Definition

decoupled architecture

Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

1.  In general, a decoupled architecture is a framework for complex work that allows components to remain completely autonomous and unaware of each other. Cloud computing is sometimes said to have a decoupled architecture because the cloud provider manages the physical infrastructure, but not the applications or data hosted on it.

2.  In computing, the term decoupled architecture describes a processor in a computer program that uses a buffer to separate the fetch and decode stages from the execution stage. A decoupled architecture allows each component to perform its tasks independently of the others, while also enabling structural variations between source and target.

The buffer in a decoupled architecture separates the program’s memory access and execute functions. The buffer takes advantage of the parallelism between the two to achieve high-performance while preventing the processor from “seeing” any memory latency.

In theory, a larger buffer can increase throughput. However, larger buffers generate more heat and use more space. Plus, the entire buffer may need to be flushed if the processor has a branch misprediction, thereby wasting clock cycles and reducing the effectiveness of the decoupled architecture. For these reasons, processors generally use a multi-threaded design.

Decoupled architectures are typically used in very long instruction word (VLIW) architectures. Because decoupled architectures are not good at handling control intensive code, such as that used as nested branches in operating system kernels, they are not used in general purpose computing.

See also: coupling, loose coupling, multithreading, thread safe

This was last updated in March 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • Easter Egg

    - An Easter Egg is an unexpected surprise -- an undocumented procedure or unauthorized feature that's playful in nature or gives credit to the software developer or chip designer. (WhatIs.com)

  • term boosting

    - Term boosting is the ability to assign higher importance to specific words in a search engine query. In Google, for example, advanced search options allow you to identify words that must be found i... (WhatIs.com)

  • greedy algorithm

    - A greedy algorithm is a mathematical process that looks for simple, easy-to-implement solutions to complex, multi-step problems by deciding which next step will provide the most obvious benefit. (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Computing fundamentals

    - Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About decoupled architecturePowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.