Computer Architecture
Fall Term 2011, 3 Credits
Section #7371


Course Objective: Students will gain fundamental knowledge and understanding of principles and practice in computer architecture, emphasizing quantitative and qualitative issues in terms of design, models, metrics, and analysis, attained through class readings, lectures, discussions, homework exercises, and projects. Emphasis is placed upon fixed-logic, CPU-based architectures and electrical and computer engineering issues in terms of hardware, software, and interdependent attributes. Parallelism is the principal factor for performance in modern computer architecture and will be emphasized in this course, primarily from the perspective of implicit deep and wide parallelism, which is of keen interest to architects and compilers but typically invisible to users or applications. The alternate perspective, explicit parallelism, is the primary focus of EEL6763, parallel computer architecture, the follow-on course to EEL5764.

Time and Place: Period 3 (9:35-10:25am) MWF, NEB Room 102.

Catalog Description: Prereq: EEL 4713C, 4744C, or equivalents. Fundamentals in design and quantitative analysis of modern computer architecture and systems, including instruction set architecture, basic and advanced pipelining, superscalar and VLIW instruction-level parallelism, memory hierarchy, storage, and interconnects.

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Prerequisites by Topic: Number systems, arithmetic operations, and codes; design principles and devices for combinational and sequential logic design; microprocessor-based systems and computer organization; instruction sets, addressing modes, instruction encoding/decoding, and machine language; cache, memory, and I/O subsystems; both assembly-level and high-level programming, control and data structures.

Required Textbook: J. Hennessy and D. Patterson, Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, 4/e, ISBN 978-0-12-370490-0.


Teaching Assistant: General Topics: Suggested Reference Books: Project: A major and challenging research project will be assigned to provide students the opportunity to more deeply explore fundamental issues in computer architecture (CA) throughout the majority of the semester. Students will form teams of two or three and propose then conduct a research project on a topic in CA of their choosing (subject to professor approval). Each project will involve elements of both hardware and software, although the balance need not necessarily be 50-50. Projects will be simulative, emulative, or experimental in nature. Facilities to support these projects will be provided as needed and available via special resources in the professor's research laboratory. A formal proposal and weekly progress reports will be required of each project team. The culmination of each project will be a clear and concise technical report suitable for potential publication discussing project concepts, development, experiments, results, and analyses. The most important outcome of each project will be research results achieved, analyses rendered, and conclusions drawn with demonstrable insight.


Grading Policy: Graduate students, in order to graduate, must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or better (B or better). Note: a B- average is equivalent to a GPA of 2.67, and therefore, it does not satisfy this graduation requirement. Undergraduate students, in order to graduate, must have an overall GPA and an upper-division GPA of 2.0 or better (C or better). Note: a C- average is equivalent to a GPA of 1.67, and therefore, it does not satisfy this graduation requirement. For more information on grades and grading policies, see here.

Deadline Policy: Much as you will often experience in your career after graduation, all assignments in this course will be given with a strict deadline, and students are required to submit their assignments on or before that deadline. In case of extenuating circumstances, students are advised to contact the professor immediately or as soon as practical. Late assignments and makeup exams will only be permitted in the case of documented medical emergencies.

Attendance Policy: Although attendance will not be taken regularly in class, students are advised to attend all lectures and take good notes. Tardiness for lectures found to be disruptive will NOT be tolerated. Use of cell phones is strictly prohibited.

Conduct Policy: We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. All assignments are to be considered an individual effort unless otherwise specified by the instructor.

Academic Honesty: All work submitted in this course must be your own and produced exclusively for this course. The use of sources (ideas, quotations, paraphrases) must be properly acknowledged and documented. Your professor in this course requires the utmost degree of academic honesty and thus any violations will be treated and handled very seriously. All students admitted to the University of Florida have signed a statement of academic honesty committing themselves to be honest in all academic work and understanding that failure to comply with this commitment will result in disciplinary action. This statement is a reminder to uphold your obligation as a student at the University of Florida and to be completely honest in all assignments and exams in this and all courses. If at any time questions arise regarding what is or is not appropriate, the student should ask the professor for guidance or clarification before proceeding. For a copy of the UF Honor Code and consequences of academic dishonesty, please refer here.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities: Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the Instructor when requesting accommodation.

UF Counseling Services: Resources are available on-campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career and academic goals. The resources include: (1) UF Counseling & Wellness Center, 3190 Radio Rd, 392-1575, psychological and psychiatric services; and (2) Career Resource Center, Reitz Union, 392-1601, career and job search services.

Software Use: All faculty, staff, and students of the University are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate. We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to uphold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.


08/22/11 Mon. Chapter 1: Fundamentals of Computer Design Lecture notes ( PDF, PPTX )
08/26/11 Fri. Appendix A: Pipelining Basic and Intermediate Concepts Lecture notes ( PDF, PPTX )
09/02/11 Fri. Appendix C: Review of Memory Hierarchy, Appendix B: Instruction Set Principles and Examples (self-study review) Lecture notes ( PDF, PPTX )
09/12/11 Mon. Chapter 2: Instruction-Level Parallelism and Its Exploitation Lecture notes ( PDF, PPTX ),
Review notes ( PDF )
09/27/11 Tue. Chapter 3: Limits on Instruction-Level Parallelism Lecture notes ( PDF, PPTX )
10/12/11 Wed. Special lecture on ARM Cortex and Neon Lecture notes ( PDF, PPTX )
10/14/11 Fri. Special lecture on SimpleScalar and SPEC Lecture notes ( PDF, PPTX )
10/14/11 Fri. Chapter 5: Memory Hierarchy Design Lecture notes ( PDF, PPTX )
11/09/11 Wed. Chapter 6: Storage Systems Lecture notes ( PDF, PPTX )
11/16/11 Wed. Special lecture on Device Metrics Lecture notes ( PDF, PPTX )
12/05/11 Fri. Special lecture on NSF CHREC Center Lecture notes ( PDF, PPTX )


HW #108/22/11 Mon.08/31/11 Wed. 10 homework problems for Chapter 1 (see PDF #1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14)
HW #209/01/11 Thu.09/12/11 Mon. 12 homework problems for Appendix A (see PDF)
Project09/09/11 Fri.09/23/11 Fri. (proposal), 12/14/11 Wed. (final report) Project assignment (PDF), Proposal form (PDF or DOC), Progress form (PDF or DOC)
HW #309/12/11 Mon.09/19/11 Mon. 9 homework problems for Appendix C (see PDF)
HW #409/23/11 Fri.10/03/11 Mon. 10 homework problems for Chapter 2 (see PDF)
FYI10/05/11 Wed.None Suggested problem in lieu of homework for Chapter 3: Exercise 3.1 bcfg
HW #510/31/11 Mon.11/09/11 Wed. 11 homework problems for Chapter 5 (see PDF #8-15, 17, 19, 21)
FYI11/23/11 Wed.None Suggested practice exercises from Chapter 6 (see PDF)
NOTE: Each homework and project assignment is due at the beginning of class on the designated date.


October 10, Mon. @ 8:30pm Exam #1 FLG (Florida Gym) Rooms 260 and 280
December 2, Fri. @ 8:30pm Exam #2 FLG (Florida Gym) Rooms 220 and 230
Note: Distance (i.e. remote) students will complete each exam on the same day as their local counterparts.