Difference Between Von Neumann and Harvard Architecture

Von Neumann Vs. Harvard Architecture: Understand the Difference Between Von Neumann and Harvard Architecture

The architecture of any micro-controller or a micro-computer mainly refers to the overall arrangement of the constituent CPU (it happens with respect to the ROM and RAM). Here, Harvard and Von Neumann architecture serve as the two major ways using which the microcontroller gets its CPU arrangement with the ROM and RAM. In this article, we will take a look at the difference between Von Neumann and Harvard Architecture in detail. But let us first know about both of them briefly.

What is Von Neumann Architecture?

It is a type of digital computer architecture in which the design follows the concept of the computers with stored programs where they store the program data along with the instruction data in the very same memory. The famous physicist and mathematician John Von Neumann designed this architecture back in 1945.

What is Harvard Architecture?

It is a type of digital computer architecture in which the design follows a basic concept of having separate signal paths (buses) and separate storage for data and instructions. This type of architecture basically surfaced to overcome the overall bottleneck of the Von Neumann Architecture.

Difference Between Von Neumann and Harvard Architecture

Parameters Von Neumann Architecture Harvard Architecture
Definition The Von Neumann Architecture is an ancient type of computer architecture that follows the concept of a stored-program computer. Harvard Architecture is a modern type of computer architecture that follows the concept of the relay-based model by Harvard Mark I.
Physical Address It uses one single physical address for accessing and storing both data and instructions. It uses two separate physical addresses for storing and accessing both instructions and data.
Buses (Signal Paths) One common signal path (bus) helps in the transfer of both instruction and data. It uses separate buses for the transfer of both data and instructions.
Number of Cycles It requires two clock cycles for executing a single instruction. It executes any instruction using only one single cycle.
Cost It is comparatively cheaper in cost than Harvard Architecture. It is comparatively more expensive than the Von Neumann Architecture.
Access to CPU The CPU is not able to read/write data and access instructions at the same time. The CPU can easily read/write data as well as access the instructions at any given time.
Uses This method comes to play in the case of small computers and personal computers. This architecture is best for signal processing as well as microcontrollers.
Requirement of Hardware As compared to Harvard Architecture, Von Neumann Architecture requires lesser architecture. It is because it only needs to reach one common memory. This one requires more hardware. It is because it requires separate sets of data as well as address buses for individual memory.
Requirement of Space This architecture basically requires less space. This architecture comparatively requires more space.
Usage of Space This architecture does not waste any space. It is because the instruction memory can utilize the left space of the data memory. It can also happen vice-versa. This type of architecture can result in space wastage. It is because the instruction memory cannot utilize the leftover space in the data memory. It also cannot happen vice-versa.
Execution Speed The speed of execution of the Von Neumann Architecture is comparatively slower. It is because it is not capable of fetching the instructions and data both at the same time. The overall speed of execution of Harvard Architecture is comparatively faster. It is because the processor, in this case, is capable of fetching both instructions and data at the very same time.
Controlling The process of controlling becomes comparatively simpler with this architecture. It is because it fetches either instructions or data at any given time. The process of controlling becomes comparatively complex with this architecture. It is because it basically fetches both instructions and data simultaneously at the very same time.

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