Computer Science

ECS 201A Advanced Computer Architecture


Lecture: 3 hours

Termpaper: 1 hour

Prerequisite: Course ECS 154B or EEC 170; course ECS 150

Grading: Letter; homework (30%), exam (30%), research project (40%)

Catalog Description:
Modern research topics and methods in computer architecture. Design implications of memory latency and bandwidth limitations. Performance enhancement via within-processor and between-processor parallelism. Term project involving student-proposed extensions/modifications of work in the research literature. Not open for credit to students who have completed course 250A.

To provide the student with an overview of the current state of modern computer architecture, and to prepare the student for the rest of the advanced computer architecture sequence.

Expanded Course Description:

  1. Fundamentals of Computer Design
    1. Overview of history and trends in Processor design
    2. Measuring and Reporting Performance
    3. Motivations for the modern trend towards simpler architectures
  2. Performance Enhancement Techniques
    1. Overview of Pipelining
    2. Advanced Pipelining topics
    3. Fine grain (Instruction level) Parallelism
  3. Memory System Issues
    1. Discrepancies between memory speed and processor speed
    2. Introduction to multiple cache systems
    3. Overview of Advanced Storage systems
  4. Parallel Processing
    1. Fine-and coarse-grained parallelism
    2. Introduction to tightly-and loosely-coupled designs
    3. Interconnection Networks
    4. Multiprocessors

Hennessy and Patterson, Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach, (2nd edition), Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 1995

Instructor: M. Farrens

Prepared by: M. Farrens (January 2002)

Overlap Statement:
This course covers many of the same topics as ECE 270, but does so at a less implementational and more software-related level.