General Information Edit

Dives deep into the world of computer architecture. Continues from topics learned in ECE 2300 and ECE 3140, and is extremely intense.

Prerequisites Edit

(ECE 2300 AND ECE 3140) OR (CS 3410)

Topics Covered Edit

  • Single-Cycle, FSM, and Pipelined Processors
  • Single-Cycle, FSM, and Pipelined Cache Memories
  • Network Topology and Routing
  • Network Flow Control and Microarchitecture
  • Out-of-Order Processors
    • Superscalar execution
    • Branch Prediction
    • OOO execution
    • Register Renaming
    • Memory Disambiguation
  • VLIW Processors
  • Vector Processors
  • Multithreaded Processors

Workload Edit

  • 4 problem sets
  • 5 labs (All in Verilog or PyMTL)
    • Integer Multiplier
    • Pipelined Processor
    • FSM Cache
    • Ring Network
    • Combine all four into a Quad-Core processor System and write a benchmark
  • (Roughly) weekly quizzes

Advice Edit

  • Severe. Be ready for a lot of work. The problem sets aren't extremely difficult, but are time-consuming, and become a major burden if you put them off. Same with the labs, make sure to start early. FA14 added a testing role to the labs, in addition to the role of coding, and you should ensure that you start early on both so that there can be some method of debugging as the hardware is being developed. Try to do extensions if you finish early. In general there's at least one extension that isn't too difficult, and you will appreciate it in your final grade. Prof. Batten is a clear lecturer, but also talks fast, so make sure you're paying attention during the entire lecture.

Past Offerings Edit

Semester Time Professor Median Grade
Fall 2014 MW 2:55 - 4:10 Christopher Batten B+
Fall 2017 MW 2:55 - 4:10 Christina Delimitrou A-
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