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MEng Electronic Engineering / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
Computer Systems Architecture
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Offered by||Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
Brief description of the unit:
Analysing and optimising the performance of application software often requires a detailed knowledge of the hardware architecture and low-level programming of computer systems, as well as the relevant analysis and synthesis skills. This unit provides students with these skills and knowledge. The unit is structured around the eight principal topics listed below.
- Fundamentals of computer architecture
- Processor instruction formats
- Quantitative performance analysis
- Memory hierarchy
- CISC and RISC architectures
- Arithmetic and data representation
- Instruction pipelining
- Multiprocessor architectures
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
|Microcontroller Engineering I||EEEN10202||Pre-Requisite||Compulsory|
|Digital System Design I||EEEN10131||Pre-Requisite||Compulsory|
|Microcontroller Engineering II||EEEN20011||Pre-Requisite||Compulsory|
|Digital Systems Design II||EEEN20121||Pre-Requisite||Compulsory|
This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 2020/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact. Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.
The unit aims to:
Provide an introduction to the hardware architecture and low-level programming of modern computer systems.
On the successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
Describe in detail the operation of hardware architectural components
Apply standard design techniques to specify or parameterise hardware architectural components
Analyse the operation of hardware architectural components when executing programs
Evaluate the performance of assembly language instruction sequences and synthesise optimised versions
Create software to simulate the operation of hardware architectural components and derive performance metrics
Teaching and learning methods
The unit is delivered through: 18 lectures, 6 Examples Classes and 2 Laboratory Classes. The Laboratory Classes are designed to reinforce key concepts from the lecture material. Students are provided with access to commercial architectural simulation tools.
2 laboratories both assessed in lab and 1 report to be submitted via Blackboard.
Coursework forms 20% of the unit assessment
J.L. Hennessy and D.A. Patterson, “Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface”, ARM Edition, Morgan Kaufmann, 2016.
J.L. Hennessy and D.A. Patterson, “Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach”, Sixth Edition, Morgan Kaufmann, 2017.
N. Nisan and S. Schocken, “The elements of computing systems : building a modern computer from first principles”, MIT Press, 2008.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Practical classes & workshops||6|
|Independent study hours|
|Peter Green||Unit coordinator|