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Course pages 2022–23

Advanced Topics in Computer Architecture

Reading List

Note: All Week 1 papers are not for assessment. You should not submit an essay on the topic of these papers.

Week 1: Trends in Computer Architecture

Other optional material for week 1

Week 2: State-of-the-art Processor Design

Other optional material for week 2

Week 3: Memory system design

Other optional material for week 3

Week 4: Hardware reliability

Other optional material for week 4

Week 5: Specification, verification and test

This week there are two interrelated themes, so I suggest that you write your essay based on two papers from the same theme though this is not mandatory. Three of the papers are marked for talks.

  • Theme 1: Formal specification of ISAs:
    • Main paper (and talk): Who Guards the Guards? Formal validation of the Arm v8-m architecture specification, OOPSLA 2017
      [ACM Digital Library]
    • Alternative main paper (to compare with the above): ISA Semantics for ARMv8-A, RISC-V, and CHERI-MIPS, POPL 2019
      [Open Access]
    • Sail RISC-V docs:
  • Theme 2: Instruction test generation:
    • Main paper (and talk): Genesys-Pro: Innovations in Test Program Generation for Functional Processor Verification, IBM Research, IEEE Design and Test 2004
    • Main paper (and talk): Randomised testing of a microprocessor model using SMT-solver state generation, 2015
      [Science Direct]
    • RISC-V torture tests:
Other optional material for week 5

Week 6: Security 1: CHERI

  • Background:An Introduction to CHERI
    [Technical Report UCAM-CL-TR-941]
  • Efficient Tagged Memory:
    [local PDF]
  • CHERI: A Hybrid Capability-System Architecture for Scalable Software Compartmentalization:
    [local PDF]
  • CHERIvoke: Characterising Pointer Revocation using CHERI Capabilities for Temporal Memory Safety:
    [local PDF]
Optional material for week 6

Week 7: Security 2: Speculative execution attacks

Optional material for week 7

Week 8: Hardware accelerators and accelerators for machine learning

Other optional/background material for week 8
You may also be interested in the approaches taken by Tenstorrent, Graphcore and Esparanto.

The following papers are perhaps a little more hardware-centric but may also be of interest:

Lecture Slides

Seminar 1 - Trends in Computer Architecture

Seminar 2 - Superscalar processor Design (background)

Seminar 3 - Prefetching

Seminar 4 - Reliability

Seminar 5 - Testing

Seminar 6 - Security 1: CHERI

Seminar 7 - Secure processors 2: Speculative execution attacks