SMD150 - Computer Architecture 2007

Computer Architecture is an advanced course in specifically architecture, not general digital designing, and requires SMD137/SMD082 or SMD066, Computer Engineering or equivalent. The aim of this course is to provide a deep understanding of advanced computer architectures and the techniques used for performance optimizations including parallel processing architectures.

The course is based on a quantative approach, where we look into design decisions and trade-offs for modern computer architectures spanning from simple single processor systems to supercomputers such as computer clusters. Aspects of today's architectures are highlighted by the laborations and projects.

This year (2007) the course is based on an up-to-date textbook, and labs/projects are based on the SyncSim simulator.

Course Material

Besides the literature (see below) course material will be distributed through this web page; lecture planning/slides, reading advice, laborations etc.


Date News
2007-05-28 Lecture slides and exam information updated under "Lectures".
2007-05-14 Due to the delay of the Syncsim memory component, we have decided to offer an alternative examination of lab2. To pass, each group should prepare a 20 minute presentation of their design, showing 1) the overall architecture, 2) the interfaces for the components, 3) describe the basic functionality (e.g. in terms of a state machine or similar). The intended funtionality should be exemplified by MIPS assembly code examples, showing (at least) cases of out-of-order execution, branch prediction, and branch prediction failure.

If you still prefere to continue working towards an implementation, you can do so. In that case you may (at will) make a presentation according to the above (and that way pass the lab course), or skip the presentation and hand in a working implementation. For this there is no strict deadline (well, within a year or so would be great:). Andrey is now finalizing the memory component, and it will be uploaded ASAP.
2007-05-09 Guest lecture by Johan Nordlander, "Timber, threads to the future", May 15th 14.45 in A2025 (close by the A2 entrance).
2007-05-08 Guest lecture by Johan Nordlander, "Timber, threads to the future", is moved to May 15th 14.45. Room to be determined, check this page for updates.
2007-05-07 Each student should now select one research paper, white paper, or uncovered chapter from the textbook, and write a one page summary of the material, and prepare for a 10 minute oral presentation. You way work in groups for the presentations (that is a group of two may present two papers during 20 minutes). Presentations AND written reviews are due friday May 25th starting at 8.15. Lab2 has no firm deadline!
2007-05-07 Lecture notes updated, please check under Lectures.
2007-04-18 A complete description of MIPS Instruciton Set Architecture can be found here (MIPS32, Volume II). The document includes binary coding for each instruction. Note that you will have to register with to access the document.
2007-04-17 Description of lab 2 updated.
2007-04-07 Slides updated, (some minor changes to slides 1..6, and a new set of slides 7 is added). Lectures page updated accordingly.
2007-04-07 Under slides you now find two papers, Limits of Instruction-Level Parallelism, a shorter ACM paper p176-wall.pdf (published by permission of ACM) and a technical report WRL-93-6.pdf.
2007-03-26 On April 3 you will have two lectures in A2525 instead of a lecture and a lab.
The lecture on April 4 has been canceled (may be replaced by a lecture at the end of the course).
2007-03-22 Welcome, 2007 page up and running.

Course Staff

Per Lindgren E-mail Office: A2303 (Responsible and examiner for the course)
Andrey Kruglyak E-mail Office: E100 Lab assistant

Course Literature

Click to enlarge Main book
John L. Hennessy, David A. Patterson and David Goldberg
Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach
Morgan Kaufmann; 4rd edition (2006), ISBN 978-0-12-370490-0

Click to enlarge Supplementary literature (buy it out of own interest)
Dezso Sima, Terence Fountain and Peter Kacsuk
Advanced Computer Architectures : A Design Space Approach
Addison-Wesley Pub Co; 1st edition (1997). ISBN 0201422913