CS 480G (same as EE-480) - Advanced Computer Architecture

Bulletin Description

This course focuses on advanced computer architectures and low-level system software. Topics include RISC architectures, vector and multiprocessor architectures, multiprocessor memory architectures, and multiprocessor interconnection networks. Peripheral devices such as disk arrays, NICs, video/audio devices are covered. Topics also include device drivers, interrupt processing, advanced assembly language programming techniques, assemblers, linkers, and loaders.


CS/EE-380 and engineering standing.

Expected Preparation

Students will become acquainted with recent computer architectures and I/O devices as well as the basic software required to drive/manage these types of advanced hardware. Students will be introduced to the language-to-executable translation processes required to map application software to the underlying hardware architecture.

Syllabus Information

Additional Comments:

The objective of this course is both to study advanced computer architectures and to examine the computer, peripherals, and low-level system software as an integrated subject.

Throughout the course, the concept of a complete system consisting of asynchronous interactions between concurrently executing hardware components and device driver software will be emphasized to illustrate the behavior of a computer system as a whole.

The course will be heavily project-oriented with 3-5 major programming projects that implement/simulate a particular architecture and assemble/link/load code for that architecture.

This course was proposed by CS prior to the proposal of a computer engineering program by electrical engineering. The class has never been offered and is currently being reevaluated by both departments to design a course to be appropriate as either an advanced technical elective for ee and cs students and as a core class for those in the computer engineering track. The course description above and the textbooks below were representative of the originally proposed class.

Possible Textbook:

Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach.
J. L. Hennessy and D. A. Patterson.
San Mateo: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers. 1990.

Advanced Computer Architecture,
K. Hwang,
McGraw Hill, 1993

High-performance Computer Architecture, 3rd edition,
H. S. Stone,
Addison-Wesley, 1993.