Principal lecturer: Dr Simon Moore
Taken by: Part IB, Part II (General), Diploma
Past exam questions
The aims of this course are to introduce the hardware/software
interface models and the hardware structures used in designing
computers. The first seven lectures are concerned with the
hardware/software interface and cover the programmer's model of the
computer. The last nine lectures look at hardware implementation
issues at a register transfer level.
This is a 16 lecture course primarily lectured by Simon Moore.
The course is split into two parts.
Part I - The Hardware/Software Interface
The first part of this course covers the programmer's model of the
- 1 - introduction to the course and some background history
- 2 - historic machines: EDSAC vs Manchester Mark I
- 3 - introduction to RISC processor design and the ARM instruction set
- 4 - ARM tools and code examples
- 5 - operating system support + memory hierarchy & management
- 6 - Intel x86 instruction set
- 7 - Java Virtual Machine
Part II - Hardware Structures
The second part of this course looks at hardware implementation issues
at a register transfer level.
- 8 - executing instructions - an algorithmic viewpoint
- 9 - basic processor hardware: pipelining & data paths
- 10 - extending the ARM pipeline - including load and branch delay slots
- 11 - memory hierarchy (caching, etc.)
- 12 - buses (internal communication pathways)
- 13 - communication interfaces and devices
- 14 - introduction to N-105 processor
- 15 - implementing the N-105 processor
- 16 - data-flow & comments on future directions
- Hennessy, J.L. & Patterson, D.A. (2002). Computer Architecture:
A Quantitative Approach. Morgan Kaufmann (3rd ed.). (2nd edition, 1996, is also good)
- Patterson, D.A. & Hennessy, J.L. (1998). Computer Organization and
Design. Morgan Kaufmann (2nd ed., as an alternative to the above).
Handouts and Workshops
- Copies of the handouts will be made available at the first lecture
and subsequently from the Student Administrator in the William Gates Building.
Please note that the handouts only give an
outline of the course. Annotations and additional examples are given
in the lectures.
- If paper copies of the handouts are not available for some reason,
the PDF notes are
available for people in the cam.ac.uk domain.
workshops for Part 1B students (not taken by Diploma and Part II(gen) students)
- Example divide code for lecture 4
There are three lab exercises (ECAD & Architecture workshops 4, 5 and 6)
taken by Part 1Bs only. There are two Tripos questions for Part 1Bs and Diplomas this academic year.
Past exam questions: