world’s leading research and innovation institutions have partnered with edX to bring you courses in forwarding-thinking computer architecture. MIT can teach you the fundamentals of Computer Architecture and computation structures, a course designed to introduce classical systems. For something cutting edge, Delft's Introduction to Quantum Computers and Microsoft's IoT Architecture course build on the skills you learn through classical computer architecture and help you with cutting edge processor designs. Other courses involve different hardware components and computer organization. System design for Cloud Computing (USM) or Virtual Reality (UC San Diego) get you ready to tackle some of the biggest things happening in computer performance today. Even the design of neural networks could help you build a career in system architecture that puts you right on the edge of what's possible with computers.

Build a Career in Computer Architecture

It's more than just hardware. It's redesigning computers to handle the processing power required for deep learning. It's building infrastructure for true cloud and edge computing. It's understanding the fundamentals of neural networks so that businesses can finally apply deep learning to their own business models. Put yourself in the shoes of what IBM started long ago, and you could be the one to break Moore's Law, design our next business intelligence computing system, or have some other breakthrough we haven't even though of yet. Pave the way for the next generation of developer and ignite your career.